Epic Fail sesión.
It’s just before Christmas. The temperature was far above > 0 °C and we had continuous rain. Fantastic prospects for a wet Christmas eve, but luckily, we have books months ago and were traveling to Andalusia. So, on 22nd we stood at the Memmingen Airport and were looking forward to comfy 20 °C in Spain, where people laugh at you after being asked for veggie food.
After the first night spent in Malága we took our rental car and drove towards Almuñécar. Spending Christmas at the beach seemed like a pretty good idea. On the first day we were just arriving and organizing ourselves and exploring the surrounding area. On Christmas Eve itself the wind was supposed to take up. So, we decided to not waste another day parawaiting for less wind and took off to the Parque natural del Cabo de Gata-Níjar and the wild wild west of the desert of Tabernas. The next day the weather window opened up to paragliding at the Cerro de Itrabo. We used that opportunity before stronger winds and rainy conditions stopped the show in the evening again.
While wind and rain spread over Andalusia we hit the road again and explored the caves of Nerja, searched for ibex in the Torcal de Antequera and decelerated in the Sierra de Huma with good food and wine. Unfortunately, the Caminito del Rey was rebuilt lately so that it is now feasible for young and old from 2 to 99 years and only10 Euro per capita – and has thus lost all its charm. In the crisp wind, the ferrata was also closed.
After relaxing three days and wandering around El Chorro, we made our way to the Sierra de Grazalema to immediately get up in the air at the NW-Lijar. There, we made up for the relaxing days by hike and flying and detoured to El Bosque after again the wind took its toll on us. On New Year an east wind set in, so that Montellano was on the plan. The next day we had west again, so we tried our luck in Teba. However, the instability of the weather let us pack our bags and we wanted to spend our last days and the sea again. Guess what, Andalusia has much more to offer than paragliding in Algodonales.
In the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula, we arrived in Tarifa, enjoyed the views to Marocco and were dragged along the Strait of Gibraltar in high waves during our kitesurfing course.
We certainly will escape the wet winters in southern Bavaria and visit Andalusia someday again. The country has much to offer and is almost forcing you to take along kitesurfing stuff, your paragliding backpack, the road bike and some climbing gear. Whose priority is paragliding should probably plan the trip for the beginning of December, because weather conditions turn instable around New Year.
La Herradura is located west of Almuñècar and offers a typical soaring ridge at south / southwest. We were there in the evening and in the morning and encountered in both cases a lot of wind and a latent danger of cloudburst. However, there are always some crazies with boiling pressure to fly, who were trying to get into the air. We instead made ourselves comfortable on the couches and watched a new episode of “Epic Fails while launching” live. After a good hour of trying his best, the guy made it in the air with a big bang, twice almost tore off the flow and made his way directly to the beach.
The launching spot is well maintained and with feasible conditions it is possible to soar high. Landing is possible on the beach, where even in winter a bar is waiting for customers. If you take the car, please do not drive up to the launching spot, but park the car around 250 m before entering the oneway road. On foot there is an easy trail to follow, which brings you in less than 15 minutes to the launching site.
|Group||Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo|
|Wind||S, SW, W|
|Valley location||La Herradura|
|GPS (Launching)||36.730877, -3.734402|
|GPS (Landing)||36.730424, -3.737899|
|Height launching site [amsl]||80|
|Ascent||Zu Fuß gelangt man über eine Asphaltstraße fast bis ganz zum Startplatz. Die letzten Meter werden auf einem kleinen Pfad zurückgelegt. Fährt man mit dem Auto zum Startplatz, parkt man es am besten hier: 36.730291, -3.733106|
|Launching site||Ein einfacher Startplatz|
|Flying cues||Keine besonderen Flughinweise|
|Landing site||Direkt an der Strandbar|
|Wind at landing site||Meist auflandiger Wind|