Top Gun (More like Naked Gun)

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Landmark Hotel

Flag of Nepal  , Gandakī Zone,
Thursday, January 6, 2011

The jeep arrived at 9.30, rather than 10.30 as we'd been told to pick us up for our tandem paraglides which made it a bit rushed, but at least we didn’t have time to back out! Bumping back up the mountain to Sarangot, I once again realised just how steep yesterday’s ride was. The only side effects seemed to be sore arms from hanging on to the breaks for the treacherous downhills though, so maybe we haven’t entirely lost our fitness after 3 weeks out of the saddle.

It was fairly relaxed at the top. Lack of wind meant that the instructor said we had to wait half an hour for the thermals to get better, but it was lovely and warm, the view was fantastic as always and we sat and watched the enormous hawks circling overhead. When it was time to go, the head instructor told the 5 of us to chose an instructor to fly with each. Mikey sensibly went straight for the English speaking competent looking Russian, trying to be polite I ended up with a Korean guy whose English was appauling. The first thing he said was "If you don’t run when I say and stop before I say stop there will be big accident!"  I had no time to change my mind after he put the gear on me as I was first up. I just had time to look at Mikey and start to feel a bit sick with nerves before he said “run!” and I ran as fast as I could and didn’t stop even when I could feel my legs were off the ground.

                I loved the first 5 minutes of the flight as I sat in the seat and could see the tiny farms and animals below. After that however we started swinging round in circles and the wing above kept flapping and feeling (to me) like it was going to collapse and I was going to plunge 2000m to certain death. It was at this point that my partners lack of English became a real problem as all he kept saying was” very difficult flying conditions.” He didn’t understand what I meant by “ yes, but we’re safe and this is normal?” which wasn’t comforting and he also then said “maybe you sick? I have plastic bag, many people sick in air.” I did start to feel sick then, but wanted him to keep both hands used for flying so didn’t ask for the bag.

                I think, looking back he might have been flying round in circles so we could stay high and I could see Mikey in the air. Unfortunately Mikey’s guy did a false start and he didn’t take off for ages after us. When we saw them and waved the instructor said unfortunately it was time for us to land. No problem for me, I’d been desperate to do so for all but 5 minutes of the half hour! He then got out a camera on a stick and spent ages videoing and making me look in different directions for shots. I was too busy scanning the air in case he crashed into someone else while he wasn’t paying attention.

Landing was relatively straight forward after that and I managed to land on my feet, not bottom as we’d seen lots do. Annoyingly we didn’t land in the spot which the company had originally said so Mum and Dad didn’t see us. They did have the cute little boys packing away the gear though, and the one that came to get ours had his tiny brother tagging along desperate to help, but causing all sorts of problems.  Mikey landed safely too, doing some swinging acrobatics on the way down that I had said I definitely didn’t want to do! He said he had been a bit scared, but mostly really enjoyed it.

                Reaching Mum and Dad at the other landing spot, we settled in for a relaxing afternoon of watching other people paraglide while we ate toasted sandwiches and drank banana lassis or white wine – much more fun.  I’m glad we tried it once, but I’m not up for it again, unless maybe Dan gets a tandem. Watching everyone land we somehow all managed to miss Dan and just heard him talking to someone ages afterwards – oops.

                The afternoon was spent packing up the bikes again, hopefully for the last time until Singapore, helping Dan buy his girlfriend presents and then going out for a final meal at the Everest Steak House. Really glad we saved it for last as the steaks were absolutely amazing . Even Mikey who wasn’t feeling well tucked in and ordered a glass of red wine when he saw his scrumptious meal. Luckily Dan was back on full eating form as he ordered the Chateaubriand special platter which was an incredible feast with several sauces and every garnish imaginable, he and Dad managed to demolish all left overs as well. I recommend the pepper steak with a fried egg to anyone who goes there.

A great end to what has been a fantastic family holiday.

Thanks for coming Mum, Dad and Dannel, we’ll miss you xxxxx

PS. Sorry you all got ill and about the train journey!!! I think it was worth it.
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