Day 9 – Thermalling & XC Course

DAY 9 : The weather forecasted for the day was not good. The previous day too we had medium level alto stratus layer of clouds, not very thick but good enough to shut the sun from producing thermals. We were flying and it was marvellous phenomenon how we would all lose altitude when the sun was in shade and how we would all rise when the sun ahone clear on the mountain slopes. In one of my circling turns in a thermal, I saw the rainbow colour halo forming around the sun. It was evident what to expect and we got up to an overcast sky.
While Imran, Jitu n myself chose to stay aground the rest of the gang, with their insatiable desire for flying decised to give it a go even if the Thermalling conditions were not very promising.
It’s always beautiful to fly even if its not a very long flight, to play in light n soft thermals, to float around in your air chair, taking in the views of the stunning Kangra valley, terraced fields that look exotic from the sky, little hamlets interspersed in the valley and the quite a few big monasteries that give a veey tranquil feel to the whole scenario.
Its a visual treat that changes your heart and mind forever.
Confident after their SIV, our pilots come over the landing field and enjoy playing with their newly acquired skills of doing some Wingovers. It was some really impressive Wingovers from Sajid and also Alok who gets a tad bit impatient n carried away.
We then walked the town around
surveying all that came to our vision. There was a special ceremony at the Monastery where the monks wwre dressed in some 18th Century royal costumes and masks. They formed a huge circle in the centre of the monastery square and would move in circles while doing some very alow synchronized dance movements qhile chanting some mantras in very low bass tones in Tibetan. It qas very trancy kind of a performance. Ww enjoyed some Tibetan food in the market and aome of us visited the Deer Park which ia a centre for learning in Ancient Hindu & Buddhist Wisdom. Masters & learned teachers from around the world have retreats, programmes, workshops and sessions organised here. Its a peacwful place and His Holiness Dalai Lama’s Interpreter was briefing and instructing a his group on Mindfulness Meditation. We listened to his teachings while paragliders constantly flew past in the skies over our heads.

The food at Blue Umbrella, run by our very dear friends, Gurpreet & Jyoti, is pretty delicious and post dinner they organise a bonfire around which we sit, warm our bones, laugh and talk the flying talk.
You meet other residents, pilots from different parys of the world, with only one thing in common, their love for flying.

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