I’ve always heard the word paragliding but up until last Sunday, I really didn’t know what it was. I heard you “run off a mountain” so I thought it was like hang gliding or something.
The day started at 8:30am when the phone rang. Now, we knew ParaWorld was going to call then to let us know if the weather was okay for the day. When the phone rang, I was praying for a rainy day for more sleep. You see, we made the mistake of booking an apartment next to construction, therefore Sunday is the only day to sleep with no screeching, loud noises waking you up at 6am. But as luck would have it, it was a perfect day for paragliding. They were there to pick us up at 9.
The taxi drove us up the mountain, which when you’re in South America, taxi rides up and down narrow, winding, mountainous roads can also be considered a tourist experience! After the taxi ride there’s a beautiful climb to the top of the mountain using a make-shift staircase.
Once you get to the top, you sign in and they’ll call you when it’s your turn. After about 3 minutes of instruction and your guide strapping you to him, the parachute is attached and the wind sweeps you off the mountain into the air. I have no idea where the “running off the mountain” comes into play. You’re at the mercy of the wind. You do what it says.
I was amazed at the skill level of these guys. I’ve been skydiving twice…it’s not that difficult…you jump out of a plane and go down. Pretty easy. But these dudes just floated through the air. Not only that, but they went where they wanted to. I was impressed.
It’s really an eery feeling thinking…hmmmm if the wind wants to take us up, how to we get down? But my guide made it look easy.
The views were absolutely amazing. You just float in the sky, and at times, you’re above some of the clouds. Time kind of stands still up there. It’s hard to describe floating in the sky, knowing it shouldn’t be possible…and wondering if God made us to do these types of things (that question was answered though as I was nauseous for an hour afterwards as my stomach was saying…nope I was not created for that).
When the scenic views are over, then comes the fun, scary, mind-blowing part. Your guide will ask if you like to spin. If you have a week stomach, I would consider saying no. My stomach was already a little achy, but I thought what the hell, the worse that can happen is throwing up everywhere…which almost happened.
When they say spin, they mean go nearly upside down. When we would come up I’d be amazed because I was horizontal with the clouds…interesting. And then we’d head back down and I would notice I was looking down at earth…without looking down…and then I would see the parachute (that was supposed to be above me holding me in the air) between me and the ground.
It was absolutely incredible. A little stomach tossing and painful? Sure. But now I can say I saw the world upside down from thousands of feet in the air.
PS…when they say the price includes pictures, what they mean is they have a camera to lend you. You have to take your own pics and videos…it’s easier then you’d think. We paid $55 US for the entire experience.
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