Flying and good times

I’m having a good time here. So the blog got neglected a bit… I tried to catch up, but obviously I can’t write all I want. It would take too much time. And tomorrow it’s flying time again so I need my sleep. Cheers!

17/12 learning to paraglide! Two Australian guys, Ben and Chris, and me were the studentsBlake learned us to handle the glider on an almost flat terrain. We had to start running and try to stay under the glider as it moves right or left. Then after noon we went to a slightly steeper terrain, the smiley hill, and there we had the first meters of flying. More like a big jump. And then we went to the training hill. That was the first real flying experience. That’s where we made the Facebook video. We had 3 flights from up there. They went really good. And that night I couchsurfed at Chloe’s place. There were three portuguese people already, but i could stay aswel. The people were lovely. I had a nice chat. And a drink in the bar.
18/11 first real flying day. The first time from a height! From Coronet Peak. We had 1 high flight and then the wind became too strong and our instructors Blake and Swanny decided to do the tandem flight for the guys while I drove the van back down. My time would come. So after we just went home and I took a nap, a siesta. Aparently I needed it since I slept for 3 hours.
19/12 second real flying day. We had 3 flights from Coronet Peak. And then my tandem flight. The spiral down was awesome 🙂 In the evening I made dinner, broccoli carrot dish, for everybody in he house. Now there were new people. Macarena, Juraj, and some others. Everybody (about 7 people) was going to hitchhike to Te Anau and do the Kepler track the next day. So I decided to join.
20/12 Three of us, Macarena, Juraj and me, left somewhere in the morning. We bought our groceries for the track and walked to shallow bay, rainbow beach, where we were going to camp. It was going to be a rough and stormy night, but when we arrived in the bay we discovered a small hut. Inside there were four people already, around a cosy fireplace. Exactly how a hut should look like! As there was place for 6 persons, we decided we could fit in. Especially for this night. So we put the two remaining mattresses on the floor and slept on it the three of us. We had a splendid night instead of a nightmare. Oh, and the others of our 7p group got stuck somewhere and weren’t gonna join us anymore. So for the rest of the track it would just be the three of us. But we didn’t really mind since we were doing great as a team. A team.
21/12 we walked the Kepler track until the Iris burn campsite. Easy. And the three of us were really doing great as A team.
22/12 we walked the biggest and highest and most beautiful part of the track, all the way until Brod bay campsite. By then we decided we were S team. S from speed (It was supposed to be 8-9 hours but we did it much faster), but S was also meaning sweet and special… 😉 In Brod bay campsite we met up with the 4 others of our initial 7p group the initial Kepler track- group. They were going to stay a little longer.
23/12 I got up earlier then the rest of us to hitchhike back to Queenstown because I wanted to fly today. When I arrived at home (which was Chloe’s place then), Fede, who I met through gumtree and appeared to be a couchsurfer too, was in the house. It was a coincidence, but a pleasant one because now I didn’t have to go and meet up with him in the city, we could just chat over diner or on the couch at the house. So anyways I said hi very quickly and went flying. It was my 5th high flight. Afterwards I met up with Paul in Wanaka. (He was the one I met in Tonsai beach, Thailand, and invited me to Wanaka) We emptied two bottles of wine, watched a movie, “as good as it gets”, and had a nice evening. Oh, and something I will never forget: I shot a rifle! He drew a target, and the first shoti hit the outside of it, and the second shot, I hit the bullseye!! For real! The third time I tried to shoot standing upright. Guess what…Didn’t even hit the ladder the target was on… 🙂
24/12 I drove Paul to queenstown airport. Not much else going on than grocery shopping. And when I was back at Chloe’s place, I found that all the lovely people were still there, so everything was perfect! I had some beers, some chats, some hugs, and the evening was host to a spontaneous party. Just like it happens in Ghent, in the Dela party mansion. Nostalgia…
25/12 I made my famous pancakes. (And couldn’t resist trying them before lunch) For lunch, for Christmas, we had a sort of potluck. Everybody had invited friends to come over, bringing something to eat or to drink and a present. And then we just ate together, while listening to (way too many) Christmas carols. But what I really liked: we had a karaoke for almost the whole evening. Just looking up a song at YouTube, with lyrics, and singing along. We were almost 8 people there. And no, none of them were Asian…
26/12 Juraj, Fede and me were going to walk a great walk together soon, so we decided we needed some exercise. We looked for a day walk, mount Creighton, and finished it in about 2-3 hours. So we decided to start the demanding Ben Lomond track right after, take some wine with us and watch the sunset from there. Even if it was already 4.30pm. It was cold and cloudy so we finished the wine soon. And between the clouds there was an amazing 360 degrees view and kea’s accompanying us.
27/12 flying time again! I made some silly mistakes. When I wanted to fly over the rocky gully, I realized I was in a sinking air and wasn’t going to make it. My brain focused on landing there on the hill, instead of just turning away from it and fly around the rocky Gully… I landed smoothly, but my glider landed in a tree. That was my Christmas decoration for this year… I climbed in the tree to remove the glider out of the tree but wasn’t sure that I didn’t do something wrong so I climbed down again and a little later one of my flying instructors, Blake, who walked over did exactly the same. He climbed in the tree and removed the glider from it. I launched again and flew as if nothing happened. The second flight, flight 7 in total, I launched and had to run to the left to stay under the glider. Guess what happened this time… I Christmas decorated the flagpole this time… 🙂 Anyways, I launched again and flew my flight. I would have liked to fly more but the wind was getting too strong. Driving home I had the famous Queenstown Fergburger. Quite tasty!
28/12 flight 8-9-10 today! I flew from a different place for the first time. We went up the gondela above Queenstown and it was awesome for me because for the first time I decided for myself when to take a turn or where to find thermals. Incredible freedom! We flew from there twice and after that from Coronet Peak once more. Strong wind didn’t make it easy. In the evening Juraj, Fede and me switched couchsurfing place. We slept at Alex’ place now.

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