Ticking off on that bucketlist big time! I couldn’t have thought of a nicer place than Sierra Nevada to do my first time paragliding (or parapenting as they call it here). Weather conditions were perfect: 25 degrees, full sun and nice thermal.
In the morning I woke up jumping up and down like a child going on a school trip. Not nervous at all. But as we were driving up the mountains, I was getting a little nervous looking down. This was pretty high up, what had I gotten myself into? Nobody to blame since it was my own idea.. We needed to park the car and walk uphill for another 15 minutes with all the gear. Looking around at this amazing nature just immediately calmed down my nerves. Snow is already on the Sierra Nevada which gives it a special look on a sunny day like this.
As soon as we reached the spot we would jump from (which isn’t actually jumping but running), the guys were already spreading out the chutes. We got hooked up, put on helmets and a GoPro and then got the instructions on how to run.
The next part I’d rather not tell because my take off wasn’t that smooth and I actually was Parasliding 😉 When you start you have to run as fast as you can and you cannot stop until they say to. I found that pretty hard as I had straps around my knees that bothered me during running. But then we also had a tailwind which prevented us from being lifted up. And then… I went flat on my stomach for several meters. That’s when I got a little nervous it might not work.
Luckily my friend could start with good wind and she went up smoothly which gave me my trust back. Second take off was perfect and we caught the high thermal which made us go pretty high up. Really the coolest thing ever. Feeling what the birds must feel. It’s a very calming experience, just the elements of nature (and I ignore the fact that there was a man on my back). Landing was very smooth as well so here I am, wanting to go again tomorrow!
Lying on your back, looking at the dark starry sky, listening to the sound of crickets, the singing of the men at a flamenco show in Alhambra, bats flying around, people walking up the next mountain with torches, good company, laughter, connection. Perfect setting!
Je hebt van die dagen dat het goed is dat iemand je aan je haren je huis uitsleurt.. Vooral als je dan naar iemands huis met zwembad in de bergen gaat waar de temperatuur een heel stuk aangenamer is en je ook nog eens beloond wordt met een prachtige zonsondergang. Charging the batteries 🙂