Munich! Salzburg! Africa/gliding/soccer!

Alphen aan den Rijn              Monday  December 7 2009

Back home again! Is n’t it nice to visit the world only because one day , in 1966 you heard about gliding and got thoroughly involved in it and “found” yourself friends EVERYWHERE!!!!!
It was a bit of a change after the 46 dgr. in the car on the way to Cobram, the 33 dgr. on the beach in Cairns, the 13 dgr. with arrival in Holland and then Munich with minus 6 in the night and Austria with minus 3 at noon but…at 1500 m height! I had rain, snow and sun and another GREAT time.
Munich is a lovely town, even more in Christmas time and Salzburg has been one of my favourites since I visited it 8 years ago.
Maria and Dieter have been great hosts and they took me everywhere. Highlight ; the “SALZBURGER ADVENTSINGEN” im grossen Festspielhaus [if you are interested you can find news at] ] with before,  a lunch in the famous restaurant Hertz’l where you have to book at-least half a year ahead!!! What did we eat???  Wiener Schitzel of course ,as they can only make them in Austria SOOOO good!
Driving at 1500 m on a mountain top with snow falling on the huge trees was impressive as well, though we had some spinning winter-tyres nearly at the top, but we made it. Further on I saw 2 beautiful baroque churches in Munich and so much more, we even went by boat over the Chiem See to visit on the “women insel” a special Christmas market.And…what about a FULL moon which was visible for 17 hours on December 2 , no clouds ,minus 6 and enough light to stay up if you wished. We saw the moon disappear in the morning while the sun appeared , very special!!!
Met one of their glider friends Gustl, who showed us a slide show  , on how they still glide in winter at Unterwoessen with skies instead of wheels under the Falke and Super Dimona.
You “see” I had a great time. Though flying the AVRO RJ85 was not a pleasure. I never have pain in my ears but this time on the way to and from Munich it was terrible!

But in between more things happened. It was a week with interesting glider flights. When  I start with December 1 the flight from Bruce Cooper in Argentina was remarkable certainly when he is the Bruce I know. Have to find out! 1471 km with a speed of  140.70 km/h. in a nimbus 4DM in wave , racing the mountains. NO wave for Pepe , flying a 1000 km from Narromine, great effort. And…Alexander added another 1000 km to his more then impressive list. While Stephan flies his LS 4 to another nice distance of 584 km. in Tocumwal. Talking about Tocumwal,  good “old” friend Michael has arrived as well and being a member of the UE syndicate he flew the DG 600 and “made” a nice 507 km.
On December 2 it was good to see that the Gariep Dam pilots had a good day. And…Stephan flew in his LS 4 another great distance of 584 km from Tocumwal airfield. He really is a kilometer eater as long as I know him you can expect great tasks from him.
December 3 had another 3 x 1000 km flights, and….you guess it already…one from Alexander Mueller.
December 4 another 1000 km flight and this time for Slovak top -pilot Pristavec Bostjan, a very good pilot.He flew the ASH 25EB. Pepe had a great run again from Narromine with 951 his DG 800/18m.
December 5 had the better weather for Namibie again with 5 x 1000 km flights from Bitterwasser, Kiripotib and Pokweni.And….top place was for…who else…Alexander with 1372 km. He flew now NINE 1000 km. flights!!!!!!! The best next flight out of Africa was for Australian pilot Terry Bellair who flew from Victoria 587 km in his DG 400.
December 6 was good in OZ and Pepe topped the list again from Narromine! I know that Grant is not only a good hang glider pilot , but also a great glider pilot. He bought a few years ago the cirrus and he flew a very nice 396 km up and down to Narrandera from Tocumwal . Stephan had another great run in his LS 4 KYO,  with an out and return to West Wyalong 518 km. NO engine for both boys!!!!!!Big drive if things go wrong!!!
Today December 7 , pilots from Corowa had ” a ball ” with flights up to over 940 km. Great to see that Francesco , [together with his wife Grietje, the owners of Australian Soaring Corowa,] flew his first declared FAI 750 km. task in most blue and variable conditions!!! And…good old Anders flew a nice 624 km in his ASW22 /24m. He stayed always for a long time in Tocumwal and moved to Corowa,  where he is happily flying now! Too early to say what’s happening on the other site,  so that will be on next Wednesday.

Africa was in the middle of all attention  as well when the draw was made for the  WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SOCCER IN SOUTH AFRICA from June 11 till July 11 2010. I guess “we” Dutch should not be too unhappy.
Today the CLIMATE TOP has started in Denmark. Hope something constructive comes out of it.
See you on Wednesday, cheers Ritz

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