JJ war mit Philipp Anfang Dezember auf Veronica und hat uns diesen Bericht zugesandt. Wir veröffentlichen ihn gerne. Vielleicht ist es eine Entscheidungshilfe für den einen oder anderen Unentschlossenen.
Our stay at Veronica Lodge
This is a report on our experience in Veronica in the first two weeks of December. Most of you know that Veronica opened this season for the first time its gates for gliding. So Namibia has one more Field in the gliding paradise of Namibia. We (Phillip and I) had no clue what to expect as this was their first year of operation. But we were hopeful.
Veronica Lodge is located on a dune about 2 km from the road. Here one have a beautiful view of it surrounding including the airfield. From the lodge one sees also a water place. This is a good place for spotting all kind of animals. The Lodge exist out of 10 luxury Bungalows and one main Building. It is used in their winter time as a Hunter Lodge. There for you noticed it was not their first time dealing with guest. Everything was well organized. The staff was highly professional and very friendly and helpful. They life up to their Motto “It is all about the experience”. The main building has two bars and a huge assortment of seating arrangements. Which might help to sweeten a none flying day (if you have one). One could also go out with one of the Hunters on a game drive. Actually one just needs to walk 50 meters away from the building to find all kind of animals. We did this drive on the last day and I really enjoyed it after all that flying. I actually planned this for our mandatory rest day, but here we decide to have an enjoyable visit at our friends in Kiripotib. The food is… what can I say to describe this… well it is so good that if you stay long enough you are not allowed to take any water ballast.
Bottom line highly recommendable.
This is actually really new. In a short time frame, they build a Hangar and office. Each plane has it own parking lot. On the parking lot you have your own water, electricity and light (in case you land after sunset). They have two runway 08-24 and 02-20. Runway 08 and 02 are connected at the beginning by a big circle and with the typically morning winds they are the main starting directions. The advantage here is that one starts his engine at the parking lot, after all checks, taxies to the circle, align it up the runway it want to use and takes off. This is a brilliant organization. In the two weeks we were there, there was no need to use 20 or 24, which would mean transport the glider to the other side of the field. Most of the times we could land either 24 or 20, were 20 is used around sunset and were able to roll to our parking lot.
Next to the two runway there is an emergency landing strip in between, which might be useful in case you have an engine problem during take-off.
The typical routine at a flying day is as follows: before 8:00 prepare your glider, with Oxygen , Petrol, batteries, water ballast and cleaning. Peter ensures that Oxygen and Patrol jerry cans are filled before 07:00. In the meantime Bernd is preparing the weather briefing. Breakfast start at 08:00, then the briefing of Bernd with his useful weather analysis and tips for the day is from 8:30 to 09:00. First take off between 10:00 and 11:00. Landing for us, shortly after sunset.
We found good out-landing opportunities in most directions, mostly being airfields, with allows a start with altitudes below 1.000 meters. We hit the most perfect two weeks. Only the first two flight were below the magic 1.000KM. The next nine flight were all above were the smallest was 1091 km. The biggest one was 1397 km and we broke the magical 1500 point in the OLC. In order to do this you need the weather but also the organization should allow to do this.
Therefore we want to thank the complete Veronica crew. Thanks for making this happen Bernd, Peter, Sarne, Denise, Johan, Gysbert and Danene. We really enjoined our stay in Veronica. It was definitely a high-light and many expectations were exceeded.