Wolong Kite Festival 27.4.-30.4.2015
This year, Volker visited the Wulong Kitefestival in China.
Arrived at Chongqing Airport, Volker was picked up by the organizers. As his luggage arrived only with the next plane, and more kite fliers arrived a bit later, it was time for lunch first.
When the other kitefliers arrived (Andreas Angren, Peter Lynn, Graham Lockwood, Baew and Ron Spaulding, Steeve De Rooy, Edo Borghetti, Helmut Georgi und Eugen Palmers ...), we were transferred to Wulong.
The Hotel was nice, but a bit chilly. The next day was the first kiteday. We arrived at an open plateau at 2000m altitude. For the first hour, the wind was good and the sun made the place look very inviting. Around 10000 spectators arrived… to see the kites disappearing in the clouds/ fog in the afternoon. But the spectators were still happy, as it was a long weekend which they used to get out of the cities into the nature.
It stayed cloudy for the 2 nd day, but we became used to that.
On the 3 rd day, there was the prize giving ceremony. Volker got the trophy for the “largest kite” (as his SFT flew a bit lower that Peter Lynns kites, which disappeared in the clouds in the moment of judgment).
In the evening, the kitefliers visited the show “Impressions of Wulong”. Situated in a karst crater, there was a huge stage for over 100 actors, seats for 2700 spectators and a big light show. Opposite to the grandstand, behind the stage, the cliffs rose some 200m. The cliff was used to project many different light effects, accompanying the main show. The topic of the show was the change of the time in the area, how the young people do not continue family traditions, leaving for the cities. About the local food, about above all the HotPot. And for sure, a big part of the show were the trackers: The men who pulled ships upstream through the gorges of Furong River. They did that for centuries, until their menpower were replaced by combustion engines. The job itself was soo hard and also dangerous, that few of the trackers could celebrate their 30st birthday.
On the last day of Volkers trip (the other kitefliers continued to Xian, Beijing, Weifang…), the group visited the Furong caves. The Furong Caves are huge caves with many well illuminated stalactites. It was a very nice view, although the caves seemed to be smaller than the Diamond Caves of Satun. The illumination gave the underground trip a memorable display.
Close to the entrance of the cave was a 700m long zipline across the Furong river. For sure, Volker, Edo, Helmut, Baew and Steeve zipped across. This was definitely an unforgettable adventure, to “fly” on 2 finger-sized steel cables in an altitude of 150?-200?m across a river.
To describe the trip in one phrase: A bit different that other kitefestivals, but for sure sth. to be glad not having it missed.