Gliding above Awesome Scenery

Adventure Issue 202 Sep, 2018
Text by Shreeti Pandey

We woke up during a drizzling rainy morning in a hotel at Lakeside, Pokhara, on a Monday in April. Oh no! Was a dream adventure going to be cancelled due to the uncertain? Pokhara is so unpredictable when it comes to the weather. There was a high chance our paragliding trip would be canceled. So it was around 8:00 a.m. in the morning, and we were in a less than cheerful mood.

Although, they do say when you want something with all your heart and soul, there's no way you cannot achieve it. So, perhaps thanks to our positivity of getting the adventure done on that very day, the rain stopped pouring. We were informed by the hotel staff that a van was going to arrive and drive us to the take-off point, Sarangkot. It is 2.4 kilometers to the north of Lakeside, at an altitude of 1592 meters. By vehicle, it took us around 30 minutes to get there.

On reaching the place, we felt a real sense of relief. This was really going to happen! With the weather still a little gloomy, we had to wait for the sky to get clearer. With a Real juice in our hand from a small tea shop, we killed time talking, taking pictures, and chatting with the pilots. Fortunate for us that the weather started to favor us, and the pilots geared up with the gliders and started to issue instructions.

After a while, I heard "C'mon, it's your turn." Yes, now it was my turn to fly. The pilot asked me to be sure to follow his instructions all the way through the flight. And I was like, why wouldn’t I be an obedient student to have such a wonderful time? I put my helmet on and got into the harness that was attached to the glider. Now, it was the time to make the jump. 1, 2, 3…run and jump…and I was floating through the cool breeze above the serene Fewa Lake of Pokhara.

"You're a lucky girl," said the pilot, while we flew, taking pictures and videos. Wow! That view of Fewa was so amazing from the sky. I could see the greenery around and other gliders flying below and above me. And, when I was gliding, I was not just flying and observing the scenario quietly. The pilot kept our flight so entertained by recording every moment and talks we had.

Now, it's time for acro. And yeah, it was a surprise. The pilot swung the glider this way and that, pulling off some awesome airborne tricks and stunts. His skills were definitely worthy of compliments. After the stunts, we flew for around five minutes longer. I asked the pilot if we could glide a little more, but he had to say no due to the unstable weather conditions. I would have flown for hours if the glider was under my control. That didn’t happenm but I was still happy—my dream of flying had become a reality. We landed on the bank of Fewa Lake and ended our flight with a round of applause and thumbs up pose for the GoPro.

It was 20 minutes of adventure and fun that was completely safe, yet absolutely exciting. I was lucky to fly with a pilot who had over 15 years of experience, and we ended our flights and got into the van, saying our goodbyes and thank you’s to the pilots for such a lovely, once in a lifetime experience.