Flying high in the argentinian sky.

In Argentina, Sud America, travelling on August 17, 2010 at 3:07 am

The morning after, the wine tasting the day before. I’m sitting in the hostel as Matt is making his decisions about what activities to do. He’s done most of the ones on offer already at some point in his travels and finally puts his name down for paragliding, which precipitates the rest of us signing up.

And so five of us make the long winding, 4×4 powered ascent up into the mountains just outside Mendoza, before getting strapped into a harness and running off a stony hillside and launching myself into the sky, sitting between my pilots legs as we lurch and rise into the brilliant blue sky.

You can see for miles and miles and miles and MILES!!!

It’s like nothing I’ve experienced ever, more calming and peaceful than the bungee jump, but akin to a rollercoaster ride without knowing where the turns and the dips are coming from, as the pilot is just navigating the thermals, looking around and searching for the next upward surge as he banks and I eyeball the ground beneath my swinging feet.

The mountains rush beneath seemingly so close, but my shadow is so far away and small, skimming across the undulating terrain, my stomach turns and skips every time he changes direction, not knowing which way he’ll be turning.

And as we fly there’s a beeping which comes quicker and quicker, until it’s one long drone and it frightens me, are we going to fast, to slow, to high, to low. I don’t know what it’s meant to indicate so I turn, stomach still roiling and ask my pilot who tells me it’s the altimeter, so I join the dots and decide that it let’s him know how high he’s climbing and how fast. Just as I make that connection he drops a couple of meters and I’m swung about in my seat, and I look out over the peaceful surrounds and the stunning surround and let that overcome the queasy stomach I’m feeling and I’m crushed when we make the spiraling descent to land, wanting to keep up there flying high with the eagles.

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