25 August 2008

One more day

Sunday had one more excellent day at Gréolières, in fact it turned out to be the best flying day of this trip. After doing some chores in the morning I launched slightly later than usual at around 11:30. By this time there were already some nice little clouds and at least one glider was high up the mountain. The light southerly meteo wind combined with the normal south-east valley wind to create big strong thermals so I quickly reached the summit of the Cheiron. The cloudbase was a bit low still, but I set out towards Coursegoules. At times it seemed better to head out in front of the mountain as the cloudbase was a bit higher there. Just before Coursegoules I turned back as the clouds were a bit too low there. I then tried several times to fly south towards Gourdon, every time getting a bit higher over Cipieres and a bit closer to Gourdon. The cloudbase was rising but the headwind was increasing too. Nevertheless on my last try I could probably have crossed the last ridge before the Gourdon plateau (see track); I was quite much closer than a week ago (cf. track). But as this was my last day I returned to Gréolières (picture) and landed after almost 3 hours of intensive flying to pack up, clean up, and head out to the airport. When I drove out of the village at 17:30 there were still several gliders sky high!

For maximum contrast with this excellent week at the Mediterranean the airline offered a rye-bread hamburger with potato salad which set up my stomach, and at Helsinki-Vantaa airport it rained with a cold northerly breeze to boot. Surely made me longing for the next trip!

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