A Fortnight of Flying
Did you miss me? I’m home!
We did a lot of travelling but I had a great time. It was the kind of trip you can only really consider with a small plane as we zipped around all over. One of the great things about general aviation is the view – I took over 600 photographs!
We’ve been having cloudy and rainy weather on the Costa del Sol which made for some gorgeous views when we flew out of Málaga. It’s usually very murky and hazy so it was a real treat to be able to see the coastline for miles.
The clear skies stayed with us as we passed the Pyrenees which were still covered with snow. Absolutely stunning.
We stopped to refuel in Périgueux where I was surprised to see this lovely little house right off of the runway. It’s very pretty there but I don’t think I could stand living that close to an active runway.
We continued to Strasbourg, this time opting for the small grass strip at Neuhof as we didn’t need customs. Everyone at the airfield was very friendly and the runway was well looked after. As you can see, Neuhof is wonderfully placed right near the centre of the city.
After a wonderful Easter break, we continued to England where the weather was less impressive. We were rained in most of the week but the weather cleared up just enough for for our weekend trip to Newcastle upon Tyne.
Friends of ours have a wonderful cottage in the middle of a sheep farm which borders a field with llamas in it!
The rest of the weekend was great weather and I did local area flying and circuits at Eshott. It’s a bit of a bizarre place with short asphalt runways tucked into what was once a large airfield. But everyone was very friendly and I’m definitely feeling more confident about my short field landings now.
From there we went to Wycombe Air Park where I was surprised to see big beautiful birds floating over the airfield. It turns out they are red kites which are abundant in the area having been re-introduced after having been hunted to extinction in England in the nineteenth century. I was full of regret that I was flying and in a rush so I couldn’t get a photo of them hovering. I was initially thinking about how I could possibly get back to Wycombe to take photographs as one flew directly over my right wing. Then I started thinking about bird strikes and what a mess a big bird of prey like that could make of my plane. I do want to get photographs of them but I think I’ll be doing it from the ground.
I travelled by train to London to meet a group of writers that I had previously only known online. We spent five hours sitting in the sun on the south bank of the river Thames, drinking wine and talking. As one person commented, it was not so much an introduction as a reunion. They were all wonderfully supportive and enthusiastic – I’ll post about the experience separately but it really has revitalised my plans to keep flying around the British islands!
Equally exciting but in a less positive way was the flight to Turweston where I became confused and tried to land at Silverston instead:
You may need to click through to see the two runways. The map shows Turweston in the southwest and Silverstone race course in the northeast – it’s not my fault the latter looked more inviting for landing on! I wasn’t using the GPS for this flight but boy, was I glad that Cliff had keyed in our destination, as a glance at the screen made it clear that I was going to the wrong place!
Then it was time to reverse our initial flights. From Turweston we returned to Strasbourg – this time into Strasbourg Entzheim as we were coming in at night and needed customs.
The long runway also came in handy as we were picking up Cliff’s son and all his worldly possessions as he’s unfortunately moving back to Hull which is nowhere near as pretty. *grumble*
Fully laden, we made our way back to Málaga via Périgueux.
We arrived back at home to sunny weather yesterday in the early evening. Now I just need a fortnight to recover from my holiday!