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Paragliding in Lima

August 12, 2013
Paragliding Lima

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”  – Leonardo Da Vinci

I’ve always dreamt of one day being able to soar above the skies. When I was young, I wanted to become an airline pilot, a parachute jumper or if not, Superman.

While career-wise it didn’t pan, my dream of being on the skies never dwindled out.

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That’s why when I heard that you can paraglide in Lima, I knew that it was an opportunity I could not missed out.

Along the cliffs of Lima, a  group of paragliders arrange daily paragliding trips. For 50 USD, they fly from Parapuerto in Parque de Amor for 15 minutes up the cliffs of Costa Verde overlooking the Pacific.

It was originally not part of the plan. As we went through our heavy schedule in Peru – doing the Inca trail, intercity travels, a wedding – me and my bank account weren’t really up for another activity.

I was there to accompany my friend to do her flight. But after being on the queue and seeing how it is, I’ve took on my #YOLO attitude and decided to go for it too.

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On our first try, we couldn’t fly at first. We were on the queue waiting for our turn to fly when the organisers decided to pull it off as the winds were quite strong. We came home disappointed.

We went the next day, our last day in Lima. The queue was already long and I was worried that we won’t get the chance to fly. We queued for hours and as we got nearer the winds started to slow down. I thought, this was it, we are going to be asked to go home.

Until finally, “Sir, how many kilos are you?”. “68 kilos” the guy on my left responded. The booker looked it at me, “63 kilos”, I said. The booker looked at me and ushered me out of the queue. Since I’m lighter, it’s much easier for me to be carried up.

They strapped me into the harness. I gave my payment to my tandem paraglider. Once all is set, we went to our position. “I count to 3 and then you run”. And we were off!

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As we soared onto the skies of Lima, I felt like a kid again. I felt like Peter Pan, off to Neverland. I felt like superman on a cape on soaring above the skies.

It was a fitting end for our trip, but a new beginning for a renewed wanderlust for the skies.

Have you been paragliding? How was your experience? Share your thoughts below!

Active sports

Surfing in La Union

May 6, 2011
Jerick with a surfboard

For someone who panics on deep water,  going surfing is the last thing I would do. But despite my slight agoraphobia, I really wanted to do it.  The fact that you are default “cool” if you surf (at least I think), I just couldn’t pass out an opportunity of increasing my cool points.

So, I and my friends went to the surfing town of San Juan, La Union – a six-hour bus ride from Manila.

San Juan’s part of the major surfing circuit area in the Philippines and to is next  to Siargao as a well-known surfing destination. April’s a surfing low season and the small & gentle waves were perfect for beginner surfers.  The water’s also  only six feet deep,  and that helped me eased up.

We took our lessons with Sebay Surf Central, one of the well- known surf resorts and school in San Juan.

The lessons started  on the ground with the parts of the surfboard, techniques falling properly (so the board doesn’t hit you), finding your balance and paddling out.

Surfing in La Union

But the fun starts when we went on water.  The instructor finds a good wave, shouts “READY!”, and I’m expects me to stand-up.

I remained unsuccessful on the first waves while my friends already managed to stand up.  In between my failures, my instructor would drag me back and correct my mistakes.

“You need to bend your knees”

“You need to step into the middle of the board”

“ Do not kneel  down when you stand”

“ Smile and look cool”

He said  it was all about following the right position, striking the perfect balance on the board and  knowing which wave to catch. And now, you ask, WAS I ABLE  TO STAND-UP?

I’m not the most athletic person and definitely  far from the stereotype surfer but I didn’t need any of that as by the middle of the lesson, I  STOOD UP!

And after a few more attempts, I stood-up longer!  And finally, I got to surf until the beach!

There are no words really to describe the feeling of standing up and actually surfing the waves!

The unfortunate part though was there were no photos of me surfing.  No one took photos as we all went for the lessons. For now,  you just have to take my word for it.

I must say that this experience made me want to go and surf again – maybe in Siargao or even go to Bali or Hawaii. And definitely, I would recommend the Sebay instructors as they made someone as awkward as me to actually surf.

Surfing in San Juan, La Union

I was impressed with my instructor, who patiently taught and got me to surf on the better waves for a better experience.   He’s very passionate about surfing and you can never go wrong with a person who loves what he is teaching.

Surfing for beginners is not as tough as it looks. THINK that if penguins or mutant turtles can do it, then seriously what’s stopping us from doing it, right?  Okay, they ARE cartoons  but I must say that I find learning how to surf easier than I expected.

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