There are few activities that make it to my bucket-list that don’t get ticked off almost right away but for some reason, though I’d wanted to paraglide for the longest time, I’d not managed to take to the air. Thankfully, that all changed when a friend and I visited Nepal recently!
When we were in Pokhara, flights were offered twice a day and we made the decision to join the 11am departure to increase the likelihood of a slightly longer flight (as the pilots don’t have another set of customers to race back for, being the last flight of the day) and it was a good thing we did – by the time we set off from the Buddha Paragliding office in town, the fog was clearing, making way for a gorgeous afternoon.
After driving for 45 minutes or so, we reached the take-off point. On the way, we drove past another departure spot which cemented our decision to fly with Buddha; we would have been so disappointed to know that we could have flown from almost twice the hight had we gone with another company.
A five minute walk from the road saw perched high on the mountain, preparing for our flight. There we were introduced to our pilots and given a proper briefing. The take-off seems to be equal part luck and skills – if you’re unlucky, a gust of wind makes things more difficult, but if everything comes together, a quick little jog is all you need to soar gracefully away from the mountain-side.
Once you’re up in the air, your pilot will take a few moments to rearrange the harness, making the rest of the ride incredibly comfortable (which hasn’t always been the case when I’ve been under parachute after skydiving), allowing you to sit back, relax and to enjoy the view… and what a view it is!
I can’t speak for everyone, but there wasn’t even a short point in time when I found my paragliding experience to be a scary one. Jeetu, my pilot, was friendly, knowledgable and experienced, making the flight an absolute pleasure. Yes, we were a long way up in the air, but there were never any sudden movements or anything else to cause concern – it was genuinely one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done.
If you’re in Pokhara, we highly recommend checking out Buddha Paragliding for a unique view of this gorgeous country. Dev at Vintage Travels was a fantastic help in booking our para-flights and the team ran a very professional (and safe) operation. In our opinion, Buddha are one of the top choices for paragliding in Nepal!
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