Our Bulgarian tour is based at Sopot and Vrasta in the Bulgarian central Balkans
Sopot sits at the southern base of the steep Troyan Balkan Mountains and has a comfortable chair lift to the main southern launch, 850m above town. The flying consists of alpine launches with hundreds of kms of ridges to the east and west, whilst directly south are wide open flatlands that work equally well
We also expect to spend some time at Shumen, remarkably similar to Manilla in NSW. Shumen has been the home to several 200km+ flights usually to the east and north
The tours run around July and August. The dates vary depending on the European competition dates as we try to align the tour to coincide with the comps. Good to have a more extended circuit with the tour linking in with the comps
The tour dates are published here in our calendar under “Tours”
How do we set up our GPS
Your GPS should be set to a coordinate system of degrees.degrees (d.ddddd)
If you want to keep an useful tracklog you should be taking tracklog points every second, depending on the storage capacity of your GPS unit
What radio do we need?
In Europe they use FM 2M, often not legally
We will discuss and make a decision as a group well before we go
What do we do for accommodation
We have organised some accommodation at a guest house overlooking Sopot, a short walk from the chair lift
There is a mixture of rooms with multiple singles and some double beds, The rooms are all serviced, have air conditioning and most have ensuite bathrooms. There are laundry facilities, shared areas and a good sun deck. They provide a good breakfast each day
We will need to discuss as a group how we use the rooms, some may prefer their own rooms, some may want to share a room with an adjustment in cost
We will work this thru before we go
How to get to Sopot
Sopot is 2 hours drive from Sofia
Arrange a flight into Sofia and we will pick you up from the airport
Do I need a satellite tracker like SPOT
SPOTs are a powerful resource
- They reassure your family
- They reassure you
- They make my life easier knowing I can find you
We are often flying in areas outside of good cell phone coverage. A SPOT with tracking activated and used could save your life
They are not mandatory for the clinics, if we are in the flatlands I strongly recommend one
We have a couple spare we can rent by prior arrangement
How can I get a good price on an air ticket?
What is involved in the skills development?
An important part of the event is individual and group goal orientated skills development.
We work with each pilot to identify areas of opportunity to develop and improve individual skills. We discuss and agree strategies to work towards measurably improving those skills. We jointly identify achievable goals that over time demonstrate how well those strategies are working.
Some of these opportunities are discussed and developed before the event via an internet based remote skills development process.
All of these opportunities, strategies and goals are documented and become part of a skills improvement package that you take away with you to continue to use and develop your flying.
How does the retrieve system work?
- All pilots need a clear inflight radio communications system (we can work with you to help you get this properly sorted out), a GPS and a cell phone.
- We all fly from the same site each day, as you fly you routinely radio to the retrieve driver your GPS position based on bearing, height and distance from launch . If they have not heard from you frequently enough they will ask you for updates. We can find you based on this information alone
- A SPOT or Delorme satellite GPS tracking system is mandatory. This unit will transmit your coordinates via satellite (does not need cell phone coverage) to our driver. We can also track you whilst you are flying. We can rent you one if you give us notice
- When you land you use your tracker to send your GPS coordinates to the retrieve driver
- You will need to land or walk to a vehicle accessible road, we will not haul you out of dense bush. Remember a good looking track may have locked gates so be smart and focus on landing beside paved (sealed)roads.
- The retrieve driver has a vehicle based GPS that will accept your coordinates and guide the driver to you, they also have maps of the area
How do I book?
For Australian pilots
Send a Aus $750 deposit to Sascha at Travel Scene quoting reference T15696
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK
ACCOUNT NAME – AISHA NOMINEES
BSB – 083945, ACCOUNT – 536354691
For overseas pilots
Use our enquiries page to contact us
This deposit is 100% refundable until the course is confirmed 90 days before the tour starts
Once the course is confirmed the deposit is non refundable, the balance is required 45 days before the tour starts
Please don’t book flights until you have a confirmation from us that the tour is running. We will be depending on a minimum of 3 guests before we confirm
What skill level is recommended for this tour
Sopot and Shumen are inland thermalling sites
There are some days when we do not fly, there are many days where we can fly all day
I would classify Sopot as beginner friendly under supervision, it’s chair lift and 850m vertical make it attractive for all skill levels
Cost of living?
Fuel is expensive, trains and buses are popular
Food is inexpensive and good
The people are remarkably friendly
Who is organising the tour?
If you cannot see a date that suits you or there is an event scheduled and you are not sure if you are suitable for it then don’t be shy, contact us to talk it thru
Chelan, US Tour
Contact us direct for full details
USA - Owens Valley, N Cal
To book please check the dates of your event then contact us via the Enquiries page.
Be sure to let us know the dates you are interested in
We will then follow up with you to be sure we have you on the right event
If you have any questions call on +61 (0)417 530972 or skype to brianmwebb
Payments can be made by bank transfer or PayPal
Bendigo Bank: BSB 633 000
Account name: XCkms
Account number: 122842537
Regret this bears a 2% addition to cover administration costs
Please pay to webbie@XCkms.com
Why clinic with XCkms
- Expert guides with demonstrable experience
- Extensive local knowledge of sites and meteorology
- Tandem instruction where appropriate
- Comfortable 4WD vehicles with GPS, tablet, SMS and SPOT facilities
- Dedicated retrieve drivers
- Briefing facilities including whiteboard, big screen video replay, tracklog projection and WiFi
The tours have a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 pilots.
The 14 day tour cost is $1,600. Use the enquiries page to request more details
Where we can go
View Sopot in a larger map