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...until finally I had the opportunity 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 and although I can't recommend the experience enough - once was enough!