Winching across South Africa
What about to fly over parched pans, salt lakes, look into the desert of Namibia, and to the mountains of Lesotho, fly along the Orange River, glow at the edge of the Kalahari desert and chase the wild winds ... These desires joined several pilots, who are just trying to fly across South Africa from the Atlantic to the Indian ocean. (---corrected machine translation---)
- Part 1 - Springbok
- Part 2 - Aggeneys - diamonds, copper, lead and Namibia
- Part 3 - Pofadder - in semi-desert
- Part 4 - Kakamas - Great Karoo overflying
- Part 5 - Prieska - we have a problem
- Part 6 - waste land and pans
- Part 7 - how to depart from the De Aar
- Part 8 - Collesberg - Stephen Entertainment
- Part 9 - in the Dragon mountains
- Part 10 - above the Zulu
- Useful information
Part 2 - Aggeneys - diamonds, copper, lead and Namibia
The relentless weather around Springbok repulse us more to the inland. Around noon, sea breeze blow up with regularity and strenth comparable perhaps only with walley wind in the Lago de Garda. The nature of the terrain and especially the experience of our hangglider's friends suggest that a few tens of kilometers to the inland the climate rapidly changes. Now the issue is: which direction? If there is predominant southern wind direction it will direct us for the many days in the attractive northern route around the Orange River. But we are also attracted to the desert area in the middle of the country, divided by the prohibited area, remnants of the alleged nuclear experiment in the fifties. In the fact of its shape we call it familliarly "condom". Current weather forecast and warm telephone invitation from the airport in Aggeneys finally start us to northern route.
At the airport we are very surprised. We expected a dusty deserted airport. We have a new luxurious, beautifully long tar runway belonging to mining company Black Mountain and the rich Saturday party with general manager of the colossus. We remember Arnold's warning before any landings to area of diamond mines on the border with Namibia. Before the sharp-minded guys from security and their guns. For sure all of us are taking photo of precious business card of our host. It may be useful.
This morning, accompanied by the stormy waving by new friends we take-off and all of us exemplairly catch thermal at the first attempt. The conditions are weak and the south wind is increasing. Dreamed-of Namibia is now intruded quite an unpleasant way. The border is just a few kilometers from us, thermals are weak, but there is a strong drift to the north. However we don't have Namibia's visa. Gradually we all losse the fight with side wind. Vlasta's drift estimated few hundred meters to the tar road is changed to the few kilometre tramp by Kalahari sand. Maximum distance was flown by Hugo, only 60 km. But we are enthusiastic about the beautiful scenery and that we are really on the way. Visibility is huge, colors impressive .
In addition we got to know that this day South Africans Neville fly incredible record of 507 km. He started only few hundred kilometers further in inland, where wind direction and climate instability have been much more favorable. Amazing achievement, a stunning average speed! We like that this is a local pilot, who prepared for his opportunity for a long time and didn't let it miss.