Flights in Huancavelica


grafik_inca grafik_inca Huancavelica from Quechua: huanca = rock, willqa = holy, but wanka is at the same time the name of an ethnic Quechua group so etymology is not clear-cut. Historically Huancavelica is an old colonial mining town. Since the days of the Sendero Luminoso, there seem to be a lot of prejudices in all of Peru against this part of the country, I rarely heard non-local Peruvians talk nicely about the area here. It was founded by the Spanish colonists as a mining camp to gain mercury, which is indispensable for the treatment of the raw ores of gold mines. Nowadays the mines still operate and the town leaves a rather idyllic impression with its many colonial churches and nice squares. By a pretty orange coloured train we went up the Río Mantaro and down the Río Ichu again. When arrived, I found not only that the inhabitants are extremely friendly, but also, that the rocky hill Potoqchi, the closest elevation to Huancavelica, is an exceptionally well suited flying spot. Easy accessible and nice thermals.

Launch at 4200 m between ten and eleven o'clock in the soft Ichu grass, direction south towards the city, thermal flights, large landing strip in the local stadium at 3700 m. Towards the east the valley of the Río Ichu is open, so cross flights down the valley may be possible.



The roofs of Huancavelica with the Potoqchi in the background


Launch helpers at the Potoqchi. 10:30, the thermals are obviously already sufficient. The ascent lasts 1 1/2 hours, flying only until about noon, in the afternoon the wind comes from the north bringing a strong downward flow.


Flight above the city, the Ichu valley


From the diary:
"there's already music playing in the stadium and sillions of children in sport dresses with their parents and coaches run around: It's the large local sport celebration. And while I still ponder over the brevity of life, of the history of human mankind and especially of my flight (I wasted some promising thermals playing around with my camera), I am at once surrounded by a large crowd, very different from the lonely Cordillera Blanca landings. People tell me, it is the first time that someone flies his paraglider here. Then I am handed around like a teddy bear in order to join fotographs with various people, pretty teenagers throw kisses to me and want autographs, thousands of hands, from smallest to wrinkled want to be shaken, some officer in uniform and sun glasses, salutes with a military greeting and asks for my personal data "to capture this historical moment!" he says! Finally the usual awkward folding of my sail, awkward because of the many small hands and feet in between, stowing it away in the backpack and farewell. Little later a violent thunderstorm with hail and snow lets forget that only two hours earlier somebody has been hanging up there in the sky. The following days other longer, calmer flights take place in this magnificent area."


The cathedral.


----------------------------------------------- With a paraglider above the Inca roads -----------------------------------------------