Comments Off on Paragliding rampage
We had previously wanted to Paraglide the day before, but with the weather not being in our favour we had to wait a day longer. We woke early in the morning and made our way to a little town called Wollongong about 2 hours south of Sydney. With some of the best coastline we had seen since we arrived in Australia. We arrived at the train station to be greeted by our guide for the day Antony. The weather being temperamental we quickly made our way to the cliff to the beach where we would spend the next hour or so.
Arriving at the cliff overlooking the beach Jesper and I looked at each both smiling ear to ear, it was a beautiful backdrop to go soaring through the air. There was barely time to even sign the waiver saying they were not liable for anything that happened, but we felt in safe company as Antony had been doing this for over 25 years and he still had all his limbs.
Before I knew it Jesper was hooked into the harness with Antony and they began running over the side off the cliff, the wind lifting the parachute up allowing Antony to skilfully guide the paraglide through the sky. The wind was coming in at a perfect angle and Jesper was soaring for over 20 minutes, gracefully going up down the coastline taking in the beautiful scenery. And slowly descending until landing safely on the ground. Antony’s son quickly drove the car down to the beach so they could load the car up with the paraglide and make there way back to the top.
Now it was my turn to enjoy being up in the air where we could see the pelicans gracefully gliding along the face of the cliff. There was a slight difference between when Jesper and I did it, as the birds were gliding when he was paragliding they had now start to use there wings and were beating there wings to get height. It was a sign that although perfect conditions moments before, that it was definitely not so anymore and time was against me. We quickly went over what was expected of me, how I should just stand up when I was in the harness and to make sure I kept running until I was told otherwise by Antony. I was given a helmet to wear and soon clipped into the harness, before I knew it I was strapped with Antony onto the paraglide and it was time for me to soar with the birds.
Unfortunately the wind was not with me and I could not spend as long in the air as Jesper had, but for me it was not all about the length of time I spent in the air. It is another world up there when you paraglide, as you are not limited to where you can go. There is a sense of freedom when you paraglide and as you look at the world down below you, you get a completely different sense of what it is about. This is creates a stark contrast from when Jesper and I were looking out over the ocean from the land, Paragliding truly opens up a completely different perspective. So for me it was all about the sense of freedom felt no matter how long or short it was, I felt like I was in another world as I soared through the skies.
Sadly with the wind not being favourable my paraglide was short lived and I quickly landed on the beach, making sure to get out of the seated position and resume the running position I used on takeoff. This made sure we didn’t land with a sudden thud and it was a more smooth transition from being airborne. Antony skilfully navigated the paraglide to the ground landing safely and coming to a complete stop.
Packing up all the equipment we made our way to the car that had previously picked Jesper up. Even though the overall experience of paragliding was short it left a big impression on both of us. We felt a sense of freedom that truly cannot be worded unless someone feels the thrill that we felt off the cost of Wollongong. Looking back on our experience as we drove back to the train station, Jesper and I reminisced about our time soaring through the skies, thinking about how truly free we felt. And we were definitely envious of Antony who does this for a living. But sadly our day trip out of Sydney had come to an end. And anyone strapped for idea to do on a day off should definitely make there way down to Wollongong and experience the thrill of paragliding, I know Jesper and I are glad we did!