Paragliding off a 5,500 foot mountain, Again
Today, I took the others on a paragliding trip near Phewa Lake. I had such a great experience the first time I went, I had to do it again. This time we all booked a 30 minute ride off the tallest part of the mountain. Unfortunately, I didn't pay for the video or photos this time. I went with saving money. The ride was a cool $75 compared to $45 with video and photos the last time.
We rode up the mountain in a van with our instructors. The fog had been blocking our views of the lake the entire trip up, which made us a little uneasy. I found out that the instructors won't fly unless it's clear. So, the four of us waited an hour until the fog settled. All of us started out on a steep inclined cliff that overlooked the city. Waleed went first without any hesitation. Gabrielle went next while screaming the entire way as she disappeared into the fog a few 100 meters ahead. And then, I went next. My instructor and I started running down the cliff as we prepared for the wind to lift us into the sky. At first, we weren't going anywhere. As we finally lifted off, I noticed we barely missed the edge of the cliff... I was a bit worrisome once I noticed that.
But what an experience. The instructor flew us as high as 7,000 feet in the sky as we overlooked Phewa Lake. I did take a few photos with my camera as we floated around.
My view of Phewa Lake from 7,000 feet up
Paragliding has given me the courage to do other adventurous activities. It has even made me contemplate skydiving. That would have been unheard of from me two months ago. My family would know!
As we ended down to land, the instructor gave me instruction to hold on tight. We started free falling toward the lake at or near 60mph. I could barely keep my eyes open and my mouth shut. I was cursing the entire time. I do that when I feel uncomfortable with heights. This free fall lasted a good 20 seconds. We finally landed near the lake. I gave my instructor a high five and a tip. He deserved it. My second flight was a 1,000 times more enjoyable than the first.
We all packed our gear as we headed back to the hotel. Our next plan was to rent mopeds or scooters and ride up to the World Peace Stupa.
The bikes were delivered to our hotel around 1pm. We started off by riding to fill up our tank. Then we headed off to Devi's Falls near World Peace Stupa.
Also known as Patale Chango, this waterfall marks the point where the Pardi Khola stream vanishes underground. When the stream is at full bore after monsoon rains, the sound of the water plunging over the falls is deafening. According to one of the many local legends, the name is a corruption of David’s Falls, a reference to a Swiss visitor who tumbled into the sinkhole and drowned, taking his girlfriend with him.
We then headed to a cave that connects the waterfall to Phewa Lake. The architecture of the spiral staircase to the cave was marvelous.
The entrance to the cave was a bit spooky. There were random cow statues, temples and other religious figures inside the cave.
After the cave and waterfall, all four of us headed to the World Peace Stupa on one of the mountains in Pohkara. It took us 1.5 hours to drive up a jagged rock hill that had curvy roads and no protective barriers on the turns. It was scary to say the least. But was the view was incredible. Totally worth the crazy drive up.
The Himalayas were down right gorgeous that day. The photo above doesn't do the mountains any justice.
After peering at the mountains for a half an hour, Sherman and I headed to World Peace Stupa. The clouds had a mix of sunlight and monsoon rain, which made the Stupa look beautiful at dusk.
We all headed back to town to enjoy a nice meal near the lake.