…West Side Story.
I have the strangest feeling that title’s been used before. No matter…
You see, the island is one of contrasts, especially east to west. The east coast is where you find the beaches, bays, restaurants, bars, and in the high season, a few too many tourists. Now it’s the low season, so everywhere is quite peaceful.
But the west coast, where I headed on the morning of my first full day on the island has almost no beaches, and so almost no tourists. Its main features are rice fields, and mangroves … which in these days of political correctness I should probably call persongroves. Anyways; I find it all rather relaxing…
Yes, Mimi went up to take some video for me and I’ve grabbed a few screenshots from those. Eventually I’ll have enough for a complete movie, but I’ll need another visit or three. For now, my flying was more of a recce for future filming.
As an aside, I wish someone would create new words. How can I call it filming when there’s no film? And why do I end up with footage, when there’s nothing to measure, in feet nor more sensible units of measure? Maybe it should be byteage. But I digress..
So, about a kilometer along from he rice padi there’s an under-construction jetty.
Can you see people doing the constructing? No, but there was a handful at the end, merrily slapping mortar on a single layer of bricks around the edges. Presumably to stop twenty-centimeter high people from falling in the water. But as I wandered around taking photographs…
…I had three thoughts. And I think that must be a record for one day!
First; those restaurants-on-stilts looked like a good place for lunch. So later in the day I checked that one off the list. Good food. Nice people. View would have been better with some sunshine and a tide that was more in than out.
Second; it probably would be a great place to view the sunset, assuming the clouds did the right thing and b*ggered off. Which they did. So that too was checked off, and I’ll come to it in a later story.
And third; it would be an awesome location for Mimi to fly. So I worked out a flight plan, to take off and fly low straight down the middle, up high at the end, turn and fly back and land on the jetty without falling in the sea. And therein lies a saga.
No, there were no mishaps. There were no flights!
I plopped Mimi down at the thin end of the jetty, paired the controller and fired-up the app. The app said “Could Take Off.” Everything is loosely translated from Chinese so I assume it means can take off. Although, I suppose I could take off if I wanted to, but maybe I didn’t want to. Who knows?
And just as I was about to take off, it also said “Compass Interfered” so I couldn’t take off even though I did want to. Now, on various forums and Facebook Groups for Mi Drone owners, I know this to be a common problem, but in almost six months I’ve never experience it. Supposedly the solution is to point the drone to the north. Made no difference. So Mimi and I trudged back to the car.
On the grass next to the car we were back to could take off. But I couldn’t, because it was a very small area with a few people around. It really wouldn’t have been safe… or legal. But, I assumed the problem was fixed and trudged back down the jetty. Why “trudged”? Well, with the controller and iPad strung around your neck, being supported with one hand, and Mimi in the other, it’s difficult to walk elegantly and smartly. In fact it’s difficult to walk at all.
Anyhoo, same problem. Back to the car. From there I drove a short way along a dead-end road with no people in sight, and decided I’d fly from the middle of the road and out to the jetty. “Compass Interfered.” Arggh. And then I had a light-bulb moment…
The jetty and road were both made of reinforced concrete, and the reinforcement is a lattice of welded steel tubes, which would no doubt play havoc with a compass. I’m pretty-sure I’m right as I had no problem anywhere else.
Unfortunately the second light-bulb moment didn’t hit me until I was in the car on the way home. On the end of the jetty, bizarrely, someone had placed a dining table and chairs…
…and I have a feeling if I’d placed Mimi on the table the compass would not have been “interfered.” If I’m lucky and the table is still there on my next visit, I’ll trudge all the way down the jetty and give it a try.
I had a private chuckle though later in the day when I went back to view the sunset. There was a couple sitting at the table staring out to sea. I had an almost uncontrollable urge to sneak up behind them and loudly ask “Good Evening. Are you ready to order?” or “Would you like cocktails before supper?” But not everyone has my stupid sense of humor so they might have dumped me in the water!
But, back to tootling…
From there, I found another dead-end road that was more like five kilometers than five hundred meters, and drove along the seashore to the, well, dead-end. There is a really tiny strip of sand and a construction site for a new hotel. I can’t find any photographs so I obviously wasn’t too impressed. The views were nice, but they are everywhere on the island. The area around the jetty was my favorite part.