Road Trip...Road Trip...Road Trip... Another successful road trip with Davies. Drove down from the New Forest to StHilaire to stay with Adam and Virginie. Stopped at Troyes on the way down. Very pretty little town and had a good dinner.
St Hilaire is a cracking if intimidating site. Essentially the edge of the Chartreuse Massif. The take of is on top of a 2000 foot cliff, with another 2000 foot cliff behind that, both of which stretch of into the distance. The weather was scorching June and the air was boiling, but the the thermals were not massively strong. The locals scratch up the cliff dragging a wingtip, but it scared the crap out of me flying so close. I just flew out over the scree and you could maintain fine there. Bombing is not an issue as there is a funicular railway up to take off. There are also cafes at the bottom where you can watch the acro guys float down on their reserves after ill judged maneuvers and the base jumpers doing what they do. No one even looks up for a reserve ride.
Following that up to Annecy for the SIV with Flyeo. All quite intense, but good fun. Came together reasonably well for me on the second day when I turned the dials down from 10 to 7. Managed to "Stay Zen" reasonably well as Max the instructor advised. Colin did good as usual. Chucked the rescue on the last flight for shits, giggles and grins. Killed my radio unfortunately.
Stayed at the hotel rather than the Gite. The guy there was a hang glider pilot for 30 years, a friend of Rudy Kishazi who was the first person to loop a hang glider. You can see the film on Youtube. Said he did not fly anymore because he was no longer "Free In The Head". Good expression.
Back home via Laon. Don't go there. A bit like walking into the set of the Evil Dead. Had some very odd stuff to eat, but spent the evening with an interesting character called Rob (good name) who was doing a cycle pilgrimage from Cantebury to Rome. As ever, I think you really have to have been there with these flying things. To much weird, wonderful and whacky stuff to really describe it all. Suffice to say, I will remember it for a long time.