After two weekends of mostly eating and drinking it was good to get outside and do something. The new paragliding gear had been sat ready and waiting for weeks now. It has just been too windy or wet or I have had other commitments. Marcus and I scoured the internet looking at weather forecasts and flying site information. We wanted somewhere that would work in the forecast NW wind, but also handle swings to the N or W. Merthyr Common ticked the box. It also looked pretty forgiving for beginners, with mellow ridge, loads of emergency landing areas and a big flat top area.
The drive up is not car friendly. The clearance on the van was essential. A 4×4 would be recommended. We checked out the site, and got kitted up. We messed about a bit to get used to the new wings and harnesses, before I decided to go for it. The nerves on the ground disappeared as soon as I was in the sky. Minutes later and Marcus was also up in the sky and we were cruising along the ridge.
We saw a load of low cloud coming our way so landed quickly and packed up the wings. We hid in the van for a bit as the rain shower passed by. They do say weather in the mountains changes fast. As soon as the shower passed it was back to sunshine. We took off again and had a much longer flight. It was amazing to be flying again for the first time since learning in Algodonales.
December in the Welsh valleys is a far cry from August in the south of Spain. Shorts and T-shirts replaced with down jackets and thermals. After a while my hands started to feel the cold. I landed, bunched up my wing, and ran to grab the camera.
On Sunday we headed back up to Merthyr Common. As soon as we got there it started raining. We killed some time walking the dog etc. We waited for a few weather systems to pass and once it had cleared up we got kitted up again. The wind was just too high for us. We made the decision to play it safe and try another day. Marcus took some shots.