For the long weekend we decided (well Steve did ) to go to Wales, staying at the camp site where he had learnt to para-glide. Fforest Fields, Hundred House in Mid Wales. Arrived there at around 10.00 on Friday. First person I saw was Katie, the owner, and she remembered me, it must be over 5 years since I last visited the site. She said she had very recently looking at my Glastonbury pictures from the 20th Century. Such a welcome back, the site was definitely a lot busier than a few years ago.
Alas the group were not turning up until Sunday. So a visit to Builth Welles for some steak and wine, at which stage we realised we had brought virtually nothing with us for camping. Yes we had matches, but we did not have a corkscrew, one knife and a few plastic plates. Back at the site, we went for a walk, and then to the pub for a quick half pint of beer, (literally), because Steve was due to meet Will on Treman. A long slog up the hill, (that glider gets heavier with advancing age) and I made it to the top. No Will, he had long gone on to Elan valley. A few minutes rest in the peace and quiet, on with the helmet and some ground handling.
I can tell you the ground handling was so nice and easy, compared with trying it back at home in our field. The wind was so smooth; the glider flew above my head with so little input. I even managed without thinking the correct reverse hand launch. Alas no one was around, so I decided on caution, a simple top to bottom for my first flight in over two years. Also the wind was not on the hill, so I was expecting the dynamic lift to be poor. I should have realised the thermals were there instead, looking down the hill, in that cold air, but warm sun, you could see the shimmering air.
A dream slow launch of the hill took me straight into lift, but my flight plan was for a top to bottom. so straight through this broad lift , over the farm, a 360 and then into land. Instantly surrounded by 6 under 6 children who wanted to see the paraglider, and the young farmer, who I presume was taking over from his father. Good news.
Back at the campsite, we lit up the disposable BBQ, cooked our steak and went to bed. It was still pretty cold during the night, so lots of cuddling to keep warm.
Next day we had Welsh bacon and bread for breakfast. Realised we had been camping next to Vern and Lynda, whom I had flown with in Nice. They now had an offspring, and stopped flying. Later in the day Mark arrived, as did a few more Welsh Borders members. The weather though was not conducive to flying and we left to go home.