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Sunday, 21 April 2013

Paragliding

As you know not a lot has been happening with me of late as each day rolls into the next. The only thing that tells me that it's weekend is that Lea does not have her alarm going off at some ungodly hour.

Yesterday was action packed. I hopped around on my crutches and made myself useful. I did some washing but taking it out to the clothes line required a slow methodical process of a few steps and a drag of the basket...got there in the end. After doing a post which accidentally didn't publish until 12 hours later and a few comments I tackled some weeds in the garden which proved equally as challenging. Late afternoon I prepared spaghetti bolognaise for everyone else as I had a boys' night out. Before you jump to conclusions I had Lea's blessing, in fact she almost kicked me out the door, should I be worried? It was an Indian dinner which was really tasty! Since these days are particularly quiet I will recount a recentish exciting experience.

You might not take me as the paragliding type, nor did I but I can now say I've done it, the paragliding that is! It happened like this in December, 2011.


During my many years of visiting Queenstown I had watched with envy and admiration the brave souls paragliding off the top of the gondola in Queenstown, in the bottom central of the South Island of New Zealand.

When we arrived in Queenstown we checked into our backpackers' accomodation that was situated near where the paragliders land. Once again I watched them come down finding excuses not to do it. Money was always my number 1 excuse but it was a disguise for the real reason being too timid. One late afternoon I decided I should have a go.

We checked out at the Tourist Information about cost and availability. The man said Now Was Good. I took a deep breath, put my hand in my pocket and got out the $230 for the jump with photos and video.

From there I had an apprehensive gondola ride to the top of the hill above Queenstown and was weighed at the desk and my weight was put on my hand. I suppose for the pilot that is useful information.


I waited for 45 minutes for the next available pilot. Gavin escorted me to the grassy slope that we would soon be jumping off. He gave me some important take off instructions. The proceedure was walk, power walk and run.



After a few minutes of hooking up and going through safety checks we threw ourselves off the cliff. 
Strap yourselves in for a thrilling ride into Queenstown.


















Without any doubt it is the most amazing thrilling experience I have ever had. The relief of successfully getting off the cliff and the floating effortlessly in the air is something that will stay with me forever. On safely arriving on firm ground I felt a great sense of achievement. It is definitely something I would love to do again.

12 comments:

  1. I could never have the courage to do that.

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  2. WOW, Paul, you are SO brave. No way would anyone get me on one of those. Great pictures... but who was taking them? LOL I need to know these things....

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  3. Never in a million years...but if I had wings?
    Jane x

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  4. Wow, how brave you are. The jumping off the cliff would be the hardest part for me, the ride would be exhilarating and wonderful to say the least. What fantastic photos.

    Have a great week.

    FlowerLady

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  5. Wow Paul! I enjoyed your ride vicariously ~ and my heart is thumping and my palms are sweating. I'm scared of heights, and I'm not sure I could do it! My greatest relief would have been landing safely. I'm glad to hear that you're moving about. I don't miss the days of hanging clothes on a line, but I do miss the fragrance of those freshly dried clothes. Have a good one!

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  6. Well, I wouldn't do it, I am very much a feet-on-the-ground kind of gal! Still, I loved your photos and loved how much YOU enjoyed it!
    Oh, and the 64 stamped on your hand scared me for a second and then I realized that you must measure your weight in a different scale other than pounds! (In England, they use "stones" and I could never understand that either!)

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  7. Hi Paul, thanks for your lovely comment on my post. :))
    I have no thrilling things to report. I would love to do what you did or to parachute out of a plane. I can imagine how thrilling that would be - but I have a huge fear of heights. I am definately going to go up the Empire State Building when we visit NY in October, so I'll have to get over that fear. I'm sure I'll manage it though.

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  8. Only a man would so happily display his weight in a blog post....

    This sounds like an amazing experience. When I was younger I dreamed of trying hang-gliding but never worked up the courage. (Now I'm far too cowardly. The last time I rode a roller-coaster I found myself thinking "What am I DOING here? I could get KILLED!")

    Congratulations on not screaming your way through the flight ... you look pretty calm. :)

    The laundry-hanging sounds like a very good exercise in patience and determination - well done on seeing it through. It's a little picture of your recovery, really - a few steps, then a pause, then a few more steps - you will get there in the end. Hang in there. (Ha! Paragliding pun.)

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  9. Good for you, that is something that both Kevin and I would love to do. We did jump out of a perfectly good airplane about 26 years ago and loved that.

    Ruth
    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  10. Hi Paul,
    Wow, those pictures are amazing - great memories! Hope that you are mending daily and keep smiling!
    All the best,
    Ivan

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  11. WOW!! If not for my severer fear of heights I would totally do this :)

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