Our third, and what would be our final day of flying, although we didn't know it yet. The hotel the night before was in a town so small I can't find the name on a map. It was hopping though, even late in the evening when we rolled in. We found out why when we got out hotel rooms...a tiny room with a fan and slits for windows...it was HOT. Forget out about AC and hot water...but we weren't there for creature comforts.
Things weren't looking so good on the short drive to Risaralda launch the next morning either. When I had flown over this area a few days before, it had looked beautiful...but that was 3000 feet above it! Now it was foggy and not looking flyable. We sat on the shallow launch for hours, counting power lines and trying to see a landing zone through the fog, and amid the sidehills full of bananas, coffee plants and vineyards. By 12 it was clearing, and by 1pm we had launched, everyone actually climbing out above the ridge. Amazing.
|The town of Risaralda sits precariously on a knife ridge|
On the backside was our valley, and we wanted to fly home. We made a valiant try at it, crossing low over the valley and losing Marty and Destin in the attempt. They went on to have an adventure with the police at a checkpoint! Read about the police story in Marty's blog: http://devietti.blogspot.com/2015/02/dies-y-nueve.html
Four of us were able to get high again, and at 4:40 caught the last thermal of the day, hoping to glide into Ansermonuevo. Matt was the only one who made it, having gotten a little extra height climbing up on the side of the cloud. He top landed on launch, and would drink beer for hours at a corner store, while waiting for us to collect everyone and bring his cold dinner up to him. I don't think he minded!
Brian, Jim and I landed short, in a canyon near a river. After packing up in a cow pasture, Jim and I had to crawl and claw our way up a steep slope out to the road. We rolled onto the pavement sweaty and scratched from thorns, but happy to have made it that close....55 km for the day with such a late start was pretty good!
Better yet, dinner that night was the best grilled chicken in Colombia. It was late and dark by the time Marty had finished with his police stories, showed off his hat (again), and we rendezvoused with Matt up at the hotel near launch.
It would be a short drive to launch the next morning, but unfortunately, the next morning it was raining and blowing off the back. So for the second year in a row we were denied a triumphant flight back to La Union...I guess Ansermonuevo will be on the list again next year!
Here's Marty's blog from our last day: http://devietti.blogspot.com/2015/02/viente.html
Here's my flight for the day: http://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:westrumd/19.2.2015/18:09
|Marty and Destin get the police to give them their hats!?!!|
|Jim looking colorful on launch|
|Jim looking down over Valle del Cauca|
|View from the Ansermonuevo hotel on the hill!|