Up before sunrise and off to Coltines Airport to fly with the birds. It is now my 3rd attempt at this and probably my last as I can’t keep flying to France just to be told to turn around and go home again. Not to mention its not the easiest place to get to but so glad it’s finally going ahead.
NOTHING CAN REALLY DESCRIBE THE EXPERIENCE
A bit of a bad start which I’ve got well used to on my travels but there only one microlight which has 2 GoPros, one for photos and one for video. The 90year old lady who has no interest in either had already jumped in it so I wasn’t for asking her to move 🤣 shame as I had emailed asking if I could have both.
WHERE IS COLTINES?
Anyway back to the show. It took a little time to get started as they couldn’t get the hot air balloon in the air, something which didn’t fill the people who would be getting into it with much confidence.
Let me tell you how it works. The birds are all less than 5years old and consider the microlight (glider) as a guardian and follow it until they become independent at around 5 years old, from which they leave and do their own thing. The flight lasts around 40minutes which is more than enough time to really enjoy the experience.
The flight is pretty unique, there is nowhere else that allows you to get within touching distance to birds mid flight. After 40 or so minutes you land with the birds and are welcome to chill out and watch the other flights take place above you.
After the flight I went to Saint Flour for a bit of drone action (last time I get to use it LINK) and then back to the Chateau, a lane I would never tire of driving on! After a nice breakfast and a poolside nap it was back to Lyon airport, this time without needing to stop for a nap!
Arriving into Algiers I met Wassim who owns Algeria Tours 16. To say Wassim has a talent is an understatement. He can speak 7 languages, including Russian and Chinese!! Throughout the trip he would go up to any Chinese people he could find and just chat to them. In Chinese culture it’s a bit unusual but they warm to it and appreciate someone making the effort and to be able to have a conversation with a local in their own language. He is fluent in another 4 languages and is well taught on writing also, completely unheard of.
Anyway he seen how hungry I was and decided to take me to a local BBQ where we had chicken skewers, mutton’s heart, sausage, lamb ribs and of course the local lemonade.
Back on the protein I was sure I couldn’t be happier, that was until his next surprise. He mentioned he was going to take me to the best ice cream shop in town, I jokingly agreed but was skeptical of it living up to the expectations. Coming in I immediately spotted Kinder flavour and if you know me you’ll know its a weak spot of mine. Trying to keep a “cool head” and my expectations low I was all over this ice cream after trying it, it was for sure one of the best I’ve ever had!
After that it was off to the hotel via a few ATMs. Algeria has a money issue created by the government and the black market thrives because of it! My rec (if you know someone in Algeria) is bring Dollars or Euros and use the black market rather than an ATM. Mainly because you get a better rate but also because very few of their ATMs actually serve the cards. I have a visa credit and a MasterCard credit (top tip) and both had trouble!
What an incredible experience and thoroughly worth the hassle of having it cancelled 3 times.
Checked into City Hotel Algieria, Tour of the Casbah town tomorrow. Click to read.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
- Have you done something like this?
- What was your experience like?
- Would you do it again?
Let me know in the comments below . . .