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Stu Flew 2017
#1

South Africa  Jan/Feb 2017. BGD Cure


My third year heading to Porterville on the Western Cape. It all started out a bit wrong with a missed flight at Johanesberg. With tired eyes I finally arrived at Capetown and picked up my hire car and decided to drive to the closest Hotel. Late at night and taking the wrong turn I'm soon on the motorway being chased by the blue lights of a fake police car. Im not stopping and after a few miles in the wrong direction im free and in the first motel I see.


Things can only get better and after a good sleep i'm off to the Country and Porterville. this year conditions were not typical, most days height gains not enough to do the classic routes.


I start out with a few flights over 30km down towards the N7 pass. its always a race, timing it right so the ridge is working and not turning much to gain time later before the strong sea breeze picks up (everyday)


A few adventures into the Citrusdal valley and towards Constriction end early due to strong winds and not enough altitude.


Finally get a chance of flying to ClanWilliam. With Base at 2200m I'm at the pass quick and jump over to Citrusdal, some low scrabbling and drifting gets me back up to base and passing constriction easy onto Clan. The wind on the dam is already showing strong so the 3 of us together decide to land in same field. 86 km


Another good flight was South down the ridge. With a N W'erly flying to the gap before Saron and jumping across. Some super low scratching for the next 5km or so in the wind farm pays off and I'm back high above Gouda then off down the big ridges between a big dam.


At the end of this ridge I push out into the flat towards Wellington. The wind is meant to change SW to take us back towards Porterville but this doesn't happen. Wind getting strong I decide to land before Wellington 74km. This is a great decision as after packing up and a short walk to a dirt track the wind is dangerously strong!!


I planned to try some triangles this year but conditions/ wind strength never allowed for much. The best attempts were  flights over Porterville then over the flats to Picketberg with some very low saves in the flats.


First time flying from the Picketberg launch and I get over the flats to Eendekuil then onto the pass, a plan to jump to Citrusdal called off ( no height)


Landing early at Porterville normally means a day chilling at the Flyers Lodge. lounging by the pool. Other local activities are wine tasting at Tulbagh, Ale and Pizzas at a local micro brewery (Indie Ale)  A steep waterfall walk up the mountain ( on par with the Neath falls)


If your into water sports a trip to coast Kitesurfing at Laangebaan is a must. Flying down on the Cape at Signal hill and Lions head is great but listen to the locals as its not all as easy as it looks.


A week spent at Wilderness (Garden route) in between was great with beautiful views at Paradise ridge,Map of Africa site and some thermals just inland at Sedgeview.


South Africa is still on my hit list of places to escape our winter blues. I will be back


My new glider (Cure) performed well and is great. put 35hrs on her in Porterville and some more at the coast. Its a glider that needs to be flown with concentration at all times in active air. and for flyers that fly the xc hours. No more pulling out the i-phone or sandwiches in flight Wink


Home in Wales until Friday night. Hopefully will catch up with lots of the SWW crew in Algodonales in May Smile

"If you were born without wings,do nothing to prevent them from growingWink"
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