Arrived in Tocopilla last night by bus from Iquique, I went up half way to Cerro Cruz, slept in front of an abandoned mining whole along a mountain bike track and in the morning I go on. The rain in the Atacama has damaged a lot of that, what humans had built, especially roads and train tracks and on the other side brought a lot of green and blossoms to the desert. The day does not start fast or good and I am very happy, no long distance is on my plan and so I start relaxed and rather late. But also then it is a fight to stay up and finally I change my plan from top land on a higher ridge around Tocopilla into top land on the ridge of Cabo Paquica, from where starting and fly away is usually easier in the first hour of a XCflight. After Tocopilla I spend some time with two smaller sized birds of prey, feathered black and light brown, that want to lure me away from a rock wall, where they probably are having their nest, but they do not attack me. The same kind of bird I met last year in the air in the valley of camarones between Calheta Camarones and Cuya. When I arrive over the ridge of Cabo Paquica it is just early afternoon and I cannot fly to the north, because of probably not being able to overcome the ridge back to the south and so I top land just as planed. A tricky and demanding landing, but it works and I stay the afternoon sleeping wrapped in my glider and when the evening comes I prepare my regular sleeping place.
05. Nov. 2015 - Iquique
Arrived this morning in Iquique I pull pesos from the money machine and go to the super market to buy a first supply for about 2-3 days, consisting of water, smoothies and energy bars. The launch in Alto Hospicio looks completely perfect, but is locked from all sides and cannot be used … - who would understand that ? But there is so much land all around and it is possible to start about everywhere, so I prepare my glider and harness and start. Trying to overfly Punta Gruesa on the fighting track I get a big collapse with cravat, which cannot be pulled out, using the stabilo line. I stall the glider just not to rough and let it shoot, also just not to rough and I have to repeat this procedure three times to have an open wing again and realize, that the distance to ground now is not a lot any more - should have flown further out for additional safety first … But I manage to overfly Punta Gruesa, proceed to the closest allowed corner next to the airport and fly back to lands end, where I turn around also, as I am not in the appropriate mood to fly on into rougher adventure so fast. Having grooved in in Iquique I just do not really know, how to fly on the next days. I fly out to the beaches of the Cavancha and land there. I decide to take a bus to Tocopilla and fly there locally as a permit for a flyby at Iquique airport will not be given on friday and flying around Tocopilla is something, I want to do since a longer time and tomorrow will be the right day for that.