Blogs from Laragne-Montéglin, Hautes-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France, Europe


To celebrate/commiserate our departure from Chateau Niorlieu, our new friends decided to throw us a going away party - Australian themed - on our second last night. The Aussie Party consisted of Aussie clothes, green and gold decorations, green 'face' paint (the remnants of the green paint I had been using to paint the fence - here's hoping it was non-toxic..) and plenty of beer. It was a fun night that got a bit wild at the end, resulting in a vision that neither Abe nor I will ever forget. So many thanks for that, Team. After a fleeting visit to Lyon (one day was definitely not enough time to explore France's food capital), we headed further south to Rosans for our second HelpX stay with Michele at her B&B, La Ferme de La Rose. Rosans ... read more
Kitchen heaven.
Water break!

Yesterday was another non-flying day. The weather forecast had predicted northerly winds that would turn to westerlies in the early afternoon. So Aspres was chosen as the site of the day. But when we got there, the wind was blowing over the back pretty strong, and everyone was sceptical whether it would be launchable. But all the pilots set their gliders up, a task was set, and we had a briefing. Then the launch window opened. But the wind kept on blowing from the left or even over the back, with very, very few launchable cycles. So we got about ten pilots off the hill before the day was cancelled. That was at four o'clock. Hanging around one day on the hill in the sun is pretty exhausting... Today, we went up the Chabre again. A ... read more
Aspres II
Team massage
Chabre I

On Saturday, there was a forecast for pretty strong winds, so the day was cancelled after the morning briefing. Days like that always give me the opportunity to catch up with some sleep - you never get enough sleep during a hanggliding comp - and with some work. In the evening, we had the Pizza and Paella Night. We all had pizza and paella (who would have thought that, huh? ) in the nearby village of Ribiers, and there was a really good band. Dancing and fun was guaranteed. On Sunday, we drove up the Chabre again and pilots launched from the south launch. Conditions at launch were almost perfect, so we got alle of the 120 pilots off the hill within only an hour. A 166 km task had been set, leading the pilots first ... read more
Flip & Yvonne

Yesterday, we flew off Aspres which is about 40 km north of Laragne. Things were pretty exciting because the helpers hadn't had had a chance to check out the setup order before all the pilots arrived. So we had to familiarize ourselves with how they were supposed to set up and give the arriving pilots directions at the same time. But it all worked out alright. A 120 km task was set, via Colombe Rouge and Estoublon (southeast of Laragne) to the Laragne camp site. Take offs were pretty exciting as the wind got stronger and stronger. So getting the gliders to launch was already difficult. Helpers had to grab the wires in order to prevent the gliders from flipping over. There was no specific launch order, which made it even more difficult for me because ... read more
Alex, Scott and Christian
Blay & Scott
Getting the water off your glider

Yesterday, we drove up the Chabre because there was a chance that conditions would be good enough for a task. When we arrived up there, it there was still a pretty strong northerly wind. Still, the pilots set up their gliders. There are about 120 pilots, so there are three launch lanes that they launch from. When they launch from the Chabre, there is an ordered launch, meaning that they have to launch in a certain order. On the first day, the launch order is determined by the pilots' world ranking, afterwards by their overall result in the comp. As the gliders are really big, they have to set them up in a spot from which they can get to the ramp easily once it is their turn. So there is a certain order for setup, ... read more
Lukas & Regina

My days here in Laragne were pretty busy. I did some work, but of course I also tried to do a little bit of sightseeing, including many of the very ancient towns in the area. One day, I went to the Aspres launch with Monica and the boys. And of course, more and more pilots and team members from all over the world arrived. It was just great to see everyone! I will have two jobs during the comp. I will be a launch marshal, which means that I have to make sure that all the pilots take off in the order they are supposed to, and I will help Monica with the driving for the Aussie team. Saturday would have been the official practice day. But the pilots could not fly because of the Mistral, ... read more
My little Peugeot

I had two more weeks in the rehab hospital. Actually, I had been supposed to be there for three weeks altogether, but the doctor there extended my stay by one week. The last two weeks were not much different from the second week. Eight therapies per day. Try and do as much work as possible. On my last weekend, we did some more hiking. In my last week, I got one day off rehab because I had to travel to Bielefeld to talk to a customer. It was great to have an entire day for work, and I enjoyed the trip although I had to get up early and didn't get back until late. Another good thing was that I discovered a fantastic icecream shop. One day, we arrived back from the icecream shop that late ... read more
Gütersteiner Wasserfall II
On the Marbach Horsebreeding Farm
Bärenhöhle I

Gestern ist die Vor-Weltmeisterschaft im Drachenfliegen in Laragne zu Ende gegangen. Und die absolute Sensation ist: Scott hat gewonnen!!! Das muss man sich mal auf der Zunge zergehen lassen: Er ist der EINZIGE von allen Piloten, der noch nie in Europa, noch nie in den Alpen geflogen ist. Und er hat all den Jungs, die hier seit Jahren fliegen und das Gebiet beinahe schon wie ihre Westentasche kennen, eine lange Nase gemacht. Und ist dabei ein echter „sportsman“ geblieben, hat nie am Start gedrängelt, immer anderen geholfen, und war bei allem stets relaxt und - was das Allerbeste ist - hat an jedem Flug richtig Spaß gehabt. Ich glaube, vor der Bekanntgabe der endgültigen Ergebnisse gestern Abend war ich mindestens so aufgeregt wie er, und als wir erfahren haben, dass er tatsächlich gewonnen hat, war der ... read more
Scott am Start

Als Ihr das letzte Mal von mir gelesen habt, saß ich gerade im Zug nach Zürich. Dort holten mich Monica und Scott ab, und wir machten uns direkt auf den Weg gen Frankreich. Da es bereits spät wurde, beschlossen wir, uns zwischen Bern und Genf ein Nachtquartier zu suchen. Wir suchten uns den Ort Avenches im französischsprachigen Teil der Schweiz aus, der Name klang so schön nach „adventure“. Wie sich dann herausstellte, landeten wir in einem historischen Ort, mit einem 2.000 Jahre alten Amphitheater aus römischer Zeit und einer Burg und Kirche aus dem Mittelalter. Am nächsten Morgen ging es weiter, direkt nach Annecy. Wir suchten uns einen Campingplatz und machten uns dann auf den Weg zum Col da la Forclaz, dem Flugberg von Annecy (natürlich nachdem wir uns den - tatsächlich riesengroßen und praktisch idiotensicheren ... read more
Avenches - Burg
Avenches - unsere Unterkunft

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