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 3 - Pofadder - in semi-desert
The closest suitable start place from Hugo's landing point is Pofadder. On the map we can see the mark of airport and previous experience shows that the airports are the right choice. It is possible to start from the dusty roads, but there are only few of them, so looking for the right way in the good direction of the wind is difficult. In addition, the roads are usually followed by electrical and telephone wires, and always have fences made of barbed wire. All territories, though in desert, are subdivided to farms. Mutually they differ only by how many square kilometers feed one sheep. Even low thorny bushes Karoo are not exactly ideal for back winching of the rope. Now we understand why people here don't use end parachute at all.
Airfield in Pofadder is disappointing. Its dust and dereliction suits us, but only one runway perpendicular to the wind expected us to look for the towing place tens of kilometers to the south, north of the "Condom". By this we create a complicated route through the mountains and sporadically farm, back to the main ter road along the border of Namibia. If we lose a pilot there, it will be complicated. We have long forgotten about the GSM signal and the radio is easily lost among the hills.
After a wild night when the wind wanted to take us even with the tents, the weather calmed and we go to fly. Yippee, cloudbases around three thousand, sea does not have such an impact on us. The rope tangled in bushes so hard, only Hugo and Vlasta get into the air. Hugo quickly lose altitude and as a huge magnet is attracted to the farm, where he finally land after a long fight. Soon he calls Vlasta by radio, he is picked up by a willing farmer and is in his land rover. Vlasta has problems in the mountains with the height and even his very loud abuses are not sufficient to start a strong thermal. In a while, he is on the ground too, and two local farmers, usualy working from morning till night, are enthusiastically pulled into a new game - looking for the lost paragliding pilots. Also they have radio transmitter in their cars, so in two hours we are together and showing pictures of their home farms to friendly Africans.
Zdravím do Jižní Afriky lítače a cestovatele, vy tam máte více jak +30 a tady je slabých -13, každopádně díky za zprostředkování reportáže z Vaší paraglidingové expedice. Přeji pěkné polétání a plno nevšedních zážitků....a vzhůru do stoupáku , ukrojit další kilometry !!!! Karel,- Sebranice