Wednesday 03 oct 2001:
The four of us: Nicolas, Bruno, Luca and Gianni meet at the airport of Rome Fiumicino. Alex 1AT746 accompanies us to the boarding gate. We fly by Malaysian Air Lines, a Boeing 747/200 and it takes a reasonable 12 hours to reach Malaysia.
Thursday, oct 4th:
We land in Kuala-Lampur at 7.30 am and stay in for one journey. We decide to make a visit of Kuala-Lampur. Very impressed by the 450 m hight Twins Towers and Menara tower (276 m) from witch we can admire the city and have a nice view of Sultan Abdul Samad Palace. But we take off for Australia on time at 21h45.
Friday, oct 5th:
When we land in Brisbane on the eastern coast of Australia (Queensland State), Philippe 172AT101, who arrived the day before, has prepared a warm welcome for us ! The team is now complete. We go to the Hillcrest Hotel with a maxi-taxi in center of Brisbane.
Saturday, oct 6th:
Back to the airport: our flight to the Salomon islands (Guadalcanal) leaves at 11h15 am. We land at Henderson airport/Honiara at 15h10. The outside temperature is unbelievable. Local taxis drive us to "King Salomon Hotel" in Honiara city. After monting Bamby antenna, we start 135AT/0 and logged 316 progressive numbers.
Sunday, oct 7th:
We get onboard a twin-engine propeller aircraft with about ten seats on and we take off on our way to the Temotu Islands. We stop halfway to refuel on a small island. Our destination is Santa Cruz Island, a larger piece of land but with same small airfield and grass runway ! We find out a 4x4 vehicule driver and agree with him on price to take us to the local harbour. After a while, Ben (our host) comes along with a Malaisian chap. That sailing was pretty bumpy and soaky, with water splashing on us from all sides ! The Tinakula volcano appears on the horizon but the island is still quite away. We had to go round the island to find the pass through the coral barrier and our trip ends up on Pigeon island. We just keep voiceless at the beauty of the site and the flatness and the colour of the lagoon. A pure post-card ! Electricity on the island is produced with a 5 Kv diesel power station witch we are requested to switch off at night at the end of our transmission. After dinner with Ben we start 339AT/0.
Monday oct 8th to saturday 13th:
We have a good propagation with the world, and many stations are logged. Luca active also on Ham band et many Japanese are on the air and it is pure pleasure to listen to such a traffic. We visit also another islands of archipelago, and everywhere we go, groups of kids immediately follow us. That is quite something when we share coconuts with them according to the local tradition. This saturday is the last day of activation, 2955 numbers allocated. We need to pack pour equipement to make ready for leaving tomorrow at 6h00 am. At 3 hours'barge sailing is waiting for us.
Sunday oct 14th:
We have breakfast with Ben and his mother in their house. Now is time to go for 3 h in the small boat. We arrive at Lata airfield (Santa Cruz isl) at 9h15 to register our luggage just on the side of runway. We land at Honiara at 13h15. Later in the evening, we start activating the second part of 135AT/OC 047, with 864 incrasing numbers allocated that day.
Monday oct 15th:
Departure to New Georgia isl. We stop over on a small island and then continue to Munda city where we arrive at 11h00. We land on a concrete runway which was built during the Pacific War (2nd World War). Two bungalows are booked for us in camp named "Agnes Lodge". After a failure of électricity power we start activating 135AT/OC 149 New Georgia Island.
Tuesday oct 16 to monday 22nd:
Philippe opens the station with long path calls to Europe. Transmissions turns to Sth América, Toni 3AT018 contacts us and takes messages for our families and other radio forums. We also quickly understand that the island is invaded by mosquitoes. It is urgent to swallow our pills against paludism. Saturday 20th, tonight, opening towards Europe is very good and we able to achieve 3000 contacts. Aldo 1AT001 sends us congratulations for our activations. Transmission contuinues late at night until 2h30 am (local time). Monday 22nd is last day for activation. To-night, contacts with Europe are only with Spain. We stop transmitting at 23h00 local (12h00 GMT) with a result of 3395 QSO !
Tuesday oct 23nd:
Early in the morning, after breakfast, we pack our antennas and all radio equipment. Philippe leaves the mast as a gift to the sub-marine diving club. That will reduce the weight of our luggage ! The small aircraft is late and arrives at 11h00 am. We take off to Honiara. There's huge storm on our way. It is pouring heavily when we land at Henderson airport. We walk to International section in the airport and have our luggage registered. We fly a Boeing 737/300 of Vanuatu Air Lines. The aircraft stops over in Division 197 for refueling at Port Villa airport. It is exactly midnight when we land in Brisbane and we do not arrive in our hotel before 1h30 am.
Wednesday oct 24th:
We have time to walk in the city, do some shopping and buy medicine for our bruises. It is nice to be back to civilisation: TV, sofa, good whisky, beer, and no mosquito !
Thursday oct 25th:
We decide to spend the day at "Surfer Paradise". We reach the Gold Coast at Surfer Paradise at 10h00 am. Gianni hires a surf, and the rest of the team go stranding along the shops in the shopping gallery and along the beach. It is 17h00 when we take a bus to Brisbane.
Friday oct 26th:
Rainy day in Brisbane, Nicolas and myself go to making some final shopping for our families and we have lunch in a cafetaria. At 11h30, we leave the hotel and head off to Brisbane International Airport. Luca and Philippe fly to Sydney. Gianni, Nicolas and me take a plane to Europe.
Saturday oct 27th:
We land in Rome Italia at 6h00 am after a 20 hour's flight, with two hours stop over in Malaysia. Nicolas takes a plane to 104 div Corsica and I jump on an Air France flight to Lyon France.
We adress our deepest thanks to all of you who gave us a hand in the preparation of this trip, and all of you who contacted us and provided your support for the success of our DX'pédition.
With special thought for: 14AT212 Laurent, 3AT018 Toni, 47AT101 John, 13AT015 Pete, 172AT109 Jean-Luc, 14AT263 Bruno, 14AT024 Manu, 1AT145 Luciano, 14IR978 Christophe.
BRUNO 135/14AT038 & 339/14AT038