I have always loved flying, and I envy birds’ freedom to fly anywhere and be able to see the world pass by from above. So, during one of my bi-yearly visits to Nepal, I jotted down paragliding as one of my ‘must-do’ activities. My dad’s reaction wasn’t what I had expected – he was worried, and, being a dad, he was being protective. But I reassured him and my excitement was at fever pitch on the day of the paraglide.
I chose to paraglide in Pokhara because the location offers the majestic backdrop of Mount Annapurna as you float through the air, and positive recommendations of the area from friends helped cement my decision.
Getting up extremely early didn’t bother me on the day as I was so full of excitement and was up at the crack of dawn to arrive with plenty of time at the Sunrise Paragliding office, based in Lakeside, Pokhara. A jeep filled with the previous batch of paragliders soon arrived and suddenly it was our turn to take the trip up to the launch zone at Sarangkot.
Naturally I was extremely nervous to try paragliding for the first time. I was guilty of thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong! I kept thinking to myself, “What if there is a malfunction of equipment when I jump and I get tangled up in the trees below the hills? That wouldn’t be a pretty sight!” I shrugged off my pessimistic thoughts as soon as I saw the charming faces of the handsome paragliding pilots as they entered the reception area. I was then reassured by the friendly lady at the reception desk and the tall, dark Russian, with whom I was going to be paragliding. During our half-hour jeep trip to Sarangkot, I was further reassured by the whole team as all had experience paragliding for God knows how many years and quite a few of them had been paraglider pilots for well over a decade!
Once I arrived on top of the Sarangkot, I got strapped in by the instructors, ready to go. With the video camera all set, we jumped off. Within minutes, we were flying up in the sky along with a few curious but friendly eagles. Looking down, I could begin to see the stunning surrounding below. 15 minutes into the air and I felt a strange feeling and I could feel the motion sickness kicking in as we spiralled down, getting ready to land.
“No, no! Don’t do this, I said to myself. Don’t feel sick, don’t throw up, don’t throw up!” I kept repeating these words in my head, not so much fun, but aside from feeling bit sick, the view and being up in the air flying with eagles was definitely worth the experience. My paragliding pilot helped distract me from my thoughts of illness with his selfie camera. He took lots of photos and filmed the whole experience, which was wonderful.
If I had my way, I would have stayed in the air for hours and hours. Being able to get a bird’s-eye view of the mesmerizing countryside of Pokhara, the snow capped Mount Annapurna, and the calm sparkling blue water of Fewa lake, was one of life’s little luxuries. This is something you don’t get to experience often, and it will stay with me forever.
Lakeside, Pokhara’s famous tourist destination looked amazing, sparkling blue, nestled between beautiful green mountains. The half-hour experience floating through the air was soon over and we headed to the ground, safely landing near the beautiful Phewa lake and few steps away from the Waterfront Resort Pokhara. Nepal is a beautiful country with friendly people and a rich culture. I couldn’t recommend the experience of exploring it from the air more.
Luxury Hotel to Stay: Waterfront Resort Pokhara
The stunning Waterfront Resort Pokhara is situated to the northern shore of the Phewa lake, just a 10-min ride from the airport. I give a thumbs up to this resort! Stunning views, friendly staff, great food and a stone’s throw away from Phewa lake.
Dress up for the occasion: warm windproof jacket, warm and comfortable boots (certainly recommend not to go with boots with heels).
Clothes: windproof super-dry jacket, uggs boots and jeans jeggings from Top-shop.
*Motion sickness alert, so make sure you take a motion sickness tablet before setting off.