Now I know where the edge of the earth ...

Summer continues. Perhaps now is the "hay", the apogee of transport. The main work, as
before, the charters of the regions and the capital of the resorts of the Turkish-Greek-Montenegrin-Hispanic Eg etskogo direction. But sometimes suddenly fall out quite so exotic flights. On one of these flights today's story.

Back in the early morning from Ufa to Antalya, come in wanted take a shower, brush my teeth while I load the page with the flight plan for the next day on the Internet (and it must be said that the network very well, just crap in the same Antalya.) Oppa tomorrow home! Finally, and then have two weeks references ... Stop. And what's next? And then worth some four flights with unknown direction. I see that the flight from Murmansk, but where it is not clear from where it is not clear in the more clear where. Look at the planned time of flight, something somehow far away, almost 5 hours one way and the same number even further. The crew planned to strengthen, so really far. Poryskav the Internet name of the airport will define where to go and most importantly immediately becomes clear why, and who carry. 
Somewhere in time in half a year, we carry out flights to deliver customized sailors to their place of work, into the ocean. 
The Day After Tomorrow was to take laborers fishing fleet in Dakhla in Western Sahara.
I think that not very many of my readers, and indeed Russian citizens know that there is such a country - Western Sahara, and even fewer people go there. That's what I heard ringing (in geography lessons in the fifth year of high school), but did not know where he is. But nothing to do, was to learn ....
I returned from Turkey and more in a day, in the evening, flew passenger in Murmansk, responsible for performing the task.
This autumn to our north was unusually successful. It is not very high, but bright and friendly sun, soft and warm weather with excellent visibility and a saucer of milk in the morning mist over the surface of the cooling water ..

In Murmansk zatamozhilis, execute all documents pologayu, refueled and ready for the flight.
We carry two crew with two seiners fishing, only 140 people (actually 136 men and 4 women). Sailors people roughly, and not the timid, and are able to plunk from the heart and mangled wood for the heat. Before departure, I went to the salon and spent with them intimate conversations about the rules of conduct on board the aircraft, explained the rights and responsibilities of capital and the most important of his powers. Fishermen people docile and disciplined, so the flight did not have no problems at all. (Back way too, no nebilo eksesov)
At 23 o'clock local time we broke away from the runway Murmashah and headed south.
Aircraft hard climbs, (still, full fuel and full load, taking off with the greatest possible weight. ) If you usually recruit 10,000 for 12-15 minutes, now scrubbed almost half an hour. 
Once crossed the border into Finlyadiey, the controller immediately gave us a course directly to Copenhagen! This bolshii thousands of miles in a straight line. 
Weather blagopriyatsvovala. Bezoblano everywhere and very quiet. Flowed endless hours of flight.
Visim over Finland, that's somewhere to the left of Kajaani (I once talked about this village deep in Suomi) Rovaniemi more ... Ahead of Sweden.
Time passes gum, the air is almost silent, only occasionally heard callsign restless loukostera Ryanair, so over the long-range trucks. Europe sleeps at night.
Close to Germany becomes lively, but this is not the increase in traffic, just somewhere far, far ahead of a thunderstorm. Board who bypass the north who are riding. Over Holland enter the cloud and starts talking. Locator shows that over three hundred kilometers, we find ourselves in the heart of the huge front stretching from west to east, thousands of kilometers. Becomes more fun, there was a job.
Amsterdam, Brussels .. Ahead France.
The front is really very powerful and asking 360 level (11,000 feet), it is still not We reach the top. Still talks about hell, and yet there was the icing. Need to get out of here! Please bypassing the West and received approval take a course directly to Paris. 
In the sky, the light of the whole being played, so often lightning lit up the sky and bright that everything around is clear as day, and we use it, we go around the pile more visually than looking at the radar. Suddenly everything becomes clear and the bottom front of us a city that many people in the world want to see and die.

But this is only the appearance of well-being, in fact, very close to the city of the mighty storm activity and it is not visible until the discharge occurs, but it is necessary to flash as ..... Paris by storm.

Between outbreaks capital at a glance. Charles de Gaulle .....

Leaving farther south. Thunderstorms weaken and it's time to go down.
We made ​​a technical landing for refueling in Chateauroux, a small town, with a small two hundred miles from Paris. Why are there, I do not know (as defined by the customer) can be cheaper fuel there may be some other reasons. Chateau at night does not work and we came back to order. People are not planted, winged fire engines, a ladder and a second 40 minutes later, we have again gained echelon.

Kstaiti in Chateauroux Peron stood on a single plane, and it was ... IL-76. White and unmarked.
Dlshe path ran through Spain. Over Spain, and then everything was clean. Madrid, Seville, Gibraltar .... 

Gibraltar struck. From Spain all in the lights and felt that there is life with the African side - darkness.
We are waiting for the Atlantic.
The route ran away from the coast, about three hundred kilometers to the west (although strictly walked back along the coast, through Agadir, Marrakech, Casablanca, Rabat. So arranged tracks) 
Night over the ocean unforgettable sight. So the stars are not visible from where probably no longer, perhaps only in the Himalayas has yet to see such a sky in Antarctica. Beach remains far behind, in front of emptiness.

Two hours later, the Canary Islands on the horizon. Communication becomes more alive, growing traffic.

Trying to find out from Canar weather Dakhla, but in response we get a thousand pardons, and that the weather this airport, they tell us or what will not.
Naeskolko retreating back, I want to clarify something. When we were getting ready to Western Sahara, he was surprised to learn that the world's leading meteosayty not issued at the request of the weather GMMH (ICAO airport code Dachau)
hardly found maps of West Africa and diagrams airport. The information is so scarce that the impression of complete isolation of the region, later it turned out that way, and it really is.
From the Canaries turn to the south east and another forty minutes start to decline. Is reduced to the point that CABEL 200 km north of Dakhla. This is not a drive, not a beacon, not a city or even a new city, it's just the coordinates of the planet, which was named after. Canaries decline to give the hundredth flight level (3,000 meters) wish we somehow too much for fatherly and wistfully successful landing and forgiven. 
Uh - uh! Stop, stop! A frequency who will speak?
Canaries again wildly apologize, but their huge Unfortunately, they do not know the frequency of the lower space Dakhla, and in the upper space is not there .... dvizhuhi
In our leaflets with information about the airport and only two frequencies "Approach and Tower". Begins to cause Dakhla. First approach. In response - like a fish in the depths of the silence. Inviting the tower, the result is similar.
It becomes somehow not cozy. Yes, even here in the east starts flickering lightning. Again, include a locator, but at the rate things are pure. More in a moment lost the stars and see the glow of their own gates in space, but no clouds! Around mutno- black haze. Neither earth nor sky, a very unpleasant feeling. I catch myself thinking that are beginning to emerge spatial illusions (when it seems that as you fly sideways, and the device shows that exactly.) When these "glitches" must force yourself to believe gears and only to them. Your body is telling you one thing and the eyes see something quite different. Continues to decline and cause Dakhla. Tension is growing, because there is no connection and where we are, we can only guess. According to the idea, in the absence of clouds and from such a height, that same Dakhla we should already see in front of 10 miles at a glance, but ahead of impenetrable darkness, without a hint of the presence of the earth. Plane and gently stirs behind the cab only flashes storobov. Begin to creep into various bad mvsli .. And what if something quietly glyuknul, and we did not notice?
Check altimeters, everything seems to be working properly, altimeter still does not show the true altitude (2500 feet he starts to work), so there is stock height . Gore is not here, so below the minimum safe altitude has not fallen .... Yes, dammit, where they all go? Begins to conduct additional briefing that if something and then what we will do. 
Here comes from is not clear from the front glow, not even in front, but rather straight from the plane. This yellow, unpleasant, dull glow and more through paru- three seconds manifested outlines of the city. No, it is not the city, and some of the settlement and at the same time the speakers is heard sleepy voice manager: "Bonzhyur ..." Taaaak, dryh mean bastard!

Local time in five in the morning.
At first phrase becomes clear that the English have bAAAAlshie Manager problems, but we have his tongue somehow to the lamp, the main thing that he was awake. Manager trying to ask us, we vidimli band? What gets a natural response - NO! e!
- Eskyuzmua Monsieur! Manager tried to apologize 
- Chegoooo ..?
And after a few seconds it includes lighting airport
Hardly he squeezes out in English (if you can call it) permission to approach and landing, well, thank you! Next, we no longer need a manager, on a technical matter. Perform approach, anchored in the black water several ships, and in front of the band.

For almost ten-hour flight eyes were watery and everything gently floats and sharpness can not simply navёl ....?

Well, that's got! Allah is great, or who's in them? Yes it does not matter, the main thing sat .....
Local Time 5:00 05 minutes. Planting. Pitch darkness. More About dawn nothing like. No one pink and blue stripes on the horizon at home, not even hint at the end of the black night on the black continent

Srul with stripes on main taxiway and rolled himself on the apron (do not dare call it that!) 
If you look at the picture Dakhla Airport from space, it is very clearly seen that the band is black, asphalt, and taxiway as if not completed yet and groundwater. 

When I Srul taxiway and taxied on it, at first everything was fine. Little blue lights on the edges, a black coating on it and guess axial drawn by caustic-yellow paint, but literally within 200-300 meters, suddenly coverage ends abruptly and only ahead of whitish desert and continuing blue lights. 
I braked sharply (forgive me sitting maremany inner), if one of them jumped up from his seat during taxi, hundred percent welled would do certain things yourself crippled. The plane jerked and stopped. Is rulezhka unfinished? Well no shit is not visible! Included landing lights. FP-yyy, relieved. Shoals of sand and dust, like rolls of snow in Norilsk! Keep the plane on the brakes and output the speed a little more, then throw the brakes and accelerates steadily, before the "sand drifting snow" tidy ore at a small gas and at high speed to slip sandstone. (So ​​less likely to "suck" the engine nasties)
On a tiny Peron man in white waving his arms, depicting "Marshal". Teams do not have anything to do with the standard gestures adjustment, but this is of no importance. We parked, stop watch, Total 9 hours 43 minutes of pure time in the sky.
Yanking the window and cool completely dry air rushes into the cabin. A stranger, unfamiliar atmosphere without odors and emotions. While reading a check list after turning off until smoked until the log is full, this and that, on the street visibly brightened. The sky is not stellar, and even dark blue. Soon, very soon the sun will rise.

Our second pilot Roman, in this voyage, all of us, not only very cool rescued, but will significantly broaden their horizons. The whole trick is that Romka is fluent in Russian, English, and most importantly in Arabic. Romka - Lebanese. He was born in Russia (this is the same, he was born in Tver, and lived in three houses away from me when I have served in Migalovo!) Romka disaccustomed several classes at home and then went with his parents to Lebanon, Beirut, he studied in English school and then returned, entered and successfully completed the Petrograd Academy of Civil Aviation. In Romka dual citizenship.
When the cab came local Aborigines   representative and began to speak in English-Arabic Move, we realized that communication will be painful. After a couple of phrases Romka broke down and faltered in the second language. Like a mountain fell from his shoulders, all at once fell into place. We are no longer afraid of misunderstanding. Arab cheered and bared all its 32 snow-white teeth.
First impressions of what he saw in Dakhla, as expected, turned out to be deceptive. Fantastic (by their standards of course) airport. All of granite and marble, decorated with oriental ornaments, with handwritten oil portraits of the rulers of the country, the father (the former) and son (present), the most advanced equipment.

Little note:
In order to get to the airfield, airport officials admitted first applied personal ID card to the terminal, and then the thumb to a special scanner that reads the fingerprint, compares them to the database and opens the door of bulletproof glass! 
Mariners local pograntsy shaken thoroughly. Forced open the luggage, ransacked their things and carefully checked passports. We also missed out on the green corridor.
Out on the street, we were surprised to see that the sun had come out of the horizon and confidence tends upwards. Sun in Africa is not as we do, it is dazzling white, without a hint of redness or yellowness. Now we understand why did not immediately see the city and the airport with a decrease. Absolutely colorless and thick whitish sky. yellowish haze. The local climate is very different from the general climate of the desert. Cold water cooled down the Gulf Stream pulls the cooled air from the north arctic latitudes and at the same time constant, hot winds from the Sahara in the same flock to the coast. Here on the west coast of Africa, constant temperature ranging between 22-26 degrees, constant wind force of 10-15 meters per second and eternal darkness. Often there are sandstorms, but probably not as powerful as in the depths of the desert, but deteriorating visibility and falling asleep city dust. 
The difference between the water and air temperatures make the air hazy and noticeable. It is said that there are very bright and sunny days, but quite rare.
Out on the square in front of the station, still felt like we were in a fairyland richest sheikhs, colorful peacocks, busty mulatto and all-powerful sultans, but vague doubts have emerged. Cars parked in the parking lot at the airport, well, just not consistent with the splendor of the country's air gates.

NISSAN PATROL, probably 77-78 years since the release and more ancient Opel (model has not identified) were waiting for us on the area ....

What we saw a couple of minutes, having left the air port, just threw us into a state of shock.
This poverty, I have not seen anywhere else! (Of course if you do not take into account lost in the Russian hinterland, godforsaken village) Dakhla, is the largest and richest city in Western Sahara (as we found out later), but the standard of living here, "the floor", below any fantasies about poverty.

The city has one single hotel an acceptable level. Hotel (remember the movie "White Sun of the Desert"? There's a house customs officer Vereshchagin was absolutely fabulous oasis in lifeless space) BAB AL BAHAR, it's just some sort of phantasmagoria, just unreal vision, a mirage. Red granite, marble paved promenade on both sides of the hotel and wonderful views of the bay.

Non-matched appearance. Huge, Uslan carpets, with elements of "sweet oriental life." In my room, overlooks the sea, a large balcony with daybed for relaxing, a huge bed and quite elusive, but a heady smell of freshness. 

Not heavy breakfast and agreed to meet four hours later, we went to our rooms and fell into the realm of Morpheus. All very tired, too long and the night was too many events happened in the past day.
So good and very deeply I had not slept. And it is not even tired. In the unbearable humid heat of Antalya, a chilling air conditioned sleep very problematic, at home all the time something interferes, but here ....
Four hours later I was awakened by an alarm clock and opened my eyes, I felt that the body is fully rested, head brightened and no desire luxuriate in bed.
At dinner we met with the owner of the hotel. Each other, we called him "Mayor Luzhkov"
Boss - man 53-55 years, short stature with quite noticeable bald head, a magnificent English, as well as with a radiant smile. He was clearly not a local, rather a native of Egypt, or Algeria, to develop their business in the middle of nowhere. In addition to the content of the hotel, "Mer" provides all flights arriving in Dakhla flight catering crews - transport, UN observers - shelter and God knows what he's doing, but in any case, "Mayor" has great authority and power in the city. 
Western sugar Muslim country and now there is Ramadan, and this means that all the cafes and snack bars are closed during the day, no alcohol anywhere else (except our hotel and duty free). Local liquor, we have not tried, first time we have no choice, after 10 hours was coming return flight, and secondly, we did not dare, and not going to risk "to pull the sleeping tiger by the tail" In a foreign Muslim country in a religious fasting, to breathe at what some local imam fumes accidentally - is fraught. 
The owner of the hotel gave us a car and chauffeur and ordered the cage to show the ocean. Mayor just identified two surfboards (although I'm not rummage, but two of our flight attendants Man is addicted to this).

After 20 minutes, before the eyes of okrylas Atlantic ....
Endless white sand beaches and endless two-meter waves. The fine sand dust clogged in the hair, ears, eyes. After ten minutes of being on the coast, began to creak lens by rotating the zoom and sand crunched on the teeth.

After a while I noticed that not far from our tarntayki on the shore, stopped SUV UN. Out of the car came a young man of European appearance. He took off his sandals and lit sat on the sand. After another ten minutes, a guy came up and in pure Russian asked:
- Hello. You Russian tourists?
- Hello! Yes, Russian, but not tourists, we pilots, crew.
- Oh, how you brought it here ....
Meet. A guy named Max, he Kolomna. Officer. There is already one and a half years, serving in a contingent of observers, a mission of the United Nations.
- Maxim, and how did you get here?
- Why, in part came distribution list, and I'm friends with the English, that's gone. I do not regret paying fine, but of course I miss much. For this year, the first time I hear the native language.
We had a long conversation with Maxim, and then he suggested that we go a little to local attractions, to hold, so to speak, a small digression.

By Maxim and became aware of the "richness" Dakhla, that is a very large sea port and transshipment base fishermen. We have learned that those of Aboriginal, who were lucky enough to get a job in the port, considered to be very happy and rich people, and that the most successful local are those who serve in the army, the police, or works at the airport. We learned about the Berbers and sahariytsah how to distinguish them from each other, learned that 30 kilometers north of the city, on the Spit, there is a camp "freezed surfers and kiters," and that this area European youth, uvlekayuscheyasya water sports, chosen for their wild parties. This is something akin to our Kazantip.
- Maxim and why "freezed and wild?"
- Yes, because they do not really understand (or simply do not want to understand) where they were going. Their bite snakes and scorpions, and their devouring sharks, but most importantly, they are absolutely not protected from bandits, and in fact is far from prosperous old Europe. And although it is now quieter, because the bulk of bandyukov leaned to work in Libya for Gaddafi to war, but still, they often robbed, taken hostage and muzzle beat (at best).
Then we sat down with the ICAC in the car and More about two hours traveled around the neighborhood Dakhla. 

We saw the "real life" local, how they live, how about being, watched the road (by the way there's a road in good condition, and where they go bad?)

This local "krutushi" As we have in the early 90s "friends" wearing crimson jackets, and they have the status of "coolness" - red "Meren"

Seen as local traffic police caught on radar (it is not a joke! Policeman luck with a road sign, put it in the middle of the desert, put the sign device to measure the speed and he hides behind it, like, and no one sees me!)

I tried to take only the most beautiful and "delicious", but alas, I do not always work, so that is - that is "Glitter and nischita" ..
Of course, for the 14 hours spent in this wonderful place, we have not much opened, but even what we saw, will always be remembered

The return flight took place almost exactly the same. To France, everything was calm over France terrible storm and the sun in Murmansk again.
Amazing Trips and interesting I have ever experienced. I now know where the edge of the earth and yet I know that never, for any price, I will not go there for tourists!