Peter’s Paragliding Nomadness

Puerto de La Duquesa

April 21, 2007

My mornings are becoming routine. I awake to the ubuiquitous cuckoo in some nearby tree, get up, and drink my morning hot chocolate while listening to the BBC World Service news.

This morning is rainy and dull. I was thinking of heading to Algodonales, but it is not going to be flyable, so I head down to the coast. I checked out the coastal flying site at La Herradura, but with rain and no west wind, there were no pilots there.

With poor flying weather, I decided to spend a couple of days on the coast, where the temperatures are milder than in the mountains. Even in the rain, it was interesting to check out some of the ports we passed in our sailing days, Puerto Banus, Fuengirola, Estepona, La Duquesa.

April 23, 2007

Monday morning I awoke in Puerto La Duquesa to a clear sky and the promise of light winds. It is time to drive up through the breathtaking Ronda Mountains to Algodonales. As I arrive, two German pilots descend from the sky near the road. There has been no flying for days and they are happy to get sled rides at least. The afternoon promises to be better. Baz Rhodes is on the radio and reports the wind already switching Poniente (west). I decide to drive to the Poniente landing field and hope for a ride.

When I get there, a pair of Czech pilots are just getting ready to go up. Moments later I have bundled my gear into the back of their ancient VW Transporter and we head to launch.

The wind had turned east again, but from time to time light cycles come up from the west. After an hour of parawaiting, the cycles gain strength and it is time to launch. The air is turbulent with lots of bullet thermals to hook into. Between the bullets going up are pianos coming down. Close to the lift there is massive sink, too. The flying is exhilirating and challenging. View Flight on Leonardo.

Having satisfied my flying needs for the day, I float down to the landing field and pack up. I had spotted a pleasant looking picnic area along the road while driving to launch. That will be my spot for the night. It turns out to be perfect. A quiet area in the shelter of some huge trees with a view of La Muela in the distance. I watch a few of the last cars retrieve from launch as I sip my wine and prepare dinner.

Los Castañares, Ronda Mountains.

160 meters on Col de Botella, Andorra

There are more pictures in the Photo Album

Peter Jennings