When Chris Martin and his friends wrote the song ‘Paradise‘, they were most probably Paragliding, or Parasailing… Wait, there are too many words that start with Para Either ways, you get the point, I suppose 😀
Anyway, so recently I went on a trip to Himachal Pradesh, my second ever. And I went, yes you guessed it (or did you? Looks scrutinisingly at you) – Paragliding! Thankfully, I am slowly crossing out things off my bucket list (damn, I have been planning to write one by putting pen to paper but I keep procrastinating! Ok, back to the topic. Gosh, I get easily distracted, don’t I? )
Well, so the trip was organised by this group called We Travel Solo that brings together solo travellers and takes them to different places. In the itinerary was Bir, Billing, McLeodganj and Triund… The concept of We Travel Solo had managed to catch my attention almost a year ago but somehow I never managed to make it to any of their trips.
This time round though, it was an extremely last minute plan. It was a Friday afternoon, like any other day at office, I was busy running around getting my work done when I got a call from a friend. My friend told me that he had got an opportunity to lead this trip by We Travel Solo and whether I’d like to come along. Since I was planning a trip with friends to McLeodganj in June, I was a little hesitant but a few calls later, I decided to grab this opportunity with both hands and take an extremely impulsive decision. The trip was to start that night and I had a meeting with an agency later that day so that will give me hardly any time to pack, let alone to sit peacefully even for a few minutes after office. Still travel is always welcome (plus I seemed to have a decent amount of money in my bank account at the time 😛 ) so I decided to jump right in.
A tempo traveller was to pick us up from a point near a metro station in Delhi at 9 pm. Unfortunately, the traveller was extremely late in doing so and we ended up standing at a terribly stinky place (the area stunk of urine 😦 ) for a couple of hours. Anyway, this gave us some time to interact with each other. However, as there were 14 of us, it was evident that it’s going to be tough for me to remember everyone’s names.
So the journey began once the traveller finally showed it’s much awaited face (not literally) and as was very much expected, I couldn’t catch much sleep that night. After what seemed like eternity, we finally reached Bir the next day in the afternoon. After checking into a hotel and quickly freshening up and dilly dallying for a while (we got held up because of some unforeseen circumstances which caused delay in our departure), we proceeded to Billing for paragliding.
Billing was approximately 15 kms. uphill and once we reached there, we realised how we should have carried our jackets with us since it was quite cold and windy there.
The paragliding experience was exhilarating. It’s something I have been wanting to do since a long time and the feeling you get when you do something you’ve waited so long for, is priceless. (For everything else, there’s Mastercard :P) I’m glad I opted for the Go Pro to capture whatever I could during the experience (I was unsure initially but then decided to go for it as it isn’t everyday one goes paragliding for the very first time!), even though it costed Rs. 500 extra on top of the Rs. 1500 for paragliding, it sure was worth it.
By the time we got done with paragliding, it was quite dark, so we just walked back to the hotel and couldn’t roam around much. The next day we had to wake up early since we had to go for the Triund trek. I will cover this part of my trip in the next post.
Btw, did I tell you how amazing the view was from the top of our hotel? Here’s a glimpse of it –
There were tea gardens and mountains around the place and the best part was during the night it rained a little with lots and lots of thunder and lightning (made my night :D). As you might have guessed, I didn’t get much sleep this night either but it was all worth it.
Btw, here’s a fact to end this post – Billing is said to be Asia’s highest paragliding site and the world’s second after Lake Como in Italy (Have to go there next!). I bet you didn’t know this, did you? ☺️
Have you done paragliding? If yes, where and how was your experience? Do let me know 🙂