A return to Pokhara and paragliding over Sarangkot
Pokhara Travel Blog› entry 10 of 33 › view all entries
1st day after trekking, I had a couple of things I wanted to tick off in Pokhara before moving on - walking up the World Peace Pogoda to get the much publicised view over Phewa Lake with the Annapurna range in the background, and paragliding over Sarangkot. Both ideally needing a clear day to get the best views. Instead another murky day with very poor visibility. Fortunately nice and warm in Pokhara itself so lazed about the tourist drag and watched the world go by planning next steps of the trip. Booked a bus to Gorkha as my next destination and immediately regretted it getting cold feet about Maoist terrorists, as marked in my Rough Guide as a hotbed of activity.
Last day in Pokhara and time to try paragliding. Having picked out my company from the massive choice now available in Pokhara, turned up early in the morning to make sure that the Maoist strike had been called off and therefore not needed to climb the 2 hours and 800 metres up to Sarangkot before flight. Thankfully, the strike was off and I could turn up again later with a lift up the hill. 3 tourists booked for my flight time, sharing the jeep with 2 60ish women from Miami, who were not only paragliding with me, but going white water rafting the day after.
A bumpy, dusty road up to Sarangkot and we were dropped off and ready to go. As the only one of the 3 of us paying an hour (as opposed to 30 minutes), 90 Euros instead of 60, I was 1st. Worryingly basic instructions. "When I tell you to run, run as fast as you can down the slope", and "Sit as soon as we take off", we were set. Actually nothing to worry about, I was strapped in to a giant baby seat and to Hachi. When he said run, I got about 5 steps before the tension in the parachute prevented any further forward momentum and straining against the drag, we were immediately in the air and nowhere near where the slope became cliff.
Met up with Dave and Nina for the evening, who had recruited a new lad (Ian from Seattle). Had a nice last night in Pokhara which may be our last together. Nina gave me some Slovenian homework in case we see each other again in Kathmandu or Jaipur. Dave tried to talk me in to Everest trekking, but think my 10 days to ABC is enough for this trip. Nina left and the boys had 1 more night in the Busy Bee before farewells. Time to move on.
Pokhara is a pretty party town. Shame I didn't get to see its best views, but a great place to unwind before and after the many treks it provides as a transport hub to.