23rd of May, 2010 – Up, Up and Away, an Unexpected Flight over North Berwick

A rather random occurrence this one, David who shared travel with me to out 3* Open Canoe training had a job to do out at his Microlight flying club on the way home and offered to take me up in a flight over some of East Lothian.

Our route took us from East Lothian and headed north out to the coast, flying over the islands close to North Berwick; Fidra, Craigleith and Bass Rock before coming back over land to fly dramatically over Traprain Law then back to start.

A very memorable trip but scary for someone less than comfortable with heights. Take off was so fast I almost missed it whilst trying to film it, we were up in seconds and climbing rapidly much to my unease, then crossing over fields with shrinking sheep experiencing a fair bit of bumpiness along the way due to the thermals rising from the hot ground. David, talked through the steering and behaviour of the mircrolight depending on what he did with the controls, interesting but unnerving at times for example when he illustrated a stall or on showing me a steep sideways dive … twice!

This familiar coastline which I paddle frequently looked completely different, stunningly colourful and if anything more dramatic than usual and the same could be said of the islands – I’m not used to looking down on the Gannets of Bass Rock from a couple of thousand feet above. Landing comprised of three distinct drops in height with turns between the levels and was maybe the scariest part though actually very smooth in the end – I’m just not used to seeing the ground moving so fast and so close below me. So glad I got to do this but maybe not something I’d be in any hurry to repeat.

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