Hello, I've just returned from a trip to Turkey where I scuba dived, went paragliding, visited a food market and did a little culture vulturing. Here's how the paragliding went...
The minibus pulled up alongside a vertiginous gravelled slope that slipped away so precipitously I couldn’t see over the edge. I averted my eyes. If I was ever going to baulk at this latest adventure – it was now. My best strategy was to turn my back on that heart stopping vista and not allow myself to reflect on what I was about to do.
My guide, Fartih, was brisk and professional. He kitted me up with elbow and knee pads and then strapped me into my harness. I posed for a photograph, smiling like a lunatic to hide my nerves.
‘Let’s go,’ said Fartih.
I slid and scuffled after him down the gravel slope to where the business end of the chute lay.
As we hooked up Fartih said, ‘The conditions are perfect today. We won’t even need to run down the slope in order to take-off.’
To say I was relieved to hear that, is an understatement.
I could feel the chute tugging at us. We stepped forwards and backwards a couple of times, waiting for the wind to catch the billowing material and suddenly my feet left the ground.
Fartih pushed me gently in the small of my back and now I was sitting comfortably in my harness. The views were gorgeous and there was no sensation of vertigo. I stuck my feet out and took photos. We cruised above the mountain ridge, waiting for the others to join us.
Eventually we swung high over the town and out to sea where I watched my husband and his guide doing aerobatics.
I managed to stay on my feet when we landed, but my heart and soul remained in the air for the rest of the day.