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FlySpain Winter Safari Report

This year our winter safari returned to South Africa's scenic Western Cape at the end of January 2011. Lee Tryhorn led a group of 10 pilots on a 2-week trip designed to take in a range of varied coastal and inland flying sites.

09th March 2011

Week 1 was centred around the spectacular location of Wilderness, situated 450km east of Cape Town on the famous Garden Route, and known for its long white sand beach and lagoons. Our group were the guests of Cloudbase Paragliding [cloudbase- paragliding.co.za], at their luxurious guesthouse overlooking the Wilderness National Park Wetlands. During the week conditions mainly favoured 2 sites - Map Of Africa, a mellow gently-sloping grassy site with a fantastic view over the Indian Ocean and the massive landing options of the main beach at Wilderness town (in- between the sunbathers!) - and Sedgefield, a steep wooded ridge with a grassy take- off, offering a mixture of thermic flying and ridge-soaring, with stunning views over the Touw River Lagoon and a turf nursery landing field! The weather towards the end of the week was mixed, so ground-handling practice on the beach was in order, plus a spot of quad-biking and other local attractions.

Week 2 saw our group transfer to Porterville, 140km north of Cape Town and adjacent to the Grootwinterhoek Wilderness Area. Accommodation was provided by Rob Manzoni at his picturesque Flyers' Lodge [porterville.co.za/lodge.html], complete with swimming pool and grazing horses in the paddock. Porterville is a stunning thermalling and XC site, with a single take-off on the long ridge at Dasklip Pass and endless landing options on the vast arid plain. Conditions were spot-on virtually all week, and several 20-30km XC flights were achieved by group members, along with many personal bests and plenty of full-on thermalling practice.

Everyone had a extremely enjoyable holiday and notched up quality flying hours, and many thanks go to Lee for all his hard work and endless good-humoured patience in running the trip. If your interested in any of our flying holidays either in Spain or over winter email rob@flyspain.co.uk

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