Additional notes for Dune de Pyla
I thought it might be helpful if I gave you a few more notes on what to expect.
Maybe the best way to show you what to expect is with this…
Now, on to more practical matters…
The temperatures at the Dune can be quite variable although generally days are warm and nights are cooler. I tend to live in shorts and t-shirts but need a light jacket or sweater in the evenings. I wear flip flops nearly all the time except on the Dune where I go barefoot. Over the years we’ve only had the occasional mosquito.
When you go out on the Dune it’s usually pretty hot and both the sea and the sand reflect a lot of UV so you need to be careful to protect yourself. You’ll need a cap or hat and sunglasses (I’m really not kidding, if you don’t have sunglasses you will damage your eyes). If you need sunglasses you can get perfectly serviceable ones from Boots but go for dark ones and make sure they don’t allow too much light in around the sides. It’s a good idea to have a thin long sleeve shirt in case you start to burn. In terms of footwear, I always go barefoot on the Dune and so do my instructors. There is a little glass but none of us have ever cut our feet however the choice is yours. If you do want to be safe, the best thing to wear is open, strap on sandals. Trainers just fill with sand and as they do, they get tighter and tighter so you need to keep emptying them.
You will need sun block. If you never burn, you will still need it. If you do burn, it will really spoil your week. I am a huge fan of the “once a day” sun block. The one I’ve been using is called P20 and while it’s not cheap, I haven’t burned in years.
Don’t forget swimming things and the camp does not provide any towels (this includes tea towels) although the camp shop sells them for 8 or 9 euros. If you don’t have a travel towel already you might want to consider getting one; they are very light and work brilliantly. Something like this would be a good choice, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Microfibre-Travel-Towel-Lightweight-Guarantee/dp/B01DE3GQ2A/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1490802481&sr=8-4&keywords=microfibre+towel
As I mentioned previously, I do have school helmets to lend and they have been fairly thoroughly used. If you’d like to buy your own, see the Pyla equipment page for some great deals, http://www.flightculture.co.uk/dune-de-pyla/dune-de-pyla-shopping-list/ and let me know asap! Everything on offer (helmets, harnesses and gliders) are at discounted price and if you wish, I’ll happily transport out to the Dune for you.
The camp site doesn’t provide sheets (this is standard) however they will sell you paper sheets which are pretty awful for 12 EUR. You can bring sheets with you (or a sleeping bag) or I will bring you out a set of cotton sheets for which I’ll charge 15 EUR (it’s what the local laundry charge to service wash them for me). If you want me to bring you sheets, I need to know in advance.
If you’re a tea drinker, bring tea bags with you. Personally, I prefer coffee but I’ve seen the effect of the local Lipton tea bags on hardened tea drinkers; they tend to be rather unimpressed!
If we have a non-flyable period, we’ll cover theory or other paragliding related subjects but if we get to the stage where we just want a change, we have a swimming pool on site, we swim in the sea, there’s a huge freshwater lake that’s not too far away, there is surfing, a local market that’s worth a visit, we can get bicycles from the camp site and there’s a great cycle trail, there’s volley ball and petanque. This is only a small sample of local entertainment.
The dune is a stunning place but sand can easily damage cameras so if you bring one with you, it’s worth having a ziploc plastic bag to protect it.
If you have a fixed placement mobile home, they have a kitchen with stove, microwave, coffee maker, as well as a selection of pots, pans and everything else you will need. Be aware, they don’t have ovens and the local shop sells frozen pizza which just doesn’t work in a frying pan!
I always use the same caravan, number 203 and when you arrive at the camp site and check in you’ll be given a map (alternatively, just ask for Flight Culture or me by name). There is a skull and crossbones flag in front.
So, just to round this up, before we leave you need to:
If you have any problems or questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!