Bilene

29 SEPTEMBER 2010


The long weekend in September Paragliding Adventures took a break from the winch park and went to Bilene in Mozambique.  I took an older glider with as I was not convinced that there would be much free flying. I was wrong! Luckily Pieter Gerrits and Wikus had four by fours…so as soon as we arrived on Thursday we saw the wind direction was perfect for the dunes. We headed towards the dunes (strictly 4 by 4’s) and stumbled upon the most sexy and gorgeous big dunes where we could have launched from safely, do top or slope landings, practise ground handling or just muck about. The scenery around the dunes is very “Wildernis Paradise Ridge” lookalike but it’s only flyable for more or less 2km’s on both sides of take off.
I promptly launched and pigged out for almost two hours. Hendrik launched and landed and launched and landed and did lots of mucking about before helping  Monique our new lady student to do a couple of short flights.
That afternoon Hendrik and Glenn went for a late night PPG flight over the lagoon.
Sunday morning  they did same but unfortunately Hendriks PPG struggled with belt slips and some other mechanical issues and Glenn chipped his prop when he wanted to do a second flight, rendering the two PPG’s out of action.
That afternoon we went back to the dunes. This time I opted for a mere hour flight and then spent the rest of the time doing top\slope landings, ridge posing and kiting the glider back up the glorious dune. Hendrik proofed that his ground handling is still tops by slope landing in between Glenn and Monique, keeping his glider above him, having a (cool…) drink and then taking off again. Monique had an awesome flight and so did George. Even Carlos proudly displayed his ground handling and kiting skills when the audience started to grow with people coming to check what we were up to.
Awesome weekend, with some pitfalls though… PG and PPG flying are still relatively  unknown activities and sensitive in Moz…speak to Carlos if you want to go fly there he has nice accommodation for you and sorted out some issues with the Marine Police, Military Police, Secret Police, KGB, Aero Club, Airport and everybody else having an AK47 slinged around the shoulder wanting to be some sort of a policeman…An unknown PPG pilot got nabbed flying too close past the Presidents house…
Driving or even parking a vehicle on the beach is a big no-no but you may go crackers (without helmet) in central town on a quad or off road bike or your car, that seems to be just fine. The more girls walking the streets the more and bigger 360’s you can do with same vehicles...
For a first time visitor like me, Maputo City (if you may call it a city) and Komatipoort border post was very interesting…The Swaziland posts on the return trip was much more to my liking.
Food and drinks are fairly cheap and their rum gives a nice headache.

 

 




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