This article was published in +977 (a Nepalese Lifestyle Magazine in Australia) in March 2013 issue.
We have all heard about Paradise but we have never seen it. Today I am happy to announce that I have been there and it is called Pokhara, 200 km away from Kathmandu, capital of Nepal.
Pokhara is heaven for domestic and international tourists with its luscious green hills, snow-capped mountains and beautiful lakes. These days Pokhara is also famous for its various adventures like paragliding, gliding, ultra-light flight and zip fly.
I have been waiting to sky dive for ages so I thought paragliding would be a great step towards it. So when I went to Nepal this year, I went to Pokhara where I saw the paradise from a bird’s eye view with the magnificent mountains up close.
We booked the paragliding through the hotel. So the company picked us up at the hotel. Initially, it was only me and my husband who were planning to glide but my mother in law also joined us for the flight once we asked her. They took us to their office first where we filled out forms and signed a no liability statement. From there we were off to Sarankot, which was around 30 minutes’ drive from the office.
The drive was a bit bumpy at times but the driver was giving us lots of information about the paragliding. He told us that even an 80 year old man had done the paragliding from their company. Once the jeep stopped, we had to walk a few minutes to reach the top of the hill where I saw many gliders were already taking off from the mountain and floating away. We were each assigned a pilot and I got Vlad from Serbia. He has been flying for over 10 years all over the world and seemed well trained. He buckled me up with the gears and a few instructions on how to take off. With a little bit of fear and a whole lot of excitement, I was ready for my flight.
After checking all the equipment and wind flow we ran together to take off. I was quite surprised how easy that take off was as we glided off the cliff and I naturally fell back onto the seat and began drifting peacefully. It was great to realise that I was in the air flying. I was already high up on the sky when I saw my husband and mother in law taking off from the hill. Once in the sky, I could see lots of colourful gliders filling the blue sky on the sunny winter day. I could see eagles circling below us as well.
The pilot informed me that we were cruising above 8000 feet in the air and I could see the magnificent view of the Himalayas, hills with pockets of green forests, beautiful lakes and Pokhara city.
As we climbed higher, the view of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Manasulu were so close and breathtaking. We cruised for almost 20 minutes while the pilot pointed out a few places. Also it was fun trying to find my husband and mother in law among many gliders as we could hardly recognise any face from so far away. As the flight was smooth, I asked the pilot if I can take my own camera from my pocket. He said it would be fine so I took my camera out and took a video and photos of our flight.
After a while the pilot asked if I was ok to do some acrobatics in the air. I was scared but I said yes so he let me hold his camera as he prepared for some spinning and spiralling. I put my own camera back in my pocket and we did some acrobatics over the lake swinging back and forth and dropping in the air. It was such an adrenalin rush and I would have liked him to keep going but it was almost time for us to descend and land next to Fewa Lake.
He asked me to put my foot up and not try to touch the ground when we landed so I did as I was told and I was safely on the ground. My husband and mother in law had already landed and we all were very happy with the experience.
Once they packed the equipment, we were back in the jeep on the way to their office where we waited for our photos and video. They also gave us certificates for the flight!
It was an incredible experience and is totally worth a try
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