Free falling

Every time I've been skiing on a clear day, I've watched in awe as paragliders have sailed off a snowy mountain and glided gracefully into the valley. Parapenting has always been on my "to-do" list yet somehow I've never managed to get around to trying it. Finally my time came last week whilst on holiday in Chamonix, France. For someone that's used to being attached to a kite and is equally at home at the top of a mountain, I was ridiculously nervous! I was flying tandem and the guy I was with seemed to know what he was doing, but when he aborted our first take off at the last minute, I started to doubt my perception of him as well as my motives. I stuck to my guns and boy was I glad - the 20 minute flight was just incredible. Paragliding is peaceful, silent and exhilarating. The views on the way down were nothing short of stunning and just as I was getting comfortable and enjoying the quiet, the crazy Frenchman I was attached decided to spice things up a bit....seeing the parachute beneath us during g-force turns was disconcerting to say the least! I was pretty relieved when my feet touched the ground but I can't recommend the experience enough. At 100 euro a turn, it's money very well spent.