There are only two methods of transportation in and out of Tembagapura – armored buses and the Mi-171 helicopter. The buses look just like MZIS school buses, but they are equipped with armored plating. It takes approximately three-hours to make the trip up or down the mountain.
The Mi-171 is a Russian military-style helicopter that seats 23 passengers and 4 crew members. It only takes twenty-minutes to make the trip up or down the mountain. Obviously, the helicopter is the preferred source of transportation, but it only flies when the weather is good, which is particularly unpredictable in the middle of a rainforest.
This is our first trip out of Tembagapura, and our first flight on the chopper.