It’s always good to do something a little out of the ordinary from time to time, especially when you’re travelling because you don’t know when the next time is that you’ll have the opportunity, or even if you’ll have another opportunity so I like to keep a bucket list of things to do – sometimes for specific places but mostly a general activity to do at some point on my travels, just to keep things exciting! You can check out my bucket list here, it’s forever growing because I’m always hearing or reading about new places or crazy things to do to get my adrenaline pumping – here is the latest ‘tick off’ to my bucket list!;
South Africa is always a place for me to push my boundaries, my Dad has always encouraged it each time I go out there to visit him – there’s been the shark diving, the bungee jumping, kayaking with some whales during their mating season, sharing a hut with some huge and unfriendly looking spiders and even just trying different food that is out of the ordinary. I always come home with stories to tell and an achievement to my bucket list so this time was no different when my brother and I paraglided over Cape Town by running off of Signal Hill.
We decided to do it mid-morning once the cloud had cleared and we had a better view over the City, once we drove up to the top of Signal Hill we were more or less strapped up in our harnesses within minutes all ready to go – it all happened rather quickly! Signal Hill is a flat topped hill and stands next to The Lion’s Head and Table Mountain, overlooking Cape Town so there was no sheer drop or scary looking ledge to jump off of, instead we just ran when we were told too – and by ran I mean sprinted, and the instructor that we were harnessed too basically flipped his parachute up so that the ground left our feet and we sailed off into the air, just like that! (I actually left the ground long before the instructor because I wasn’t blessed with length in the leg department, I was doing a sort of running in the air motion type thing but we still seemed to take off absolutely fine!)
Once your in the air, a sense of peace and calm overcomes you and you soar slowly down the banks of Signal Hill and over Cape Town, it felt very surreal. There seemed to be so many things other than the City below you to take in, there was Table Mountain, The Waterfront and it’s harbour, Robben Island over in the distance and then my brother, Will in his parachute behind me twisting and twirling! We made our way over Cape Town and towards the ocean and beachfront where we were due to land, my instructor was telling me how he had seen whales the day before so sailed us over the water to see if we could spot any but unfortunately it wasn’t our day for whale spotting. Next came the landing which, deep down I wasn’t particularly looking forward to after I landed heavily on my feet after my skydive which took a little bit of a toll on my knees but actually, this time around I was fine. As your gliding towards the ground you seem to smoothly become parallel with it and then, just like you’re strolling off the bus you’ve touched down. Simples.
To me, this experience wasn’t a scary one and I didn’t even think twice about sprinting off the side of Signal Hill once I was harnessed up, I didn’t have the butterflies and sick feeling that I had before I left off the ledge to bungee jump and I smiled continuously from start to finish. All in all I was only in flight for 10 minutes or so but I know to many people this may seem like a scary thing to do and they wouldn’t even contemplate it, but if you ever get the chance or opportunity to paraglide then please promise me that you’ll at least consider it! I promise you it’s not scary and it’ll probably be the best experience for you if you have a fear of heights that you want to overcome because there’s no sudden drop or tummy flipping moment. Like I said, it’s a peaceful experience and what a way to see a place! Trust me, you won’t regret it and you’ll feel revitalised and that you’ve accomplished something out of the ordinary!
If you’re interested in doing the same paraglide experience as I did here’s the link to Tandem Paraglide Cape Town’s website, they’re an awesome bunch of guys, their prices are pretty competitive and they have their own Go-Pro’s if you wanted them to take some photos for you :) http://www.paraglide.co.za/
Have you faced a fear or accomplished something from your bucket list? I’d love to know!