Up early for a change I made more of an effort to decide where to go, looked at the forecasts before checking alternate opinions and Eildons it was. Oops, a big group going to the little pointy Eildons and someone getting married on top that day. OK plan B. B for Broughton that is.
I do like a day that ebbs and flows and you just let it happen, and the inevitable slog up the hill became leather seats, tinted windows and traction control in what I assume is one of the Wingbeat fleet of off road rides so the first four of us arrive fresh and smiley and happy up the hill and the day is looking better than those cheap forecasts.
Canopies soon blossom in the breeze and we are airborne and its easy. I admit I'm hopeless at guessing time but it seems about 15 minutes before I am climbing and soon some of the cloud is lower than I am. A quick burst on the radio to say I'm off for a wander then I realise I'm only at 2600 feet so I turn and point the other way back to the hill. And down.
Not really sure how long we flew for but staying up was mostly just fine with some pleasant lift but also the odd 10 minutes on the ground well below take-off. Often there were 5 or 6 of us climbing a couple of hundred feet in the same lift, and sometimes most people were having lunch in the sunshine. I really enjoyed the just wafting back and forth needing just enough effort to be interesting rather than hard.
Mid afternoon and yet another thermal cycle but this time Dave H and I are enjoying a raggedy but consistent thermal and Dave leaves about half way up and I arrive at base for the second time but this time risen to a little over 3000 feet and think I'll set off downwind anyway and am soon across the A72 and on the low hills beyond where the next thermals live - only there're out. So I set off following the road thinking to be hitching soon enough but there is lift in the middle of valley and although I dont feel very committed I am enjoying myself and wander about and generally on. And then its time to think of landing. I'm a mile or so short of Cademuir and a decent thermal would have got me over Peebles.
Right below me is a cracking nice house part of which seems to have a massive thatched roof and the formal gardens of knotted box design look splendid and probably much better than you could ever see them from the ground. Getting down was much slower and more buoyant then expected which made me wonder if I'd just missed something and then I'm in a warm grassy field right next to the road. I remember I have lunch! excellent. My good lady had made salmon sandwiches which were actually cheese as it turned out but no complaints.
Packing up and the man from the cracking nice house arrives to ask if all is well and offers to take me back to Broughton. How pleasant is that! Then a car stops and Chris introduces himself (although I am convinced we had met before) and also offers a lift since he is heading for Broughton anyway.
We go and say thanks for the offer to the nice man in the nice house and cant help noticing in addition to said formal garden there is a massive ships cannon. I really want one. This turned out to have been salvaged from HMS Royal George, the largest warship in the world at that time, which sank on the 28 August 1782 whilst being tilted over for a hull repair. She was anchored at Spithead and about to sail for Gibraltar. 900 men women and some children went down with her. Paragliding, every day a school day.
Chris soon has us at Broughton and he heads up the hill to join the late shift, and for me starts the not too difficult hunt for beer. It's an elimination event and by the second pub we try we do get beer but its just me and Dave H by then. Which is fine because I was one of he ones that got beer.
Another fine day out. I really must take pictures.
Next days google group group posting from Jamie ;
It was quite nice after you all left.
Not hugely lifty but I was in the air till Chris made it to take off.
We then played about for a wee while till it got a bit more interesting. Lumpybumpy.
Picked up so we almost packed up but I gave it a go as it was strongish but not too gusty.
Lovely and smooth :-)
We boated about for a bit longer then flew down. Was still soarable but I wanted to get home in time for the kids going off to bed.