I can fly (part II)

Trip Start Dec 25, 2007
Trip End Feb 17, 2008

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

After waking up yesterday and being extremely disappointed that yet again the skies were overcast and rain was falling, thus causing our plans to go hang gliding to vaporise into thin air - today was a different story. The forecast was for yet another day of clouds and thunderstorms, but the air outside told a different story. I called up to see if we could go flying, and got a nice positive response. By the time I had taken the bus out to So Conrado there was even some blue sky to be seen. I hadnt yet been out to So Conrado, but it is a beautiful beach-side suburb, with wonderful hills and cliffs as a backdrop.

After quickly signing my life away, we drove up the 510m cliff to prepare for a tandem jump. There were about 5 hang gliders lined up ready to go before us, but before I knew it, it was time to go. We did one quick "run and jump" practice, put my suit on, practiced lying down and holding on, and off we were. There was a wooden platform at an incline which we were to run off, but after about 4 steps, before even reaching the end of the platform, we were airborne. It was just "1, 2, 3, go", and I had no time to really consider the fact that I was running off a cliff. But unlike other height related activities (such as abseiling or paragliding) my heart stayed put and there was no fluttering prior to running off.

The view from up there was just spectacular, we had beautiful large houses below us, huge hotels on the beach, Ipanema and Copacabana beaches in the distance, and the islands out in the ocean. Sugar Loaf and Corcovado could even be seen. The silence in the air was wonderful, the only noise being the air rushing past, but not too fast! It was a very tame flight altogether, but extremely enjoyable. After what I think was about 15-20 minutes of flying, we landed on the beach. The landing was simple - a few quick steps on the beach and we were at a stop.

So, yet another enjoyable experience, and most definitely something I could see myself doing again some time - it was a nice way to clear my mind (not that my mind is particularly occupied at the moment!), relax, and have a bit of a thrill all at the same time.

If I am so lucky as to have another [relatively] beautiful day tomorrow, I will have to check out the supposed must-do of Rio, Sugar Loaf. Even if I dont though, I reckon I have seen quite a few views of Rio as it is already!
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