Thursday, September 5, 2013

Anticipation at Sapenay - 25 Aug

French Aloha!
The day was filled with anticipation. Sylvain reserved a 4-place, fixed-wing aircraft. He was going to fly with Scrappy in the right seat after providing a tandem and refusing payment. The back seats went to Yolie and Don. (On a previous day, Sylvain flew with Serena in a two-place aircraft.) But the most anticipation went to Mad Dog, who  was due to receive his new Peak 3. Following these big doses of happiness, Sylvain/Aurelia/Alexia were receiving nine monkeys at their beautiful country home for lunch. Oh, and if it was flyable, we would try out the Sapaney launch, a short drive down the road from where we were visiting. And to heighten the anticipation, we had the most interesting drive to our hosts' home along winding roads the proportions of driveways, up through the beautiful French countryside.

After a warm welcome, a delicious lunch and a tour of a Sylvain's very cool "hangar/garage", filled with all sorts of very cool toys and tools, we set off to the trademark blue tarp launch at Sapaney. Conditions were good. Mad Dog was off first, wasting no time to try out his new wing. Next was Don, me, Scrappy & Tommy. Laura's cousin Elizabeth even got in on the action by flying tandem with Sylvain after a slot opened up. Thanks, Sylvain! After boating around the ridge and exploring the more reliable thermals (over the PG & HG launches), we ended with the long glide to the established LZ. Mad Dog made a very memorable first landing on his Peak 3, throwing all his pride to the wind to make us all laugh. It was a selfless act, accomplished solely for the amusement of his fellow monkeys. Scrappy, you need to post that video!

Afterward, we all piled into Sylvain's Range Rover, stacking all the wings on his safari roof rack and made the top-heavy, short drive to the northern end of Lac du Bourget where we found a great little restaurant called "O Lac!". It was on the water, adjacent to the harbor and in the shadow of the local castle. The owners are friends of our hosts and the meal was amazingly good! Thank you for the French aloha!

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