Well that was fun!
We've just returned from our first trip of the year and a great time was had. We got a good slot of flyable weather which resulted in it being possible to fly six out of the seven days. We even managed to fly on the way from the airport to the accommodation; the locals were flying when we passed the site so it would have been rude not to.
We usually got to fly two sites per day or multiple flights on the same site. We used a combination of coastal and high mountain take offs and conditions were pretty easy. Just as was promised, we had nice light thermalling conditions and the sites were deserted apart from us. We only ever saw one other group and they were already in the air and high above take off when we arrived. Meanwhile, we were hearing the usual stories of well over a hundred pilots on take off in Algodonalais. Almeria is only really now opening up to visiting pilots and I do fear that this place could go the same way although I'm assured that it will always need to be controlled to prevent this from happening. But for now, the isolation is beautiful.
Martin our guide was his usual self (Mr Happy) and Annika's incredible cooking up to the standard just like the last trip. Their house and our accommodation is in the middle of the desert and the silence needs to be appreciated to understand. With no TV and no newspapers, we all soon entered the bubble that the holiday became; chilling, flying, the odd beer and outstanding eating. Next day, get up and do the same again. On the windy last day, a trip to the Moorish castle in Almeria followed by a couple of hours in a Moroccan bar drinking mint tea finished the week off perfectly.
During the week, one of the guys managed to get into an argument with a rock resulting in him not being able to straighten his leg. He also managed to cut it rather badly as well. Time to get some help was decided resulting in the arrival of an ambulance, paramedic, two doctors and two policemen. All this in under 30mins and we were on a coastal site miles from anywhere. Our downed pilot is now recovering at home with a knee full of stitches. We obviously never wanted to test the emergency services but this was incredible. Nice to know that you have help when its needed. That can't be said for some places further south that could be mentioned.
The week overall was so relaxing that I personally have had a hard time readjusting. Its taken me three days to get back into the office to write this. Whilst we were sitting on top of some Spanish mountain in just our tee shirts, I got a text from my wife saying that the town back home was at standstill due to snow. I'm starting to understand why so many Europeans head south for winter. Even if its for just a week, its going to cut the winter in half. If we can get such good flying in January, it goes to show the potential of the area when things really start to warm up. I'm looking forward to the next one. Talking of which... see below
A nice slideshow of the trip can be seen from this link: Paraventure: Flying in Almeria
It should give you a good idea of what the place looks like
And more photos on: Paraventure Paragliding
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