Intermediate Syndrome…

We flew into Malaga then drove north to Loja where we flew in stable inverted conditions meaning there was no lift to be found so we had short flights and enjoyed sitting in the sun in cafés.

Stunning views to the Serra Navada mountains with their first coverings of snow – then we went to Valle de Abdalajís where it was still too stable but we flew a huge cliff anyway and met some local pilots and told stories… one of our group broke his arm badly here…

Then we went to Algodonales where at last the inversion lifted letting us climb to 5500ft and have more fun – giggle like children – this is where this photo was taken, we stayed here for 3 days.

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On one flight I actually blundered into lift, I managed not to fall out of it all the way up to the inversion. Hitting this was a new experience, I was so excited… As soon as I was there I pointed myself directly at the rocks you see in the photo. I flew past a gaggle of paragliders, this was a mistake I should have waited and topped up with height. When I arrived at the rocks I was already low only connecting at the base of the cliffs. I tried to find lift and said hello to a vulture but in the end had to take a landing on a nice upslope near the road.

John came to pick me up a little later on, while I waited I texted Ozzie to see if climbing to the inversion was the moral equivalent of reaching cloudbase. He simply laughed, and suggested I answer that myself once I in fact do reach CB. Later in the bar, the Algo’ version of the Chrystal Bar, John told me I was suffering from Intermediate Syndrom was so discouraging. I preferred Ozzies assessment personally, and remembered how much I was giggling on the way up to the inversion layer. I do however appreciate Johns caution and writing this some years later I know that you have to be careful.

The last day while waiting for my flight we looked at a launch on the hills above Fuengirola aiming to land on the beach but a wind blowing over the back of launch interrupted that plan so we settled for lunch on the beach and told more stories… it was very very relaxing I loved it…

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XC Flight on October 20th 2010: 36.870832, -5.364590
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