I phoned Tommy in the morning, but we both thought it was a bit to Windy and about due West which is not really the best direction, so I resigned myself to a day in the garden. It was a glorious day though and I got all the pruning done, but it felt fairly whippy and lively. I had to go to Gallashiels in the afternoon to pick up new glasses so I gave the weather a quick check before I went. It was a good bit lighter and xcweather was showing it more North West and it was such a glorious day, I thought it had to be worth a look at the Eildons.
On the off chance I phoned Dave, who had been working on his garage, and he was keen for a wander up as well. After picking up my Glasses and Dave we drove to the Eildons and parked up at the cemetery. Then followed a very sweaty and steep 25 min walk to the summit in flat calm, although there was a perfect cloud street running from Gallashiels to the Eildons and the windmills were turning slowly facing NW.
I thought it was pretty much going to be a fly down as we got rigged up. There was enough wind to keep the glider above you're head and no more. Resigned to my fate I stepped of the hill into a huge 1m/s thermal and started climbing with Dave who launched at the same time. The lift was everywhere. We spent half an hour chasing the weak thermals about the sky never really getting more than a couple of hundred feet above the hill. I definitely had it easier than Dave on the Mentor.
Next, thing I know he had disappeared, and I saw him miles away over the houses outside Melrose in a pretty decent thermal. There is life in the old dog yet I say. I flew over to join him in a few circles, before he shouted that he was heading for home and off he went. I followed the thermal back to the hill eventually getting to about 800 feet ATO. Pretty amazing day. God knows what the people on take off made of it. It felt totally surreal, turn up, clip in,step of the hill in next to no wind into a perfect gentle climb. Must have looked next to impossible. It felt that way for sure.
If there is a heaven for paragliders. I am pretty sure it will be a bit like that. I think we must have arrived just at the time something was happening, it got very cold and the sky gradually filled in completely over the next hour. It just kind of let go all the days heat I think. After a tour round the three hills, a bit of whizzing about down low, landing on the cairn and general arsing about, I had had enough and flew down to land back at the car. I am generally slightly jaded about flying, but it was one of those days which just felt a bit special.