Sunday, April 20, 2008

Flying at last!!!

My first couple of days in Bulgaria were a little wet, the weather didn’t co-operate but it was nice to hang out in Sophia. I stayed at a nice hotel and had time to buy some new toys. Bulgaria is cheaper than other European countries and Sofia is fun.

My camera came to a rather messy end recently involving a bottle of milk and my shoulder bag. There is a good lesson here – dont carry milk and cameras in the same bag. I bought a new Lumix Tz3 in Sophia, it was (of course) the most expensive one there and so far I am very happy with it.
So now I can post some pics about the flying.
I arrived in Sopot on Friday since the weather cleared and I had an afternoon flight. It was pretty thermic for late afternoon. I had 6m/s average climbs in smooth conditions. A Russian girl showed me her vario from her mid-day flight and it showed a 12.9m/s climb!!

I flew from the chairlift once - and then they decided to stop it for maintanance for a week.... so now we are flying from a site we can drive too. There was cloud Saturday and we only did top to bottoms, then we got some good conditions today. The landing field is next to this village - which is a gypsy village. There are heaps of little kids on the landing area all trying to get your attention and convince you to give them some money.

This valley is called the Valley of the Roses, as they produce lots of roses to make into rose oils. I hope i have figured which fields not to land in.

It has all been a bit of a rough week. Thursday I was told of a friend in NZ who has very seriously injured to his back through crashing his paraglider. This was pretty shocking as you always categorize people into conservative, safe, reckless, ignorant, stupid, etc and he is definitely a safe and conservative pilot with lots of knowledge.
Then today there was an accident in Sopot where a pilot 360ed into the hillside. He is in the hospital having surgery. I don’t know how serious his injuries will be. This accident was more predictable, as there were many factors leading to his accident – new wing (quite hot for him), not flown in 6 months, not flying the flight plan given to him by the instructor.
Nobody tries to have accidents but when there are enough variables accidents do become less avoidable. So now in one week I know of two accidents that will certainly result in long rehabilitation times and possible paralysis. I love paragliding so much that I couldn’t stop, and yet I have been scared by this. This afternoon something changed and it came together. I had a great flight where I explored the mountains, did some birdseye geology, flew with some bird of prey in a thermal, hung with some friends who were thermalling for the first time, checked out some mountain huts, annoyed some cows (hehe) and had a great landing. It was perfect.

Tomorrow I will fly then go to Plodoviv where I can hopefully catch a train to Istanbul. I am meeting hoards of kool kiwis and do the pilgrimage to Galipoli.


kazzajoyce said...

Hey Lucy.
Well I have sent a parcel to your address. I hope you are having a lovely time off. It looks relaxing.

Flying Kiwi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flying Kiwi said...

Thanks karen!! It will be intersting to see how long it takes to turn up! I am in Turkey now and can buy some wool and knitting stuff - what should i get do you think?

kazzajoyce said...

It depends what they want to sell. Scarfs/Hats/gloves or baby clothes (booties), or jumpers. Basics are an 8ply/DK wool with 4mm needles for moderate knits. Chunky 10 Ply or 14 ply for thick scarfs on 6mm needles. Baby clothes normally a 4ply using needles from 2mm to 3.25mm. That is just a basic overview though it changes from person to person and the pattern. I hope you have fun shopping, you will have to post pictures of your purchases.