Spiti Travelogue: Day 10

In the Air: I take the flight of my life

Morn­ing in Solang was refresh­ing! We had a quick break­fast, espe­cial­ly the kids and I, because we want­ed to paraglide. Even after all the excit­ing things we had seen and the adven­tures we had expe­ri­enced on this trip, I was wait­ing expec­tant­ly for paraglid­ing. It felt like a dream to me, fly­ing in the air, and I felt it too good to be true that this dream was going to become true.

The guides sat behind you steer­ing the glid­er, while you sim­ply let your feet dan­gle in the air while cruis­ing in the air. There was a short jump and a high jump. I hes­i­tat­ed a bit, but Vidisha encour­aged me and I was on my way on horse­back to the top of the moun­tain. From about 1000 ft, I plunged into the air. Man­ali and Solang were tiny towns beneath me, and so were many moun­tain­tops. It was inde­scrib­able. We were swing­ing down­wards to flirt with the tree­tops on the side of the moun­tain, and then swing­ing upwards with the air cur­rent. My flight con­troller was very skilled and I was able to appre­ci­ate the art of con­tin­u­ing to find air cur­rents to keep you alight. I was on cloud nine, lit­er­al­ly.

Paragliding at Solang

In the air at Solang…that’s me under the red glid­er…

Slow­ly, we descend­ed and were back on earth, run­ning to land on the ground. A dream had come true for me and I felt sati­at­ed. Vidisha was smil­ing, look­ing at my glow­ing face. She had cap­tured sev­er­al good pic­tures of me high in the air.
I chat­ted with my guide Sangeet, and learnt that a new glid­er cost any­where from Rs. 1 to 1.5 lakh. A sec­ond-hand glid­er cost from Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 70,000. A new glid­er last­ed for about 50 hours of flight. The short flight cost Rs. 300, and the high jump at Rs. 1000. Nor­mal prices were slight­ly high­er; we got a dis­count because Sangeet was a rel­a­tive of our hotel own­er.

Flying

Can you see me up there?

After lunch, we decid­ed to take a walk to Dhun­di, a spot about 5 km down­wards on the Solang nala. We were walk­ing beside the stream, on the round­ed peb­bles and gigan­tic rocks. On our way, we were enticed by tree trunk bridges placed above the stream, and were doing a bal­anc­ing act back and forth. It was fun.

On our way back, we decid­ed that the road would be safer in the dark, than the boul­ders and rocks. The moun­tain­side was full of veg­e­ta­tion and trees, and we hiked our way up on slip­pery, wet grass, towards the road. It felt good to be walk­ing on the road in the dark.

Next: Day 11

This entry was posted in himalayas, India, nature, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.