The kids and I are off for a week of sun in Tenerife to escape the storms at home (meteorological and political – there’s a faint possibility of at least the former perking up by the time we return…)
Tash and I have formed an advanced party, which gave us the opportunity to start to put into action a plan we hatched a year or so ago – to learn to fly! Or more accurately, paraglide.We signed up for a day’s “taster” with Fly Paragliding Tenerife http://www.flyparaglidingtenerife.com – a tandem flight followed by a few hours of ground training.Mauricio and colleagues looked after us very well and were reassuringly fastidious about safety. We started off with the “carrot” part of the day, with a spectacular tandem flight over Puerto de la Cruz from the northern slopes of Mt Tiede. An absolute blast, and a real incentive to put in the effort required to master this new adventure sport.
Having generated the enthusiasm for the end result, we then started the first baby-steps in learning, in the somewhat less picturesque surroundings of a local park. Strapped into paragliding harnesses we went through the drill of setting out the glider, checking the lines, waiting for the wind to be in the right direction before trying to get the glider up in the air. This is surprisingly physical (especially without the aid of a slope) – a bit like something you might see in a World’s Strongest Man competition; trying to run forwards with the drag of a huge canopy behind you. A tad warm in 20C heat (OK, I’m not expecting any sympathy there…) Very satisfying when it does all finally come together (rather than collapsing in a huge tangle of string and polyester)!
Anyway, enough to work up a thirst. Back to climbing tomorrow.