Valle de Bravo Trip Report
Denny Pistoll sent us some photos and a report on his recent trip to Valle de Bravo, Mexico.Valle de Bravo, January 10 -18, 2009
A small group of us from Lookout made our second annual January trek to Valle de Bravo. Valle (pronounced vi-yay) is a picturesque little village that sits in a mountain valley approximately 100 southwest of Mexico City. Our host, who brilliantly handled all of our equipment and logistical needs, was Jeff Hunt of Fly Mexico. The group consisted of Gordon & Eileen, Zack, Jack & Kim, Bjorn & Cindy, Roger, Denny & Nydia, and Ross Wisdom from New York.
Left to right: Gordon and Eileen on launch, dinner with the group
Our comfortable accommodations were either in Jeff’s club house, which seconded as a convenient gathering place, or in a nearby pension. Cabs were plentiful but virtually everything was accessible by foot; it’s that kind of a town.
Left to right: Valle de Bravo, loading the van
Valle de Bravo is bursting with what I would characterize as old-world charm coupled nicely with modern amenities. It’s charm stems primarily from the fact that it is a Mexican resort and it’s definitely not an American wannabe. Bracketed by two churches, the village has a lakeside setting, cobblestone streets and a busy, well shaded plaza surrounded by vendors of every stripe. Grazing the markets and panaderias for the local food was an unalloyed highlight and in our forays about we found a little taco joint that made THE best tacos… EVER!!!! But all was not foraging as Valle boasts a number of informal but elegant eateries, so there was lots of variety and most certainly something for every taste.
Left to right: Zack off launch, Jack starting out
Despite it’s southern latitude, Valle’s 5000′ MSL elevation provides a wonderful year-round springtime climate – cool in mornings and evenings but warm during the day – offering up consistently ideal flying conditions.
One day our group split; some flew while others took the opportunity to visit the butterfly preserve. This is the destination of the monarch butterflies who fly from North America to mate and spend a season before returning. Unfortunately, the males don’t make the traveling team as they die shortly after mating. Memo to self: DO NOT attempt this at home!!! The preserve was a worthwhile outing and a fascinating visit.
Left to right: Roger joining a vulture in a thermal, Roger beaming after his two hour flight
Left to right: Monarch butterflies clustered on the trees, Kim on a perfect launch
Although everyone had good flights, the duration and altitude gain honors go hands-down to Zack, Roger, and Gordon who constantly showed us the way. Not everything went without a hitch, however. There was a bent down tube or two, and some approaches that would not make the album of one’s greatest moments in aviation.
Bjorn in flight
Left to right: Bjorn and Cindy, Nydia and Eileen
Valle de Bravo is a wonderful winter flying venue for anyone looking for an opportunity to expand their horizons and experience the warmth of a friendly culture. We all agreed that it is indeed the stuff of tradition and a place we’d love to return.Denny
A second group of Lookout pilots head to Valle in February.