The glider flights got moved up, so it’s gather together and head out.
BW and Jason check in, fill out the forms, and so on, then we all drive down to the runway area. This is a big field with a couple of narrow runways and a lot of open down a tiny road. A trailer off to the side is for the next stage of checking in.
And this is a busy place.
Lots of gliders parked, lots of cars parked. Guys sitting at a table in the shade of the trailer to do the paperwork, help with the planes, or pilot them. Everyone is very friendly, and incredibly efficient. This is what they do all day, every day, and they’ve got it down. It’s a smooth system.
Despite this, nothing would have gotten me in one of the gliders short of the sort of catastrophe depicted in the movie 2012. Even then, I might pull a Woody Harrelson.
The sun is baking hot, the shade scarce, little tow planes (I think they have two working constantly) land, someone runs out and pulls the tow line to a glider, hooks it. Inside pilot and passenger wear parachutes in a closed cockpit. The tow plane makes its run, the glider follows, lifts, lifts, lifts. Up they go until they reach a height or speed (Maybe both?) that does the job. Tow line disconnects, glider glides off, tow plane circles back, lands, does it all again.
Gliders also land regularly, on runway or the open field. Someone hops in a golf cart, rides out, and they roll the glider back for its next lift.
I’m sure there’s more involved, but that’s how I see it.
BW and Jason meet their pilots–two of the guys sitting in the shade. A couple of other people are already out at planes preparing for their adventure. I use BW’s complicated camera to take a picture of him and Jason by a glider–then pass the camera to Kat.
My girl is anxious, distracts herself taking pictures. I realize my stomach is behaving a bit like I’m going up–remind it I’m not.
I see BW get his parachute, then Jason his. After the flight, Jason tells us when he gets the parachute he thinks: Oh yeah, this is real.
Guys in the planes, Kat and I on a bench in the sun.
Tow line connected for BW. Tiny little tow plane heads off, glider goes up, and up. I’m following Kat’s instructions to try to get a video of the take off. I think it worked.*
Then he’s up there, and the tow plane circles back.
About the same time, Jason’s airborne.
Their flights will be 30 minutes. For awhile I can follow them both–BW goes left, Jason right. Then I lose sight of BW’s plane. They went over our resort, and off over the lake.
I watch Jason’s longer. Jeez, he’s really up there! And they fly over Fayence and Callian. It’s a long time, thirty minutes, to wait (or pace a bit in my case) More gliders take off, some land, more people arrive.
Then I see what must be BW’s plane making its circle to land. I bet it’s bumpy, that touching down again. Minutes later, I spot Jason’s, and now he’s back on the ground.
Kat needs some hugs, and as she says if there’s ever a next time, we won’t watch.
Apparently it’s really hot in the cockpit–BW said his phone died for awhile. They both took lots of pictures. Jason reports a glide reminded him of the downsides of flying–take off, landing, occasional turbulence. Other than that, all good.
An adventure is in the books, and we can drive on to Fayence for lunch.
And there on the steep, narrow streets we find a restaurant open after two for lunch.
Jason spots Hawaiian pizza, BW some exotic pizza, and I go for the classic Marguerite. Kat orders a salad and an extra plate as we’ll all share.
It’s just fabulous pizza–all agree. Perfectly baked and seasoned. And a nice chance to wind down post-adventure.
After I buy some herbs to take home, and hunt for another pair of woven shoes. They don’t have my size in what I’m after, but they do have Kat’s in her choice. I’ll be grateful for the ones I already have–and check on line, just in case.
And that’s enough for all of us, so home we go. Kat takes a nap. I turn on the TV for a bit to see if I can find more news on Hurricane Harvey. It looks very bad, and as I learned this morning, is very bad. Please, anyone and everyone in that path, be safe, be careful. I’ll be following the news as much as possible from here.
We leave a little early for our dinner here, as we have panorama plans. We’re going to use the kids’ playground very close to our villa. This is a fun little place, with wacky props for our project. We discuss, set marks, timing, POVs. At one point, we consider staging me and BW on the larger seesaw. This fails due to weight differential.
In any case, we plotted it out, did the job, and had some laughs. It worked! I believe we’ll reveal the results tomorrow–as we plan to do another here at the villa today.
It’s dinner time. And what’s that we hear? Thunder! Some really cranky thunder. I see flashes of lighting in the distance. Maybe it’ll rain.
I hope, again, it rained somewhere.
Dinner is lovely, as always. We’ve enjoyed every single meal here, at every venue we’ve tried.
Today, our last, dawns beautifully. We’ll stay close–we have that pano to stage and produce. There’s packing to face. Another workout on the terrace. For the reader who asked about outdoor space at home? I live on the side of a hill–not much natural flat space. But today, I’ll enjoy the view and the air while I sweat it out.
*Note from Laura: video worked perfectly, haven’t figured out a way to get it to load here.
In today’s #randomkatness: