34 year old dude from Norway, loves hanggliding and all that is fun :-) Can be reached on phone +47 928 62 877, but I prefere writen messages, so please write email (estrandl@online.no).

Monday, December 26, 2005

Brasil - Rio de Janeiro, Xmas and Wills Wing T2

After traveling from Foz de Iguazu (one of the worlds greatest waterfalls on the border between Argentina and Brasil) to Curitiba (Traveling with the jungle train) I end up in Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro is the most spectacular city I ever been to. Not because of the arcitectur and the city in it self, but because of the beautifull setting with the step granit peak mountains, the green forest areas, the blue ocean with miles of white beaches. And of course the possibility to fly above this amazing place :-)
Picture 1: flying on the other side of the bay from Copacabana beach (the beach above my helmet)

So after settle in at the hotel I call up Alan Morrison (local pilot) and we agree to go hanggliding on the next day. Alan is the same person who reasently set the new XC- record from the city of Rio (take-off from the Pedra Bonita launch 87 km).

The next day I meet Alan on the beach / landing area of the main flying site in Rio after a interesting taxi ride. (Picture 2) The taxi driver was more interested in telling me about the ¨local girls¨ and their attributes than driving me to the right place. So after telling me all the wonders those girls can do, I have to call up Alan and give the phone to the taxi driver so I am sure that I am going to the right place :-)

On the beach there are normally a lot of people flying and this is the place where they do a lot of tandemflights (http://www.tandemflight.com). This day is not good for flying at this sites so we end up going to the other side of the bay from Rio.

This flying sites is lower (280 mosl) but is more north so its perfect for this day. Alan lend me his new Wills Wing T2 154 and he flies his Gostbuster (rigid wing). So after a minute on the launch to get the feeling of the glider I launch and feel straigt at home! This glider is just pure fun to fly, I never flown a topless with this kind of handling (the Airborne C2 is close but a litle stiffer). This glider is even easyer to fly than a Wills Wing XC. The T2 have a nice stall charistics, easy to land. When I landed, it was turbulent on the landing, but good handling made it easy to control it down. Flying it in thermals was really straight forward. And the glide, was really good. Fineally Wills Wing have a glider wich can compete with Moyes and the others on glide.
For more pictures from Rio click here: http://foto.vg.no/show_album.php?aid=979523

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Argentina - Flyranch and Buenos Aires

After a 20 hours bus ride from Bariloche I arrived in Buenos Aires and spend the day there waching the local people dancing tango in the streets. The next day Flavio Galliussi picked me up in the center of Buenos Aires since he arrived from a hangglider competition i Cordoba.
My plan was to be here flying for 6 days.

The flyranch is located 65 km south and 40 -50 minutes car ride outside Buenos Aires closer to the city La Plata (see airpicture below). On the picture I am flying a Wills Wing Falcon and its a great glider. Its strange to fly it in thermals since I am so used to hisiding, but after a couple of minuts I was up in 1300 mosl. Cloudbase was higher that day but I did fly in a open harness with not much cloths on so ended up going up and down all the time to get the heat back.

At the flyranch I was flying different things for the fun of it. The first picture I am flying tandem with Flavio. We are flying a Airborne Fun and I liked it, but it is hard work to fly a tandem glider. Flavio use this tandem for training students which seems to be working great.
On the last picture you see a student landing on a evening fligth.

I was also flying a Dragonfly, to see how dificult it is to fly it, since I like to learn to fly one. Intresting thing to fly since its needs a lot of stick control togheter with the pedals to get a cordinated turn.

For more info about the Flyranch check out this page: http://www.flyranch.com.ar
Pictures from the Flyranch: http://foto.vg.no/show_album.php?aid=977078

Argentina - Patagonia - Buenos Aires

On the way from Ushaia to Buenos Aires, I did some stops in El Calafate, El Chalten and Bariloche. The nature in Patagonia is just amazing so I have to show some pictures :-)

Picture 1 is from the Parcue nacional Los Glacieres and the Perito Moreno glacier one of the earth´s most active icefields

Picture 2 is from El Chalten and in the background you see ¨Cerro Torres¨and a 20 km out and return walk in the valley behind me.

Picture 3 is of Mount (Cerro) Fitz Roy 3441 mosl and it´s pure granite and a eldorado for climbers. On the picture I am one the way to the lookout point for the mountain 22 km of walk out and return and 900 meters of altitude to climb.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Antarctica - The white wonderland !

Antartica is an amazing plaze! It's the world's coldest, windiest and driest place, but still it's full of life and a endless beauty.

If you think about flying here, think again! Antarctica has kabatics winds which can start blowing in seconds and the strongest windgust down here has been measured to about 270 km/h. And if you will land on dry land, remember every bit of land which is not covered with snow, is inhabited by thousands of animals or birds. Landing on snow and ice is possible, but risky!

On the first picture I do a tandemflight with one of the "local penguines" :-)

I have been lucky to go sea kayaking in Antarctica and I had some amazing moments on the water, between gigantic icebergs, glaciers and massive mountains. As you can see on the picture, a drysuite is highly needed, since you will not survive more than a couple of minutes without it in the water. On this trip with a Russian expedition ship, there was a photographer (http://www.jimmynelson.com) taking pictures for a Dutch magazine, so in February I might end up being in a magazine.

On the boat we had a foto competition, and guess who was the lucky winner of the best picture! Below you see my winning picture! It is 2 Adelie penguines swimming and jumping. And as you can see, nice water down there!

Of other things I did down there was swimming, and yes it was cold. Taking tons of pictures (upload more later) Walking on the Antartic continent made me a member of the 7 continent club.

PS If you have not guessed it yet, I did not fly down in Antarctica, it is an arranged picture and I am hanging of a cargo crane and the bar is a kayak padle. Nice picture :-) Anyway, I am probably the first man ever in a hangglider harness in Antarctica, and the Russian captain was wondering what the hell this crazy Norwegian man was doing in his cargo crane in a hanglider harness ! I upload more pictures later, now I have to prepare for a 19 hours buss drive! I am slowly going towards Buenos Aires, where I am going to fly for 7 days or so.