Tandem Paragliding in Tenerife - too late to be scared once up there magnificent views started to dance in the rhythm of the best Viennese waltz in front of my eyes....
Paragliding - The dream Comes True
Free bird-like flying experience was an ever-lasting dream of human beings even in undocumented mythological times.
..... and certainly for most of us it will be still only a dream.
At least that was my thought until I discovered that instructor-assisted tandem paragliding is a solution for faint-hearted guys like myself.
Tenerife turned out to be the perfect place, not only because of the mountainous landscape with many good launching points, but also due to warm climate creating many hot air currents allowing for long “levitation” time not even mentioning the abundance of beautiful “vistas”.
As there is no rose without thorns or fire without smoke, there is also a major drawback of Tenerife’s paragliding.
We looked at the sky to see if the weather conditions were favorable (BTW - what a beauty...)
Launching grounds for paragliding...
We looked down - thanks God, no sharp cliff but just the gradual slope for take-off;
The limited number and size of landing areas requires some level of experience, unless you accept the unpleasant prospect of landing on a thorny cactus-like object (nevertheless, it is still a paragliding paradise and many come here just for this purpose). But that is why Providence introduced a tandem paragliding with an instructor just behind you :-).
Well, despite my strong dream of free-flying experience it still took me a sleepless night before taking into air. Fortunately my instructor Luis, was a very nice, confidence-building man making it much easier to conquer my own insecurities and fears.
Still safely on the familiar ground :-)
Last few seconds (and steps) from taking-off... :-)
Attached to the paraglider and ready to go waiting for instructor's "go ahead"
To make it short, attached to the magnificently colorful piece of “nylon–like-made-thing” by hundreds almost invisible (but strong like hell) strings we started with few small steps, then ran few meters down the shallow slope and suddenly, almost effortlessly we were in the air carried away by the wind.
The best was still in front of us - or may be just in front of me, because my instructor still had to do some job, pulling this or other string to move us in the right direction in a search of an ascending air area.
Like a bird – that was my overwhelming feeling when we kept climbing up in complex pirouettes or just left-hand and right-hand circles. Magnificent views started to dance in the rhythm of best Viennese waltz in front of my eyes.
... and finally "free like a bird" up in the air
Deep ravines with the famously wild Barranco, green valleys, rocky cliffs, and down there chess-board of small terraces spread across the coastal area provided continuously changing images like in an old time kaleidoscope from the childhood times. Strong sound of wind magnified dramatic impressions of freedom from gravity as I was just experiencing.
And all that was happening in the comfort of an arm-chair like “sitting thing”. The calm voice of my instructor continuously coming from behind, let me forget my initial fears so I could “fearlessly” immerse myself in this new-learn experience of “weightlessness”.
Landing on a small lot of land about 30 minutes later thanks to the skills of my instructor was as smooth as taking off – we gently touched down to re-take our bi-pedal nature standing on our own feet. Well, one more dream came true, leaving me with emotions mostly reserved for birds as I believe they have plenty, specifically since I read the famous “Sea Gull Livingston Jonathan).
But I also left the landing lot with a deep feeling of humility in front of Mother Nature and respect for human ingenuity.
I recognize that these Tandem Paragliding pictures cannot fully offer the experience of the "flying bird", however that may be the first encouragement step towards paragliding.
I cross my fingers that once you decide to fly, your experience will be as fascinating as mine. Good luck!
If you want to make a tour of Tenerife, see pictures of old colonial towns, feel the atmosphere on the streets, taste local potatoes, get friendly with animals in Loro Parque, visit the secluded village Masca, drive through wilderness of El-Teide Volcano National Park, marvel at the flower of rose or witness the unique whistling language in La Gomera then click any of the following links:
Tenerife Tour -- and follow on several pages
El-Teide Volcano Park -- and follow on several pages
La Piedra de la Rosa
Whistling Language in la Gomera
If you enjoyed this visit, then please share your experience with friends :-)
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Atuel Canyon Adventures
Arrayanes (Myrtle) Park (2 pages)
Bariloche Lake District Info (4 pages)
Delta Tigre (3 pages)
Isla Victoria Bariloche (2 pages)
Puente del Inca (2 pages)
Reserva Ecologica Costanera Sur
Transandino Uspallata Railway
Spring flowers (3 pages)
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