Holy crap we did it, Lee and I went on a paraglide!!! and I will try to describe how absolutely amazing and insane the entire episode was. We had signed up for a paraglide last week but due to weather conditions the dudes decided that it was not ideal so no go. But on Monday as we were checking out of our hostel and moving to another, we asked if the trip was possible that day as there was no wind. We lucked out and the instructor said he could do it and whether we would be ready in a couple of hours.
No. I was not ready but hell yes we were going to do it. You know the feeling when you´ve been psyching yourself up for something but when you didn´t know it was coming, it can send your stomach turning at the thought. But it was something I really wanted to do and it was a tandem flight so the instructor flies with you.
Lets skip a few hours into the future to this picture... I was standing on a cliff edge, on a mountain top 1400 metres above sea level, wearing a helmet, a flying suit that was attached to a massive bag/parachute and questioning my sanity while my instructor Ernesto hooked me up to a massive paragliding wing (the chute). I had just watched Lee take off on his glide with another instructor and it was pretty alarming yet exciting.
So Ernesto then told me that once he was ready with the wing, he wanted me to run hard off the cliff. EH? Jump off a cliff? Right. I couldn´t get my head around having to just run off the cliff, what if the wing didn´t take to the wind? That and many other questions flew past my mind including questions like, do I have a Last Will and testament?
Anyway, suddenly he shouted GO! and I tried to run but I couldn´t and it wasn´t fear, it was the fact that the wing had taken perfectly to the wind and when it does it pulls like a bull in the other direction so I had to fight and pull towards the cliff, and then suddenly it let go and took flight and I then I ran screaming into the wind. And we took off! And I screamed for another 2 minutes. Ernesto said he had never heard anyone laugh happily and scream fearfully at the same time.
It was absolutely breathtaking, and even more so such a great feeling to know that I had the courage (madness) to jump off the cliff and trust in everything. We glided above shimmering lakes, mountain tops and little towns for about 40 minutes and it was unlike anything I have experienced. If you have a chance to do it, DO IT.
Click on the video below that Lee took of me coming into land, I got a little confused about whether to do a running landing or a jump landing after Ernesto told me to decide closer to the time as it depended on the wind. In the end, I ran, jumped and fell flat on my face with Ernesto landing on top of me. Turn up the volume so you can hear me screaming.