A World cup in Andradas, Brasil

Andradas is a relatively small town of 50 000 people living bellow mountains. It has high altitude of 800 meters above sea, so the temperature in the end of Summer is still acceptable for most of the day. The town contains some nice areas with churches or parks, and many ugly areas with parking places. There are many shops with cosmetics and optics.

I attend here a Paragliding World Cup competition. These feasts depend heavily on weather and we were lucky to fly every day, which is rare. The daily tasks were between 90 and 105 km, very long for such a short days. So I do not have time to explore the city, because our schedule is busy. Get up at 7, breakfast, hygiene, pack all competition stuff, 8:45 get a bus to take off, 10:00 at take off prepare everything from backpack, attend a briefing, take off, fly for 2-5 hours, wait for retrieve 0,5 to 5 hours, be back in hotel in 17-21, charge all electronics and dry sweated clothes, flight analysis, wine and dinner, and sleep. Few times I am able to get some energy for short exercise in the fitness room.

I landed in a pasture with dozen of these “cows”. Fortunately on the other side and they noticed me when I was on other side of the fence. Yes…these fences are common here, and everywhere.
I am hitchhiking but only horses and motorcycles goes in my way. Organizer fucked up my retrieve!

This is my first (with flying) PWC and I quickly I realized I have not a proper equipment. In very simple description, a Reynold’s number in glide formula says: “bigger flies better, and heavier flies faster.”. I am light and small, and Formula 2 glider between Formula 1. As result I am 2-3 km/h slower, and also arrive lower after each transition. My hopes for a first half disappear almost instantly, so I just enjoyed flying and risked (landing before a goal) more than usual. But what a great flying!

Often a couple, sometimes a dozen of vultures, were flying with us to increase the great feelings of the flight itself. After few landings in middle of nowhere, there were parrots or other colorful and often singing birds. And what a beautiful trees, I know just Mango tree by the name but so beautiful. There is often no phone signal, or no data so I could focus in environment very much.

You can check videos from competition here:

We stayed in a hotel Dela Inn. The hotel is modern and has kind staff, good location very close to a bus station. Unfortunately we are unlucky to not working things, especially air condition and wifi, and another 5-6 less important if I would be a pedant. A combination with hot nights, barking dogs and a busy day schedule, I am soon extremely tired. After change of room it is finally better but it took five days to change be possible so only last nights I have a good sleep.

On a third day we arrived little sooner so I tried to purchase data sim card. Lady who sold it to me spent around 20 minutes to activate it. The process seem extremely complicated, and impossible if you do not speak Portuguese. Somehow with her and my friend’s help I get data working.

I decide to prolong my stay for one day to check the city and have some proper rest. The town itself did not impress me. People are generally nice and try to speak to you, if you say you do not understand they repeat their question slowly, in Portuguese again :-). The google translator app is great but without data it works only for writing. Shops are closed on Sunday I realized late, fortunately I have a good amount of rations in a fridge.

I check where to go next. There were several options but in two days should be a very nice flying weather so I decide to move just a little north to Pocos de Caldas, bigger city with a lift to a paragliding take off. Being a lonely traveller again is a huge change compared to crowded world cup.

In the last evening wifi was finally working on my laptop so I watch few movies on Netflix. Many “trendy” movies sucks and I stop them after few minutes. So I play 12 monkeys and go to sleep.

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