In addition to being a pilot, my husband is a photographer and a botanist. I enjoy hiking, waking and reading. Our Fly-Inn adventure gave us an opportunity to enjoy all of our favorite things. If you’re thinking of taking a Fly-Inn vacation, I thought you might like to know WIIFM (what’s in it for me). Late night talk show host David Letterman typically has ten reasons for doing things. It’s obvious that for the pilot, there are a variety of reasons that Fly-Inn is the perfect vacation.
· 20 hours of flying in another country
· Highly experienced safety pilots who handle the radio in a language that often doesn’t sound like English
· Safety pilots also have vast knowledge of the local terrain with an ability to point out every mountain, fjord, glacier and valley
· The opportunity to land on grass strips, beaches and paved runways in amazing places
For the spouse/significant other/flying partner, there are additional reasons that you should schedule a Fly-Inn adventure. (I thought about calling us s2ofp but FP (for flying partner) was a lot easier.
1. 14 days in some of the most beautiful countryside in the world. The mountains are high, the fjords crystal clear, and the spaces vast.
2. 14 days of not having to cook a meal or help prepare the gourmet meals you’ll eat – unless you want to. You’re free to sit on a stool in the kitchen at dinner time and watch Jo work her magic, enjoy a glass of great New Zealand wine and kibitz. You can pick up cooking tips if that’s your thing and even help – but that’s not a requirement.
3. Speaking of wine – New Zealand has wonderful whites and reds and they are in plentiful supply around Geordie Station.
4. The local cuisine is remarkable. There were lots of vegetarian choices for me but also delicious lamb and beef which were cooked to perfection. Just when you think you can’t eat any more, Jo appears with a sumptuous dessert that you simply can’t pass up.
5. Geordie Station is a working sheep and cattle ranch and guests are welcome to observe, take photographs and watch those amazing dogs work.
6. Every day as you take your flying adventure, there are stops for “tea”, museums and shopping that will entice anyone. We learned about the Merino wool which is the Geordie Station main product, the BAA code on each garment to find out where the wool was raised, and how to identify the best quality for these remarkable soft, comfortable and versatile clothes.
7. The stars at night may be big and bright in Texas but the skies at Geordie Station are unencumbered by any nearby city, town or neighboring station. The Milky Way is vast and the Southern Cross is easy to find.
8. Another Geordie Station specialty is the quiet. Not interested in seeing the dogs work the sheep or taking a relaxing walk, then sit on your porch with a good book until it’s time for dinner. Enjoy that second cup of coffee or tea in the morning before you head to the air strip for your briefing and flight for the day.
9. Can’t disconnect from work and family for 10 days? Never fear, Geordie Station and the overnight hotels during the trip have reliable Wi-Fi. Want to disconnect? Remind the family and co-workers that there is no cell service!!
10. Be ready to start planning your next adventure because you’ll want to come back. It’s the best vacation you’ll ever take. You friends may be talking about their safaris in Africa or walking the Camino de Santiago trail in Spain, but no one else will have flown up close to Mount Cook, landed at Doubtful Sound, landed on the beach at Back Bay, fished for white cod off Stewart Island and then had it for dinner, hiked in the Abel Tasman National Forest west of Nelson, and been nourished by Jo’s gourmet cooking.