Around The World In Different Ways

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Why Not...

A Canadian pilot will be spending a lot of time in the cockpit this coming year if his plans (and dreams) come true. Hans Hofmaier, of Qualicum Beach, on British Columbia's Vancouver Island, left Nov. 6 on his Spirit On A Shoestring round-the-world flight in a 1946 Taylorcraft with a 65-horsepower engine. He's not exactly taking the most direct route, either. After a few months in South America, Hofmaier will head north through Canada to Alaska and then work his way south through the Orient to Australia before heading west through Asia, Europe and finally the North Atlantic hopscotch to Canada again. He expects to finish about 18 months from now, but the journey was almost over before it really started. Hofmaier was on the very first leg of his trip from Vancouver Island to Kelso, Wash., when he heard a funny noise coming from his (formerly) trusty old Continental. Further inspection revealed a hole in one of the mags and in the engine case. About a week later, with a freshly overhauled engine installed, he resumed the journey and has flown through Oregon and California and partway down the Mexican Pacific coast. His last entry on the Web site was Dec. 26 in the Mexican resort town of Puerto Escondido. On his Web site, Hofmaier says he's always had wanderlust and the flight is for pure pleasure. "This trip will not be for record breaking, it will be my adventure and my joy and fun."