A 46-hour Thursday, or eight days in a week.

Yes, a few Thursdays ago my day lasted 46 hours, not the standard 24. It all started when we set off early one morning on a long journey…

And the first islands we came to – not including Fiji’s own – were those of Vanuatu – another island nation to the west of Fiji

— Volcanic interlude! —

You see that vertical smoke stack – yes, it’s from a volcano. But can you work out which? Where we were in the world and in which direction we were flying you already know about, so…

Ok, to make it a little easier, here‘s a list of the world’s volcanoes that are active right now.

Ok, out of all those listed, you can straight away bin all the ones that aren’t red. That leaves around 30.

Right, volcanoes not too far to the west of Fiji… hmmm. There’s Indonesia…

Let’s check it…

Into Google goes ‘Eruption in Indonesia’. That gives us news about Mount Agung, but it erupted in the last few days; the pic above was from a few weeks back.

‘Eruption in Pacific’: several days ago Manaro Voui on Ambae – one of the islands of Vanuatu erupted. That looks promising…

Yes, the timing’s about right. So yes, this is the one! Did you work it out for yourselves, dear readers?

Ok, smart Aleks. What type of plane is that in the pic, then – the one the photo of Manaro Voui was taken from? It’s not a jumbo or anything; not even a Boeing 777 of Airbus 330. It’s a small plane – one that doesn’t fly more than three or four thousand kilometers in one go. What plane? Answers in the comments please!

Back to where we were headed: where could we have been flying to that’s less than 4000 kilometers west of Fiji? Papua New Guinea? Australia? Actually, it’s a trick question! We were headed for – and landed at – Vanuatu itself!

But I digress…

Anyway, the same day we flew from Vanuatu back to Tahiti, and that’s when we saw Manaro Voui erupting. And it was on that flight that we flew into the previous day…

There’s the International Date Line on the screen – the faint dark line wiggling from top to bottom:

We arrived in Tahiti at 23:30 of the previous day!

Check this out: stamp for the flight out of Fiji: ’29 MAR 2018′; stamp for the flight landing in French Polynesia (Fa’a’ā Airport): ‘28.03.18’!!

I’ve had cases where, taking a flight eastward over the Pacific, I landed earlier, local time, than when I took off. But to land not only earlier but yesterday – that was a first.

And since the time difference between Fiji and Tahiti is two hours (or 22 hours), that Thursday for us lasted 46 hours!

Put another way – we had two Thursdays. Later we’d say: ‘On the first Thursday we flew to Tahiti; on the second, we flew to Tetiaroa’. That is, we woke up on Thursday in Fiji, we flew to Tahiti Wednesday night, went to bed, woke up – and it’s still Thursday! If only every day could be like that: you’d end up living twice as long, surely? )

It’s just as well we had a bonus day added on to our trip: as it’s such a long journey getting there, we really wanted to make the most of our time – a mere seven (eight!) days. Indeed, the only time we sat down during the whole trip was on planes – on the ten flights and three helicopter rides we took throughout the week!

Phew, what a week. I like my tourism… intense, but this was exhausting! I’m still recovering to this day and I’ve been in the office four days already! I haven’t been able to even think about the possibility of starting editing my gigabytes of pics…

Let me recap the whole trip:

☑ Budapest, Melbourne, Fiji, Vanuatu, French Polynesia, Abu-Dhabi, Moscow. Fiji and Vanuatu were both new entries to my list of visited countries. Tahiti I don’t count as it’s a French territory (much like I didn’t add Sint Maarten last year).
☑ 17 flights, 65 hours up in the air (not including chopper time).
☑ Three conferences; speeches, interviews, partner meets, plus the Grand Prix (keep it up Forza Ferrari!).

This tour began three weeks ago, when Budapest was still covered in snow:

Sadly the huge scale of Dubai can’t be viewed fully through a plane window…

That’s not a dirty window – it’s the sandy fog up above Dubai!

Back soon folks!…

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