Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The first couple days on the route

The first couple days are full on with no moment to spare.
Monday morning 4:00 am my alarm went off and 45 minutes later I was on the road to Geneva to pick up Frank and Tracye. This drive showed me what rush hour can be in Europe. I spent over an hour in stop and go traffic around Zurich and arrived late in Geneva. Not a problem as Frank and Tracye were late as well.
The first stop was in Annecy at SupAir. Laurant e-mailed me to try their new harness and check out all the new add-on's. I now have an older demo to try, but from what I have seen so far, this is a wow. The pack is rather large and very good to carry. The backbag also offers an additional bag to be mounted on the top, which does not sacrifice any carring comfort. Now the exciting add on is the "pod or fairing" for your feed. This can be added on very easy and you have a comfortable and warm harness. Anyhow, I will be back in Annecy on Friday and will decide if I will get one based on a couple of test flights.
After the visit at SupAir, we tried to go flying at Annecy but the weather was coming in faster and we just watched the last couple pilots landing. Right now Annecy is holding a paraglding world cup and it was cool to see the high aspect ratio wings coming in.
The night we spend in Albertivlle (Winter Olympics in 1992) and then we headed south to explore the route most x-alps pilots used. This was a very interesting drive through the french Alps and certainly showed how challenging they can be. Some of the challanges is the high altitude changes (up to 2000 meters) and valley crossings.
South of Albertville we drove over the Col de la Madeleine and then over the Col du Galibier pass. These are very impresive passes and very popular by road and motor bikers. We did not see anyone walk or fly there. From there we drove through Briançon and over Col de Vars pass to Barcelonnette. This is the area where Alex Hofer's route joined with the others heading south to Monaco.
We stayed overnight at a very
old place 3 minutes out of Barcelonnette and we will head south to Monaco. The weather is not as forecasted and we have light rain. Lets see what the day will bring, maybe we can get a flight in Monaco.
Keep you posted.

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