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20180321

The first cuban pg magazine is finally available here - Primera edicion de la revista cubana de parapente

Ya terminamos el primer número de la Revista Cubana de Vuelo Libre. Se llama “La Papuja”

Hoy mismo comenzaremos a distribuirla.

Forma parte de la Imagen de vuelo libre en Cuba.

Esperamos que nos ayuden a divulgarla.

Roberto Urribarres, Sergio Rodríguez, David Calás, Sandra Urribarres etc.

Saludos cordiales

Chris Arnu











































20180124

Best of paraglidiing Cuba

Los exitos de 2016-2017 en parapente

Beste Flüge des Vorjahres mit dem Gleitschirm auf Kuba




20180116

National Paragliding Championship of Cuba 2018 in Guisa



The Cuban Federation of Free Flight announces the national cuban Paragliding Championship. It will take place in Guisa (Granma) from 24. – 31. March 2018. The flight area is known as one of the best zones for free flight in the country. Most locals are well known for their more than average flying abilities. The area is located in the hottest province of Cuba, where thermal activity is quite strong. This might be the reason that the biggest distances in Cross Country regarding XC on Cuba had been achieved in that very same region. Latest competitions proof that the PG Club of Guisa was able to list several of its pilots amongst the 10 best of the country in the rankings. Some of them occupying the winners' podium over the years.

If you plan to visit Cuba for the first time as a pilot, this is a very good opportunity, since it will allow you to reach several goals simultaneously:

flying with the best pilots in Cuba

make new friends

learn to know a new flight area

work yourself into culture and history of the city of Bayamo

The city got many interesting options during daytime in case it is not possible to fly because of nasty weather conditions. Foreign guests are warmly welcome. An international pilot needs to comply to the regulations in order to participate in the championship, wether it be a competitor or guest. It is necessary to have an up-to- date license, of category P-3 or above equivalent level. Complete equipment for flying purposes including the standard addon for safety purposes. The detailed regulation of the local competition will be made public during the initial briefing. Or if you want, I can send it by e-mail to consult the committee to give an advance preview in Spanish language.

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Flight area

With an overall altitude of just a little more than 70 meters, the takeoff Corralillo can be reached taking a little walk from the highway, takeoff-area is ample, with a nice inclination and enough room to unfold two wings at the same time. There are a multitude of landing possibilities in front of the take-off, from which it is easy to ascent to the take-off area one more time. The take-off has a northeast orientation. The predominant passat wind is getting in from that direction, hitting the hills stretching out for 2km. Cloud tops reaching between 1500 and 2000 meters' height thermal activity might usually range between the +4 and +6 m/s lift, although one can get stronger lift at times.

3

Clearance for competition will be granted to use an air space of 45km by 18km. 23 waypoints will be located at the leeward side of the take-off and 6 windward. Sleeves are developed mostly to leeward, with zigzag turn points and certain turns for further complexity. Projected we could end up with a simple task of 25km, up to the most complex with about the 50km. Of course task setting depends on weather conditions. Task validation will be done by GPS track analysis calculation using FAI rules.

The coordinates of the take off are: Corralillo Take-off: D01_CORRALILLO 20.243577ºN 76.508792ºW

In the following ones you can see some details of the area. YouTube holds several video clips that can be found there.

How to arrive?

It is mandatory to inscribe in the city of Bayamo March 24th. In case you arrive the 25th you are still granted the possibility to inscribe, that day the federation has set for general consults and it won't be a competition day for flying. Of course those willing to fly can go and you will be able to fly as you like. The premiation and prize giving will take place in 31st at 5:00 pm. Take those dates as reference to organize your trip and take full advantage of your stay in Cuba.

The first thing is to get a flight to Cuba, you can find several options in internet. At this time, according to internet using www.skyscanner.com the flights from Madrid to Havana are starting from the €564, alone to have a reference, from Berlin €575, with scales, and from Bogotá starting from the 450 USD. It is advisable to reserve their flight in advance, and to communicate it to the organizers so that they keep him in mind and they can support him with additional information in dependence of the Cuban airport that selects.

Bayamo is in the east of Cuba, at some 800 km of the capital. To go until there from the Havana, you have several options. It can be in bus, using the line Viazul, only authorized officially to move tourism, the price from the Havana until Bayamo is of 44 USD if the on-line pay, already can be pay it with CUC (convertible Pesos), one of the two official currencies that circulate in Cuba, below will explain this important detail. For more details, to see the web www.viazul.com Another option is by plane, it will owe to check and to reserve your flight in advance through the web www.cubana.cu because the city of Bayamo doesn`t have daily flights from the Havana. The nearest airports are Holguín, Santiago de Cuba and Manzanillo. You can also travel in adapted trucks that they cover routes from the Havana to almost all the east counties that are more economic, but not very sure. Doesn`t seek advice the train, for the complex thing of getting ticket, and for their notable low level of punctuality and security. You can also rent a car, that which is not cheap, and enough complex of achieving given the discharge demands. Several places exist in internet that can help him in it, one of them it can be www.havanautos.es

Lodging once in Bayamo, there are several lodging options. In the web www.trivago.com can be many options, as the state hotels Islazul Royalton and Islazul Sierra Maestra, which are characterized by the non-correspondence of the price with the quality of the service. I have been put up in the Sierra Maestra several times and I can say that it is not worthwhile. The best lodging options can be in the private sector, in the inns, where the service is better, and the most affordable prices. There are many options in the web es.airbnb.com starting from the 18 USD, one can reserve on-line. They can also be negotiated already being in Bayamo, we can put him in contact with the different inns of the city.

Feeding

The city of Bayamo has many gastronomic options. Nevertheless, the inscription will give him the option of having breakfast, to have a snack and to have dinner with the rest of the national pilots. The quality won`t be the best, but you can save in that sense. If it didn`t end up him to satisfy, it can come to an agreement with the owners of the inns and to agree the price, some give breakfast free. There are several state restaurants of quality in the city, with very economic prices. There are also several private restaurants that, although they are more expensive than the state, same the prices are affordable and of better quality. The inscription for the foreign pilots, either as competitors or guests, will be of 60 CUC, this will guarantee the transportation services and participation in the acts of Inauguration and it closes, as well as, the delivery of maps.

To go to the flight area, the flight area is to single 20 minutes of the city of Bayamo in auto. The is many options of private and state transport in that route, in which the traffic is very flowing. Although the organization of the championship will guarantee the transportation toward and from the flight area, prioritizing the inscribed competitors, the go will be to the 8:30 am and the return to the 6:00 pm. In front of general hospital of the city of Bayamo, there is a bus stop, for you can aboard all the means of transport that they go until Guise, the price can vary between the 5 and 10 CUP (national pesos). There will always be chauffeurs that will offer him to take him by way of taxi and they will want to charge him in CUC. It is not necessary, the transport is flowed and if they consent, it is possible that they pay surcharge, that which the original price would be equal to several times. To avoid this, it is good that always walks with at least a local pilot that guides him. It will be attentive to the orientations of the organizers, because in dependence of the climate, it is possible that a different take off is used. It is important not to arrive late to the Briefing.

Double currency in Cuba they circulate two currencies officially, these they have differences of rates of change to each other. It is in convertible weight, or CUC, and the national currency, or CUP. A convertible weight (CUC) it is equal to 25 pesos national currency (CUP). Although in most of the establishments you can pay himself in CUP, there are still some, mainly those guided to the tourism, in those that pays in CUC. It is normal that in an establishment finds products with both printed prices in the label. For it is important that you knows in what currency you charges a service and their equivalent one, so that you doesn`t pay of more neither be swindled. A clear example is that the particular cars from Bayamo until Guisa cost 5 pesos national currency (CUP). If for mistake or ignorance pays 5 convertible pesos (CUC), you will have paid the price multiplied by 25, unnecessarily.

Language

If your language is not Spanish and you doesn`t have domain of this, you will have some difficulties in the street if you walk alone, it is not common to find somebody that English dominates, much less other languages like German, for example. Nevertheless, it is not necessary to worry, in the place that you landed, you will find peoples to help you in what is necessary. The standards of security in Cuba are high, it is not necessary to worry too much, although neither it is necessary to tempt the luck and to walk for dark and lonely places.

4

20170817

Flying in Cuba with my paraglider

I have been in Cuba from the 28th  of January until 12. Of February. The tour was in Germany organized by a German Pilot who is married with a Cuban lady. He is always collecting donation as gifts to the Cuba pilots, one time he had 25 wings with him. This year, he was not able to go with us, so, we had only 2 wings, 3 seats, some shoes and one second chance to give. Everything in Cuba was managed by Chris our german friend. We were 5 pilots, my wife Bärbel and a girlfriend of another pilot. We rented a 23seat bus with driver, it was much too big, but its cargo department did not take all our language, we had to put some inside. 

The program: We had to book the flight to Holguin by ourselves. The bus were waiting for us at the airport and we drove to Santiago de Cuba arriving in the evening. Next day, ground handling competition for Cuban pilots in the middle of the town, place de revolution. They had to run a specific distance with the wing above and the time was measured. Was not so easy, the surrounding buildings caused a lot of turbulence. In the afternoon and the two next days competition flights from the mountain range at the edge of the town, take off to the south. Cuba has normally the north-east-Passat wind. Santiago is on the lee side of it and normally during day time you have a south wind from the sea. These 3 days, it did not work and so we had a lot of time for sightseeing. Thereafter we drove via Gatanamo to Baracoa. In Guatanamo was a sightseeing point where we were able to see the US part of Guatanamo. It was far away and we saw only the buildings and the airport, but they had also some picture of it too. There is one picture I will never forget. There was a cage made by iron construction bars, a little bit smaller than a man is toll. In in was a prisoner, his head and face covered by black fabrics. 

The location was so, that the whole day, they were in the sun shine. The sun is really bright in Cuba, you may imagine, what that means to the man. Baracoa is a nice town, we stayed there 2 nights with sightseeing. Thereafter drive to a national park in the mountains, 500 meter high with 2 nights. Here we visited the second's high waterfall of Cuba and had a whole pig grilled for lunch. We went further via Biran where Fidel Castro was born to Holguin for 2 nights. Here we tried once more to fly with some other Cuban pilots. They were really funny guys. To reach the take off site, we had to walk a longer distance and finally climb up a steep hill. A man with a machete was in front cutting sometimes branches and even threes. The wind was once more not from the right direction and very strong. One Cuban pilot took off, but no one else wanted to do the same, so we walked down again. Our wifes visited in this time a famous beach seating in one of this old American car from 1950 to 1960 which you found a lot in Cuba. Next to Bayamo, where we stayed 3 nights. We tried to fly on a site 1 hour away, you have to walk 1,5 km and then climb up 90 meter, but the wind was too strong. Next day they tried it again, wind was too weak, just gliding down. Next going to Pilon for 2 nights. The flight site is on a Met-station. 

When we arrived there, it was raining. We waited, the rain stopped and we went to the take off site, walking down 60 meters, easy. Ernesto tooke off at first, had good lift, finally he flew nearly one hour. The next pilot crashed into a tree, we need some time to got his wing free. He, I and Richard took off, but the lift was not so good any more. We flew ca. 20 minutes. Landing field was bigger than big. When our wings were packed, some drizzle started. A farmer allowed us to put our wing and ourself under his his roof. It was our luck, because it was raining cats and dogs. The street was a river. Without these shelters, we were unable to move our wings, the rucksack would be heavier than 60kg. The farmer told us, it was not raining the last 4 month. Next day was relaxing day on a nice beach. This was the end of our journey, in the morning, we drove via Bayamo back to Holguin for the flight to Germany.

The currency: In Cuba are two currencies, the peso and the peso convertible called Cuc. 25 pesos are one Cuc. The Cuc is similar to the $. Mostly you are able to pay with Cuc, but there are some accommodation were you need pesos and also in some shops. Peso shops are cheap, one coffee 1,3 cent, one cigar 4 cent.

About the prices:

The flight from Frankfurt to Holguin was between 700 und 1400 Euro depending the booking time. Accommodation: We were mostly in private houses. Cuban people are allowed to rent up to 3 rooms. We were often nearby, but not in one house. A room up to two people is 25 cuc plus breakfast 3 to 5 cuc per person. Beer 0,35l, 1 cuc if state organized otherwise 1,5 cook. Dinner 10-20 coc, it is big, I couldn`t eat all. 20 cuc is for really big lobster tail. All of us had more or less problems with Montezuma's rage in English jet spray. I had a special and another one coal pills. We needed it, but it was not bad. 

Flying sites: Most of same, it is walking to reach. The take off site is nothing for forward take offs. One of our pilot was not able to do so, he did not fly the whole trip. Landing sites mostly wide and ok. If you do backwards take off, no problems . 

Flying in Cuba is an adventure. The military is restricting a lot. There are flying sites were you are only allowed to fly 5km away from the site , max is 20km. Therefore, 
Cuba is nothing for cross country flights. They are dreaming of their first 100km flight. 

Santiago nice soaring mauntain 250 meters, landing field big, take off near the street.

Holguin 130 meters, long walking, landing everywhere possible, pick up nearby.
Bayamo several sites about 100 meters, moderate walking.

Pilon, nice site, ca 200 meters, for take off walking down 400 meters, easy, landing direct beside the street.

About the people: Cuba is a loud country. In Santiago, second biggest town of Cuba, starting 4 o clock the cock is crowing. At 6, merchants with their trolleys, the wheels are normal ball bearings, whistling and shouting what they are able to sell. You may see a chicken, stringed to a nail at the green part of the pedestrian path. The radios are always playing music , the life is on the streets. Every town has a lot of music shows, were you are also able to dance. On some days during evening a street is closed for music and dancing. 

Language: It is difficult if you do not speak Spanish. Only few people speak English. 

Management: It is not easy to manage in Cuba everything by yourself. For example, accommodation is not so easy. But: when you arrive somewhere, one will join you and will manage your next accommodation, how you will come there and so one. He does not get money for this, because on another town, someone will do the same for him. Without this help, your are lost. 

Buses:. There are 3 ways, with a taxi, is expensive. Next is a public bus. They are only going short distances, and are overcrowded. For us only practicable are special buses like gray hound.

According to the pilots, best time for flying is March, beginning of April.

Conclusion: For flying, we were unlucky with the weather, I did only fly for 20 minutes, but never less Bärbel and I were glad do did it. It is another world. It was more syightseeing then flying. 

I put some pictures in my drop box, I hope you are able to get in.

I have also some videos in youtube : Flying site Holguin:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cvws6LBs5kc
Flying in Pilon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps9IpyvOTh8 

20150204

Malaguitas in Kuba - David Tejeiro López Playas del Este





Gleitschirmfliegen aus einer anderen Perspektive in Kuba:
Motorschirm Acro fliegen am Strand von Havanna

Encuentro Amistoso 2015 paraglider friendship meeting Cuba

Paragliding over Santiago de Cuba Sierra de Boniato



The traditional event reoccurs each two years. The next event will be held in the first quarter 2017


Das diesjährige Encuentro amistoso läutete die 6te Runde ein. Gewinner beim internationalen Freundschaftstreffen und Gleitschirmwettbewerbs auf Kuba war eine Dame und zwar Diana vom Club Holguin.

Das nächste Treffen mit Freunden aus ganz Kuba und aller Welt findet Anfang 2017 statt.