Freitag, 25. März 2016

27. Jan. 2016 - Kerio View

Still high pressure meteo with dominating westerly current just allows a late start. Edi suggests flying to the north first. From km13N to km23N we use different paths, Edi flies over the valley edge, I fly the classical ridge - at km23N we arrive at the same time and fly on together. At the highest point of the ridge extension at km71N we decide to fly on to the north for adventure reasons against the easy way to just fly back to Iten. As I carry no radio with me and the visibility here is extremely bad because of air floating particles I loose the eye contact to Edi. He crosses a bit earlier to the back laying main ridge to the north and I keep looking for him in front of me, but at that time he is always above and behind my back, what I could not imagine. Flying above this ridge a big side valley crossing against the headwinds, coming out of the Turkana region, has to be done. I do not have to much confidence, that it will be doable and as soon as I get to deep I turn around. In the meantime I have flown about 100 kms, so at least this 100k-distance-fllight will add to my records. Back on the ridge I thermal up and realize, that the road into the side valley must be the asphalted main road leading to Kitale, coming from the northern regions like Turkana, Ethiopia, Sudan. From the entrance of the side valley into the flat, into the north it turns into dirt road. As usual on asphalted road there are matatu connections, on the dirt roads transports are rather casually. So I decide to follow the main road towards the southeast as far as possible and to land close to it, if possible. On the eastern side of the valley thermalic lift can be found, but my motivation is rather low now, because 100kms are already on my instrument and 250+kms cannot be reached in any imaginable scenario. So I do not fight to hard and as soon as I get into the valley wind I am just looking for a save landing spot. On a field, next to the river of the valley I land and this time the kids stay far away and only men in the age of about 20-40 come closer. As soon as I try to talk to them or do a step towards them, they move back - I am very surprised about this behavior as I know from other kenyan regions just warm welcoming and close body contact, especially with kids. But soon arrives Maggie; it is her meadow, where I have landed and she talkes a very educated and eloquent english and starts to interview me right away. Where I come from originally and where I started, why I came to this valley, whats about flying in general, a.s.o. and she translates, what I tell her into the local language and everybody moves closer, wants to touch the lines of the glider, asks Maggie, what she should ask me and the the situation changes into relaxed and nice, just as usual. Suddenly the crowd screams :  another paraglider can be seen on the other valley-side - it is Edi. But he does not have a chance to see us, as my gliders colors are camouflage, not just in Chile, but also in this arid kenyan landscape and soon we cannot see him any more. A motorbike rider takes me to Ortum, which is the closest location about 2 kms away and whereto regular matatus come. In Ortum the local police welcomes me, but also asks me to come to their police-station as they feel sorry, but have to ask me some questions there. As a white foreigner, coming through the air to their town, they have to report my passport to Nairobi to find out, that everything is o.k. with me from the sight of the Kenyan immigration authorities and they have to ask me, if I would transport drugs and if I would belong or have contact to some islamic terror organizations. As soon as this ends in fun and laughter, they confirm once more, that I am welcome in their town and bring me back to the matatu, which was not allowed to leave the place in the meantime. Crowds of people want to see me or touch me and even elderly and handicapped, who are not able to go distances by themselves are brought to the open matatu door to be able to catch a view of me. I get the impression, that white men are really seldom to be seen in Ortum, maybe especially those, who come from sky … In the meantime Edi has landed close to to Kapenguria and we phone. My matatu takes me to Kapenguria, but we miss there and travel on in two different matatus, some ten minutes apart. From Kapenguria another matatu is used to Kitale and from there another one to Eldoret. In Eldoret we are to late for matatus, as they drive from the time, when the night enters into the morning dawn, but also just until the evening dawn enters again into the night. Luckily we get in contact with a matatu driver, who has just unloaded in Eldoret, but lives in Iten and has to drive back anyway. He takes us with him and delivers us to the hotel, where Roberta had arranged with Joseph, that a supper has been placed aside for us. This day carries many aspects for my future flying. First it renews my wish to fly into territory, not typically used as flying ground by pilots, where also people on the ground are not used to paragliders. And overall I really want to see the continuing ridge into the north on a day with good visibility.








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