October 28, 2015
Just a quick update: I am still in Bucaramanga, Colombia attending paragliding school, known as parapente here. It’s also affectionately referred to as “Para-Waiting”, as in all geared up and waiting for the right wind conditions to launch.
The conditions here at Las Aguilas are very predictable: no wind in the morning, clear skies, with heat slowly building, creating cumulus clouds and thermals by mid to late morning, which makes for good flying for a beginner like me. With the lift created by the thermals, I can launch from the site, which is about 800 feet above the landing zone, and climb another 800 feet or so. Without the thermals, on my early morning flights, I do what Colombianos call “piano”. I think it has to do with the sound a piano makes when you drag your finger from the highest to the lowest notes. That’s the sound of going straight from the launch site down to the landing site; about a five to minute ride at best unless I catch a little updraft off the hills.
It’s too windy for a beginner like me to fly from about 11am to around 4:30pm, so much of my day is spent either studying or “kiting” — flying the wing on the ground and learning to handle it better. Then the wind dies down again and I (hopefully) get to fly again just before sunset.
As of this morning, I have ten solo flights. I’m hoping to do another ten to fifteen over the next few days, which is possible but wind conditions will dictate. I am longing for the road, and ready to travel, but need to complete this course first.
So stay tuned. I promise to be blogging from the road again by next Tuesday at the latest.