Jaca 2014 From The Ground Pictures Page 3

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Pictures From The Ground

Friday 28th March 2014 - Airfield.

When I got up it looked cloudy out the window. A slow start was expected today. I was also the no 3 today so I didn't really expect to fly. But after the last two days' flights I didn't mind. I'd gotten the best out of the two best days. At the airfield at 10AM the sun was starting to shine as the early cloud burnt off. A southeasterly wind had set up and I could see wave bars in places. The plan was for Mike T and Jon B to go up with John and Ayala and Richard to go up with Bob, and I was the floater. In the briefing we were expecting thermals and wave today. There was low pressure moving in over Portugal influencing the weather now. The gliders were taken out after briefing and were lined up on runway 09 by 11:45AM. A fresh Southeasterly wind was blowing and cumulus and wave bars jumping around aloft. A large group of vultures were soaring nearby and cloudbase was above the summit of Cuculo.

775 with Mike T and John launched at 11:50AM. 776 with Richard and Bob by 12PM. Up above the local wave bars were evolving then seemed to come and go but stay still. 776 however was down within 30 mins. It had been spotted descending the North face of Cuculo rapidly. Oops! It seems they released too early into lift that rapidly turned into heavy sink. Ayala was next. 775 and other gliders were also low but scratching in weak lift. 776 was launched again by 1PM. 775 had called 5 minutes twice now but got away again. They then called a 3rd time as I finished my sarnies and landed around 1:15PM. It launched a while later with Jon B on board. 776 then returned and Richard got a 2nd go as his first flight had been very short. That left me waiting for John and Jon B to return for me. Teasingly they called 10 minutes then cancelled around 3:45PM. I was utterly bored out of my skull by 4PM as the sun came out a bit and more cumulus appeared. Then 775 finally came back about 4:15'ish and it was my turn.

See the main page for the flight description and photos.





Wave bar in front of the sun with irridescance. Cumulus over Cuculo. More cumulus and wave bars as top cover comes and goes.





Thicker top cover coming in. Nice wave bars. Looking North towards the mountains which are clear of cloud. A gorgeous wave bar high above. A huge flock of many vultures.





A closer look at some of the vultures. Another nice panoramic cloudscape to the North. 776 rapidly descending the downwind side of Cuculo! 775 scratching away at low level in weak lift.





776 landing safely after Richard and Bob's rapid descent. A cloud street makes Cuculo look like a smoking volcano. Vultures flying low. Perhaps they found some carrion?





The kite passes over us again. A panoramic view to the South. Continuing to appreciate the wave bars that keep coming and going. Cloudscape to the West as the sun gets low and we put the gliders away.

Friday 28th March 2014 - Meal in Javierregay.

After I landed the gliders were swiftly put away and the dinner plans were announced - to a restaurant in Javierregay, after meeting in the bar at 7:30PM. I got there 10 minutes early. We all gathered and had drinks before setting off to Javierregay at just before 8PM. Soon we arrived in a medieval looking village hamlet and a pleasant restaurant. They offered to make me a fish meal which was great. The others started with large salad platters. There was also delicious stick bread too. I was then served a delicious hake with courgettes peppers and chips while the others had mixed grill platters and chips. Then yoghurt, rice pudding, fruit or ice cream for dessert. I chose the ice cream. Tea and coffee were then served. After lots of chat we finally left at 10:30PM. I went straight back to sleep as I was knackered.



Evening meal in Bar Asador Arquivoltas in Javierregay.

Saturday 29th March 2014 - Airfield.

I was feeling very tired this morning. I guess that's a function of eating so late in the evenings and earlyish starts. I made sandwiches and studied the map I bought, thinking of tomorrow's journey home. Breakfast was 8:30AM as usual. I showed a few picturess and videos on the big screen during breakfast. Then I had a slow wander to the airfield for the briefing at 10:30AM. Outside there was an overcast of upper cloud. But the sun seemed to break through as the briefing started. Ayala and I were to be with Bob. Richard and Mike T were to be with John. Jon B was to be today's floater. A stronger southeasterly wind was not an ideal direction so we had no idea what might happen. Outside at 11AM it was blowing a hoolie. The tug pilot had not yet turned up. We walked to the hangar. On the way we decided it was too dangerous to fly. There was a high risk of breaking something. In the hangar I helped Bob transfer some logs. Then I helped the locals turn a DG1000 upside down in the work shop. Then I got sat in 775 for over an hour while it was parked outside to make space to derig the two private Lasham DG1000 gliders that were present. I was fighting the wind all the way and was glad when I got rescued back into the hangar. I then returned to the office to settle up and finally ate my sarnies at 2PM.



A local bird of unknown species. Looking at wave bars to the East while I sit in 775 to stop it blowing away. While the others de-rig one of the DG1000's.

Saturday 29th March 2014 - Mercadona View.

After leaving the airfield I headed out to the supermarket one last time. While I was there I took a moment to admire the scenery before returning back to base for a short walk and a shluf.




180degree panorama looking North from near Mercadona. Taking closer looks at the mountains to the North. 2 days ago I was soaring up there.



Oroel from the North. Cuculo from the East.

Saturday 29th March 2014 - Bar Ascaso Evening.

We all gathered in the bar by 8PM and then got ushered into the breakfast room for Toya's meal. I didn't do so well with this meal but everyone else seemed to have a good feed. Then followed the famous singathon. Ayala and Toya were playing guitars and a number of popular English and Spanish songs were sung. I left at 10:30AM and retired for the night.




Arriving at Bar Ascaso. Assembling inthe breakfast room and eating. Toya playing the guitar.




John throwing cash paper aeroplanes. Ayala playing the guitar. Karayoke time. Toya and Ayala playing guitars.

Sunday 30th March 2014 - Drive To Riglos.

I woke up at 8AM feeling a more refreshed and had my last Bar Ascaso breakfast at 8:30AM. Then I packed up and vacated the room, and made my last egg sarnies. I was done by 10:30 and paid up at the bar. At 20 euros a night it was very reasonable. Then I relaxed for a while, updating my diary, ready to hit the scenic roads South towards Zaragoza. The plan was to start moving sometime before 12PM. In the end I left at 11:30AM. It was a fantastic drive with gorgeous scenery and lovely twisty sections and a great road surface. The Fiat felt good along here. Eventually as I drove above a lovely canyon the unmistakable sandstone pillars of Riglos came into view. After turning off the main road I got to Riglos at 12:30PM.




Driving along fun twisty roads. This would definitely make a good biker road! A narrow bridge over the western end of Embalse de la Pena as I approach Santa Maria.





A prominent building south of Santa Maria as I approach the A132 bridge over Embalse de la Pena. Crossing the A132 bridge over Embalse de la Pena.



360 degree panorama at a layby along the Rio Gallego. Big cliffs ahead a hint of what's to come. Another 180 degree panorama further along the Rio Gallego.




The Rio Gallego somewhere Northwest of Riglos. The first views of the Riglos sandstone cliffs. Approaching Riglos from the Southwest.

Sunday 30th March 2014 - Riglos.

After parking up in a tourist car park atthe entrance to Riglos, I wandered around for 20 minutes, climbing to the top of the village closer to the cliffs. I took some panoramas by the church at the top before following a path a little way further up alongside the cliffs. Then it seemed to start raining so I retreated back to the car.




The huge sandstone cliffs of Riglos. Exploring Riglos. The cliffs tower above the village church.



Panoramas of Riglos from the church yard. The church tower below the cliffs.






Macro shots of the local flowers on the hillside. Looking back down at Riglos from the hill above to the East. Looking up at the cliffs as light rain arrives. Leaving Riglos back along the access road as the weather deteriorates.

Sunday 30th March 2014 - Homebound Flight.

Then I drove to Zaragoza airport via Huesca. I dropped off the car around 2:30PM which was as simple as parking in a Hertz bay and dropping the keys in a box. Then I ate my sarnies while waiting an age for the checkin desk to open. A large noisy group arrived that spurred me to queue just before 4PM when the bag drop opened. I was then soon through security. The plane eventually arrived (a few minutes late?) and I was on board just before 6PM. The plane seemed to leave 5 minutes late. With 8/8 cirrostratus most of the way it was a pretty boring cloudscape. We did appear to fly out over the sea though. I guess that was up the west coast of France. We reached England, flying past the Isle of Wight. That was a lovely albeit extremely hazy view. I could also just make out Petersfield, Oxford and Bicester. I recognised the shapes of the places despite the extreme haze thanks to many cross country glider flights past these areas. Once round the North side of London we arrived at Stansted and landed at 7PM, 20 minutes early. That was quite a tail wind! And there ends my adventure.






Subdued cloudscapes with clearer looking air to the West. Nice sunshine reflecting on the Atlantic west of France. Flying in over the Isle of Wight.






More views of the Isle of Wight and the Solent. Nicer cloudscapes over England. Nice sun pillar caused by reflection in ice crystals below us. Cloudscape panorama. Subsun caused by reflection in ice crystals suspended below us.