Below are some of the reviews that previous clients have given us. There are more on my Facebook page. Each one contains a link to the page of the person who wrote it.
Steve is by far the most organized guide I have come across yet. Plans have contingencies, and the contingencies have contingencies.
Our first day was greeted with a PowerPoint briefing outlining many of the key considerations when flying in Brazil followed by a pictorial walk through of the 100 km milk run from Governador Valadares to Caratinga.
Keeping with the trend of layers of redundancy, Steve also issues simcards, SPOTs, and has a driver in constant radio contact with the group as they head out along Dean/Robs chosen path for the day.
Speaking of Dean + Rob. Both instructors/guides have a unique take on client instruction. Where many guides/instructors will focus on the barbell clients (the best and the worst of the group, leaving the middle third to their own devices), Dean and Rob will make it a point to explicitly set aside one day of extra attention for each pilot on the tour – ensuring everyone comes away from the trip having grown as a paraglider pilot.
On the off/weather days, Dean seemed to have a presentation readily at hand whether it be XC flying considerations, route planning, or vol biv to help make sure pilots get the most that they can from the trip.
To sum it up my experience with XC Brazil: within a day of returning from XC Brazil’s January tour in 2016, I had a deposit down on 2017.
A recap of my experience flying with one of the guides during the 2017 tour can be found under my blog @ the flyinorange.blog and is titled ‘Cross Country Guidance’.
I’ve done paragliding tours in 4 continents but I keep returning to Brazil to fly with Steve Barton of XCBrazil. When I’m on a paragliding tour I want to push hard to maximize every flyable hour. In Brazil with Steve I can totally relax about the logistics because I know he is as keen as I am for everyone to fly as far as possible. Steve has chased me into some quite remote places and always arrives full of enthusiasm. The flying is generally epic and Steve takes you to places that would be very difficult to fly on your own.I love these trips because they are so much fun and so well organised.
I have always gone on this tour solo, but by the time the tour ends I’ve always made friends and we then always spend a few days flying and exploring Rio. One day I will fly over the Christo statue.
Here’s John’s video, showing some of the flying at Castelo, Alfredo Chaves and then Valadares –
Brazil was brilliant! I needed to hit the ground running upon my return to work – and other things in life – so it’s taken me a while to process the whole experience. It’s only just dawning on me what a brilliant holiday it was.
It was great to meet you! The holiday was great value for money and you pitched it all just right! The hotels, transport, food, places and sights all added to the overall experience and of course I managed to break my own personal bests on a daily basis. 30km is an achievement for me and I’m delighted with all the flying sites.
Just wanted to say thanks for everything – I won’t hesitate to recommend you and Dean – and if you’ll have me back again I hope to notch up the big 100 next time around!
I went to Brazil in March 2012, in what was to be my first thermalling experience. After yet another unsuccessful trip to one of the UK sites, a friend convinced me to invest in an organised trip abroad. As we were driving back to London without even having taken out our wings, rain pouring on the windscreen, he told me stories of the perfect weather and spectacular sites of Brazil, where everyone flies to their heart’s content – a few months later, we were landing in Rio.
I was not disappointed. The sites are every bit as breath-taking as advertised – and you will definitely improve your personal best, no matter what your level of experience: as I was congratulating myself on my first altitude gain, others were beating their best XC distances, logging 50+km. We were a small group and it was reassuring to have a couple of local, experienced pilots keep an eye on each of us. The weather was on our side a lot of the time, and and on the rare days when it wasn’t, Steve came to the rescue: he spared no effort to try and get us the maximum flying time possible, weather it meant loading up the van and moving to a different location (It was Valadares and Pancas for our trip), or waking us up at a different time to make the most out of the day.
Brazilians are the friendliest people, and if you are willing to learn only a few basic portuguese words (most won’t speak english) you will be able to strike up conversations with many of the locals as you are checking out the colourful markets or having a cold drink in the evenings. Part of Steve’s team are locals, and more then willing to help you get around, improve your vocabulary and really immerse yourself in the culture.
All in all, a pretty fantastic two weeks!
Steve is the best organizer with a lot of local site knowledge and a passion for getting the best experiences for his clients. You are guaranteed to have fun with Steve.
Thanks Steve. I’m back at work. Slept like a baby last night but very sad when I woke up NOT in Brazil! Thank you again for such an amazing time – we all had the best holiday ever and you did an amazing job with the organisation of accommodation and flying for the boys. Hopefully we will return one day. . . much love x x x