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THE OZONE CARIBBEAN XC CHALLENGE – Day 3

January 31, 2006

Brilliant. Conditions continued to improve today with more instability and clouds. It was a classic Dominican Sky, with cumulus topping the lengths of the ridges and even scattered about the valleys, which worked well for some of the pilots who flew triangles into to the flatlands of the Valle San Juan. Best of all, temps at cloudbase were so mild that it was possible to fly in just shorts and a light jacket, which is something that many of us from the more northern latitudes can really appreciate in the month of July.

One thing that must be said about the DR is that the people are amazing. We have never seen anyone so happy to have us land in the middle of their crop, or near a herd of their cattle. The reaction is always the same- a huge crowd of screaming happy children and smiling adults. Every landing is a reminder of why we love flying XC in a foreign country: the adventure isn`t over when you land. The pleasant, helpful attitudes of the locals have made retrieves very simple. Even when landing out on a dirt track far from the main road, it is likely that you will catch a ride on a burro to the nearest moto-concho (motorcycle taxi), which will then take you to a GuaGua (mini-bus) which will take you straight back to the hotel, all for a few pesos. Of course the organization has an excellent retrieve system in place with a fleet of army trucks, but many of us have opted for the more adventurous and enjoyable system of getting home using local transportation. It adds to the overall quality of the XC flight!