Feliz Año Nuevo.
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.
Montellano nearby Algodonales.
For the Happy New Year 2018 and on the occasion of a NE-breeze we wanted to take a look on Montanello. From the supposed to be landing site, the launching spot looks really anything but spectacular. Anyhow, we drove uphill to the hiker’s parking in the middle of the surrey and walked the remaining 10 minutes on foot crossing a paddock. Club members probably get a key and can drive up to the edge. At first we were completey alone and were groundhandling at too weak of a wind for soaring. At some point, Alex got impatient and took off. Gliding down 150 meters.
After 30 minutes we got back to the launching and were surprised. Ganterfly got there with no fewer than 30 people. Due to some pretentious behavior of latter, we wanted to get in the air as soon as possible. Clean wind from the front, but the vast majority of the colorful troupe was rather inept. So we made a quick move and were happily gone in one minute. But – With about 25 people in the air, it’s a tight one in Montellano.
With 10 to 12 km/h from ENE you’ll have perfect conditions on the spot to soar back and forth for about one kilometer – that’s it. If the wind turns slightly NNE, a larger round down to a tower in the southeast is possible. Otherwise, the view is magnificent and the flying also, even though being surrounded by twits. It must be said, that the flight instructors should not only advise their customers where to catch some height, but also praise some word about hang flight rules. Probably half of the pilots had either a right-left weakness or had absolutely no idea who has to dodge whom.
Even though we spent almost two hours mostly dealing with stubborn / ignorant people, the flight was great. The hill might be small, but makes a lot of fun and rewards with a fantastic view over the Andalusian backcountry.
Hiking up is quite faster than driving up by car. From the landing site you follow a small road in the direction of the mountain and there you’ll find a footpath. No more than 20 minutes and you’re up.
|Group||Sierra de San Pablo – Fuento de las Parras|
|GPS (Launching)||37.005441, -5.547090|
|GPS (Landing)||37.012599, -5.550138|
|Height launching site [amsl]||500|
|Ascent||From the landing site follow west and turn left on a private road towards south. Keep it to the right and hike uphill. Within 20 minutes you reach the plateau and keep following the edge to get to the launching.|
|Launching site||Launching pad for one wing at a time. Pretty low slope which falls off into bushes. Beginner-friendly. Top-landing possibility.|
|Landing site||The landing site is slightly sloping. Depending of the wind the approach could be prolongated. No obstacles and many other landing opportunities though.|
|Wind at landing site||No significant wind in winter.|