After two and a half weeks of flying and almost a week at the Southern tip of Spain awaiting final approval to fly across to Africa, the final leg of the journey took place on Friday Morning 16th September. After some time trying to get the required formal approval to fly to Tangiers it was decided that rather than wait another week, I should make the flight to the less complicated crossing from Tarifa to Ceuta, on the tip of the Moroccan coastline. Ceuta while in Africa, is (like UK Gibraltar) a Spanish city.
A practical solution to a complicated little crossing! In hind sight when i saw about 5 or 6 fancy choppers on the small helipad, I am glad we didn't agree to landing there!!
We finally made it yesterday 11th September to the South tip of Spain! It was a tough last few days with challenging warm weather conditions that meant flying was restricted to the first 4hrs of the morning and grounded after that for the rest of the day in temperatures up to 40 degress.
We are now pitched in a campsite on the very pretty Tarifa beach, waiting for the Weather and the paperwork to allow us to make the final short leg of the journey. We are surrounded by wildly spinning wind farms on one side and beach activities making use of the strong winds on the other!
The distance across to Africa is tantalisingly close, but yet the conditions here are proving challenging with high winds since we arrived. Visibility has been mixed, with views coming and going, but this crossing is a good bit shorter than the last two.
Tarifa beach, famous for its windsurfing and kite surfing, and its windy conditions!!
We plan to fly across to the African side, in Tangiers, Morocco, and meet some of our new friends there before coming back home on the ferry to Tarifa. There is a direct ferry route from Tarifa to Tangiers, with two ferries running almost hourly.
Our weather challenges are not the only problem. We arrived here about a week ahead of schedule, and this has meant that we are here in the middle of the festival of Eid, which lasts at least three or four days!! Everything on the other side is closed and no officials available to sign off our permissions. The Lisbon based Embassy staff have been very helpful, but i think we need to be patient and wait for all to fall into place.
I am very anxious not to jeopardise the hard work a small number of Paramotor pilots in Morocco have done to legalise the sport there after some years of the sport not being permitted. This incidentally was because of a few European pilots misbehaving and upsetting the aviation Authorities.
Everything will come together Inshallah!
I have been very bad at updating progress reports on the website. Facebook is a little more current I am afraid! We have reached a point where we are about 150km below Madrid and only a few days from the Southern tip of Spain and facing the last great challenge of the trip!
We hope to cross to North Africa on Monday or Tuesday, weather permitting.
Progress was held up for a few days with ground crew swap and a little recovery time in Madrid, as well as head winds all morning today.
Much of this afternoon was spent sorting out legalities for the crossing to Morocco. Pilots in Morocco have jumped in to help try to get the legals over the line. Fingers crossed. All looking good at the moment.
Will try to update more!
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