Paragliding in Pokhara: Actually going through with it

One of the things that I absolutely wanted to do in Pokhara is paragliding. Floating over Fewa lake, with the Himalayas in the background, Fishtail watching, the city ahead of me; this activity was one of the first on my to do list.

In order to get it done, I booked my descent with Fishtail adventures. Fishtail is a local travel agency in Pokhara, like many others. Its manager, Rami, is a decent guy and helped me out greatly during my stay around lakeside. Rami arranged a 30 minute descent with Annapurna Paragliding for around 65$, excluding photographs. The photographs came in at 15$, so the whole thing was at 80$. Annapurna Paragliding’s pilots are all from eastern Europe. The ones I met were Radik, Sergei and Dimitar. Radik and Sergei are Russian and  Dimitar is Bulgarian.

On the morning of the descent, we made our way to Annapurna Paragliding’s offices in Lakeside, a few minutes walk away from Fishtail adventures. At that point I wondered if I could’ve gone straight to them and cut the middle man, but the prices Rami gave us were totally legitimate.

After filling out some information for the insurance at Annapurna Paragliding’s office, an old Mahindra 4×4 pulled over in front of the place, carrying the three Soviet pilots, each with his cigarette. They were driven by an old Nepali veteran who wore aviator glasses. The whole scene was extremely cool.

I got in and we made our way up the mountain to Sarangkot on a path that doesn’t quite qualify as a road, but the Mahindra 4×4 was relentless. As the pilots spoke Russian and the old 4×4 heroically devoured the path, I really felt like a Red Army soldier on his way to some front.

We made it to Sarangkot and the view from there was terrific. Around a few hundred meters ahead, a couple of dozen Paragliders were already in the air. We suited up and went through the brief directions, courtesy of my pilot, Radik.

“First I say run, we run. Second, in the air, you pull the seat and sit. On landing, you put a foot out and walk,” he said with his heavy accent.

The view from Sarangkot

Nearby, Dimitar was blasting ACDC and rocking out, getting ready for his jump. Sergei, with whom a friend of mine was flying, told her “to just run”, so the instructions can vary depending on the pilots.

Basically, Sergei was right. You just run.

We stood and waited for a breeze to pick up the glider, and when it came we ran.

We ran and I was soared.

In the air.

 

Being in the high season, the sky was pretty crowded, full of other paragliders. But you still got views like this.

Radik.

Paragliding over pokhara

While in the air, I asked Radik how long it takes to be a professional paraglider. He said around a year before you get to fly alone, longer to take passengers.

But basically, there wasn’t much talking. The view really takes it out of you.

Here are some pointers if you want to go paragliding;

Keep in mind that best time for it is in February, when it’s windy and there’s rising streams of air. In that period, you can really go cross country and do all sorts of acrobatics.

If you’re outside the ideal time, when the winds are low such as in November, the pilots can basically just take you in circles, so booking more than thirty minutes isn’t advisable.

Man, I miss Nepal.

About Hanna

My Name is Hanna. I’m a digital marketer and part time writer! I’ve started this blog to keep track of my trip to Nepal, from A to Z. Stay tuned if you’re interested in visiting that magical place because everything related to the trip will be posted on here.
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One Response to Paragliding in Pokhara: Actually going through with it

  1. KT says:

    Seems you really had a good time in Nepal. Have been reading your series of posts from the trip and seems an awesome time. I would infact say that Pokhara is definitely a city which is much more relaxed and enjoyable for holidays. We visited the city recently on our nepal trip. Do look at our travelogue – http://www.expressions-kt.in/2014/05/picturesque-pokhara-enchanting-nepal.html

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