Be a Sailor of the Skies
It has long been a human dream to soar like a bird on lofty thermals – and paragliding comes pretty close. Cape Town and its surroundings has to be one of the most spectacular places in the world to paraglide.
On a sunny winters day I made my way up to the top of Signal Hill to meet up with Jacques, the owner of Icarus Paragliding who has many years’ experience in the skies and his passion for flying is contagious. Icarus operates every day year round but the sport is of course weather dependent. I had been called p just that morning and therefore did not have any time to prepare myself mentally for what I was about to do. The nervousness caught up to me once up on the hill as I watched the guys prepare the parachutes on the steep slope facing the Atlantic Ocean. This adventure sport is considered to be an extreme sport and the faint of heart just might want to sit this one out!
Each paragliding adventure begins with an introduction on how to use the equipment and how to safely experience taking to the skies for the thrill of your life. Once geared up with a harness and a helmet it was time to go.
We started running down the hill, or at least Jacques did, while I was doing some kind of funny dance with my feet dangling just above the ground. I could not stop laughing at how funny I must look, but it was only for a few seconds. We lifted off into the Cape Town sky and suddenly everything was quiet. With the sun in my face, the city below and the sea spreading out before me, it was amazing and breathtakingly beautiful. The panoramic views are mesmerizing, to say the least and it felt like I could spend forever up here, just gazing into the horizon.
Time flies when you’re having fun, no pun intended. After a few manoeuvres that had my adrenaline rushing, we slowly approached the Sea Point promenade. We landed safely on the ground. It’s a soft landing but I suddenly felt seasick. I was fine in the air but safe on solid ground it felt as though my brain was spinning loose in my skull. It passed though, when the overwhelming feeling of what I had just done took over.
Icarus Paragliding truly delivered a memorable experience. They do this all the time, with years and years of experience. If you want a fusion of great heights and open spaces, I would definitely advise you to try paragliding. Flying in the serene skies you are bound to feel like a bird!