Paragliding in Pokhara

December 2016, I traveled half way across the globe to reach the land of snow and Sherpas. Trekking up the mountains of Himalayas was my main objective. However, Nepal has so much to offer and I simply couldn’t resist the calling of the extremes and rack up a dose of adrenaline.

The 7 hours bus ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara was already an adventure itself. We were approaching the city of Pokhara when I got a first glance of para-gliders up in the air. I was surely amazed. I can’t wait to bend the throttle and soar up high like a bird in the sky.

After settling down in North Star Guesthouse, I ask Nawaraj if I can paraglide that same day. Sadly, it’s too late in the afternoon (3:30 pm) and the wind was no longer friendly. Disappointment to the core since my quest to Mardi Himal Base Camp will start the next day. He lift up my spirit when he said that it would only take 3-4 hours trek from Kande to Deurali. To make it short and sweet, I could paraglide in the morning and start our venture up the mountains later in the afternoon.

Excitement kicked in and getting almost 50% discount to fly a paraglider was just way too much. Happiness at its finest. Why not?      

To reach the paragliding point, we have to drive all the way to Sarangkot from Pokhara Lakeside Rd. The 25 minutes nerve-racking bumpy ride on a long and winding road going up the hill was truly insane. We avoided numerous near collisions along the way and I’d be honest, my heart skips a beat at times. Our driver got drifting skills (Nepal version of fast and furious) and I’m glad that we’ve reached Sarangkot in one piece. Haha!

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Waiting for my turn to fly. Early birds are up first.

We were briefed for a bit and our pilot told us the dos and don’ts in paragliding. The tricky part of this adventure was not in the air, it’s the take off. Listening to your pilot is a must if you don’t want to end up with broken bones. This was the first time that I took orders from someone who told me when to walk and when to run. Sounds crazy, right? Well, as if I had any other option. I came here for adrenaline explosion. So, let’s rock and roll!

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Ready to take off.
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Freedom! Honestly, I was glad that we took off safely.

I had heart-stirring moment the whole 30 minutes in the sky. Felt like a bird while getting high with the majestic views up in the air.

This was the moment when I realized how lucky the birds were. They are the most fortunate creatures on this planet. They have all the privileges to see the 360 degree view of the world in a daily basis and they get it for free. Wow!

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Mesmerized with the scenery below.

The panoramic view of Annapurna range in Himalayas was splendid up here. The serene Phewa Tal Lake below was stunning. Massive green trees was all over alongside the impressive farm lands and rice terraces. Not to mention the 360 degree picturesque view of Pokhara city. The incredible scenery will certainly blow your mind.

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My best coach made this adventure a remarkable one. The client on the other paraglider 30 meters away from us was unbelievable. She’s screaming non-stop as if she’s going to die. We keep our distance from them so we could enjoy the fly. Trust me, it was really annoying when you’re trying to connect with the wind and embrace the beauty of nature then all you hear was a roaring scream. Please forgive me but seriously?

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That moment when someone can’t stop screaming on the paraglider next to you.
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When we finally manage to keep our distance from the unbelievably loud non-stop scream.

We manage to fly on the other side and I was pleased that we did. We finally had peace and our ears were thankful. 10 minutes before landing, we did a heart-pounding acrobatic moves in the air. This was the best part and thank goodness the wind was gracious.

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Landing zone in sight.

If only I could stop the time, I would love to paraglide a little longer. Genuine freedom was all yours up there and you don’t want that to end. However, we can’t fly all day and we had to start our tough journey up the Himalaya Mountains in the next 2 hours.

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Heading to the landing zone.

We landed gracefully alongside Phewa Tal Lake and I was cheerless that it needs to end. If I would tell my paragliding adventure in a shorter way, I would say; “Taking-off was risky and terrifying, flying in the air was outstanding, and landing was heartbreaking.”

Though it ends too soon, I would cherish those moments in a lifetime and would definitely do it again if given the chance.

 

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