Christmas Season 2016-2017

I just came back from Spain (this past weekend), visiting family and friends. It was a good time, good experience.

As some of you know, I have a hang glider there that I bought a couple of years ago; I go there often. It’s an older 145sq/ft single surface glider. Tecma-Sport Medium 13. Last year I decided to remove the cables before coming back to the States and having them redone. They’re 20 years old, hehe. I had Pat Donovan redo them (actually Brian who works for him). I was a little nervous when installing them back, maybe they wouldn’t fit, too short, too long.. but they did fit perfectly, Pat did a great job.

So the first thing I did after installing them was a quick test flight. Behind my in-laws (that’s where I stayed) there’s a small hill, very small, with almond trees at the bottom. But good enough for a quick test flight. I only needed to get off the ground a few feet to feel the glider. Here’s the short flight,

Right after that, it was time to wait for the right forecast. And that was a long wait… I didn’t get to fly until a couple of weeks later. I know of a couple of spots that when the wind is right, it can be really good. But the wind was blowing the oposite direction for two weeks straight!

Since the flying weather wasn’t good nearby, and I had nothing else to do (except going shopping with the ladies, hehe), I decided to go help my father in-law with the farming. He’s a garlic farmer. I was there right at the start of the season, so I helped him sow. We did about 75 acres that week. This requires pealing the garlic, loading the truck, the tractor, and going back and forth. Fun!

And the very last day of garlic sowing, only half day of work, I looked at the weather and boom! It looked soarable nearby. As soon as I got home and ate, I got the glider and my in-law (driver for the day, hehe) and we went to Chinchilla De Monte-Aragon. As soon as we got there, already the end of the day, we counted 8 paraglider going back and forth the ridge. It was awesome! It was flyable!

Yes, it was flyable for the paragliders, not so much for a hang glider. By the way, I talked to an old-timer there and he told me that he’s never seen a hang glider fly there before. Anyway, I setup and launched right away. The wind was dying and it was already too late, I was about 30 minutes late according to the locals. But I flew! He’s the video of my launch

This place is pretty cool, only about 40 minutes from home.

And the best, is yet to come.

I kept watching the weather every day, hoping for another good day. And it looked as if Thursday was going to be “it”. There’s this town called Consuegra. There are very old windmills, this is the place where Don Quixote had the famous battle against the giants. I flew there last year, and I loved it. The wind was smooth, and scenery was gorgeous. And it looked like Thursday was going to be “on” again, for the first time in about 4 weeks.

Thursday morning came, and the wind was on. It doesn’t need to be much, about 8-10mph is ideal. As soon as it hits 15, it’s too much. I woke up early, got the glider, and drove to Consuegra! It’s about 1:45 drive. I got there, and it looked good! I setup some streamers at the bottom and at the top, and quickly setup.

Before waiting too long, I got ready and launched. It was amazing! I flew for an hour, going around the windmills. Doing small wing overs, trying to fly “far” and coming back to the lift band. After an hour, about noon, I decided to land and get something to eat. I landed down the hill, broke down, and hiked to get the car. It’s less than 8 minute hike. I drove down to pick up the glider and went to eat something.

I came back after lunch and started to setup again. The wind didn’t look too good now. It was blowing stronger. I setup anyway. I got ready, picked up the glider and… broke down and went home. I felt too dangerous to launch now. That’s ok. I flew for an hour in smooth air around beautiful scenery.

Here’s a quick edit of the flight

Oh, yeah, I also got a haircut!

All in all, it was a great time.

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