Steve Barton has been flying paragliders for 17 years. He learnt in the UK with Brad Nicholas, of Snowdon Gliders, and has flown in many, fantastic locations around the world – France, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Lanzarote, Morocco, Australia, South Africa and of course Brazil.
Steve worked in two BHPA schools in the UK as a trainee instructor; firstly with Northern Paragliding and later with Jocky Sanderson.
In February 2004, Steve notched up his first flight of over 50 km in Governador Valadares. He immediately fell in love with Brazil and the joy of flying cross-country.
Two years later, Steve moved to Brazil with his wife, Jaqueline. They’ve lived in Valadares since then and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
In 2009 Steve started running XC Brazil Paragliding. The idea from the outset was to provide a different service to those already running trips to Brazil. Valadares is a fabulous site but Brazil has so much more to offer. By visiting several different sites during each tour he was able to show pilots some variety. At the same time, he wanted to take the stress out of XC flying and landing in remote locations by providing a complete service. It was a great success and he’s been running similar tours every year since then.
‘I’ve flown in some amazing locations around the world but so far I haven’t found anything to beat Brazil. It’s not just the flying; it’s the whole atmosphere of the place. I love the challenge of flying cross-country, particularly in the mountains, but I don’t miss those big walk-ups we had in the UK. Brazil has so much variety and the scenery is difficult to beat, anywhere in the world.’