19 April 2010

A French Workout

Lokkilok is in Gréolières again, with a small group of Finnish paraglider pilots. The weather has been variable over the last week with over-development almost every afternoon. However, each morning, and many a late afternoon, have been very good for flying. So far 10 flying days out of 10!

It all started on Thu over a week ago when Jorma A. and myself arrived in the afternoon and went for a walk up the mountain. The next morning look great so we walked the 40 minutes up to the Gréolières start, some 200 m above the village. With a 20 kg glider bag the first few times really hurt! After a nice flight we landed before the (too) strong mid-day conditions, but after lunch went up again for another two hours of flying. Saturday was even better, but I had to cut my afternoon flight short to fetch Timo and Aki from the airport. We then started serious practice of thermal techniques, concentrating on efficient turns and active flying; I tried to make catch some of the points on video.
Tuesday we made lot of progress when conditions were unusually good at Roquebrune (Monaco) and the guys could make two good flights each, thermalling above the launch and over the sea. On Thursday Jorma went home and Ossi and Merja arrived, just before all the airports were shut due to the volcanic ash. Our routine of walking and flying continued however, naturally with great meals and wine in between. Otherwise we might loose some weight. Friday we had another good day at Roquebrune, while on Sat we deiced to take it easy and visited the famous Gorge du Verdon; followed by some flying at Gourdon.

By then Aki and Timo were "stuck" here in France, as no planes would leave or enter Finland. So yesterday morning they simply continued and made their best and highest flight so far, all the practice really starts to pay off. In the afternoon we then for good measure made the walk down to the river and back, a very steep patch of the GR4 trail, 260 m of what could almost be described as steps. So we should be in good shape for the good sunny weather that seems to return now, which should allow for another full day of flying!

1 comment:

Ed Ewing said...

Go and see Marcus and Verity at the Cross Country magazine office in Cipierres.. they would love to meet the Finns. We are writing about the north lands for this issue and need some photos of Finland Robert. You could just drop them through the letter box ;) I tried Jounni but he is in Irak!