The other day, somebody asked me what the high point of our trip had been to date. Well, one of the high points (boom boom!) was paragliding in Pokhara over Phewa Lake from Sarangkot at 1590m down to the lake level at 790m. You’re strapped to a paragliding “pilot” whose comedic response to the question “how many times have you done paragliding?” is “this is my first time”. Ummm.
To take off, you lean forward and then start running down the hill and then at some point you are no longer running on anything as you are already in the air: once you finally realise this and stop looking stupid running in the air, you sit back and relax while you float around and let the thermal currents take you where they will. The steering is all done by the pilot.
The views of the mountains, lake and city were all pretty spectacular but paragliding might not be for the faint hearted or for those who don’t like heights it has to be said. Nearer landing, the pilot gives you the option of doing some “excitement” i.e. being spun around a lot more (which did make my stomach a little queasy). Shortly after this, we landed near the lake (fortunately not in the lake which had been one of my concerns going into this). However, contrary to what I had expected, the landing was incredibly soft and essentially you just land walking. All good fun. It’s a popular pass-time here and often the sky is filled with brightly coloured paragliding sails which adds to some of the picturesque views of the city.