Saturday, 26 January 2013


Our apartment in Matagorda, was situated just 500 yards from the airport's perimeter fence.  Ordinarily, this would seem like a disadvantage, but it all added to the 'excitement' of the holiday.  We spent quite a time standing, watching planes land a take off, both from the raised ground close to the end of the runway and from the footpath which runs the whole length of the airport, between the sea and the runway.  Standing on the path at the end of the runway was particularly exciting as planes roared in over head to land just the other side of the fence.  Particularly when the plane happened to belong to Ryanair, who always seem to come in at high speed and higher volume.  Standing here when the planes took off was dramatic too and on one occasion, the 'whoosh' of air from the jets almost knocked us off our feet.  All rather thrilling.
The viewing area was popular with plane-spotters, both casually like us and more 'professional' who turned up in cars and vans and took notes of planes and numbers.  It was easy to overlook the Great Grey Shrikes and Trumpeter Finches in the surrounding sand and gravel when faced with much larger flying objects.
On the Friday, we were treated to a much more exciting arrival.  Two F-18 jet fighters of the Spanish Air Force turned up with a great blast of jet-noise.  Later that evening, they took off again with an even bigger roar which vibrated the windows of our apartment.  Although it's been many years since I went to a air-show, my love of these noisy and frighteningly powerful machines remains undiminished.
Fortunately for the aid of sleep, the airport closes between 11pm and 7am so we had plenty of quiet nights.  No need for alarm clocks though.  The departure of the first Ryaniar flight of the day was sure to wake us up in time for coffee!
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