“When I grow up, I want to be a pilot. I will fly you to Hong Kong”, I would always tell those words to everyone when I was a kid! And guess what I did this Christmas vacations in 2006? I went for a Paragliding camp to Nirvana adventures, Kamshet near Lonavala, two hours from Pune and Mumbai for five days. Are you excited to read about my Kamshet paragliding experience on this blog?
I was put up in a dorm room with some six bunk beds which also gave me the opportunity to meet new people. I was lucky to have this experience at the age of 14.
On the first day, I started of with ground handling where I learnt to handle the glider. And second day with bunny hops which were small flights with radio instruction for ten to fifteen seconds from the training hill. The best part is was that you were solo from the start on this Kamshet paragliding experience.
There were people coming from all over the world to this place where they were doing paragliding in Lonavala. I interacted with pilots from Luxemburg, Germany, England and Norway and people across India, hearing their experience. I learnt various types of knots from the Daniel, the German pilot who was also practising this sport.
Third day, I had a little bigger flights with radios, which last about a minute. And I’m flying already! And as I landed I heard my instructor tell me, “Welcome to the fidelity of pilots!!” On the next day, I was making my own approaches to the landing spot! Wow, I can fly on my own now!! Nirvana’s where I discovered the joy of flying; just like a bird and free up in the air which was truly amazing! It was just my glider and me, high up there! I was a solo pilot fulfilling my dreams!
The fifth day, my last day after five hours of Parawaiting, (waiting for good wind conditions for flying) I had a fantastic fifteen minute solo flight, top to bottom from the Tower hill! What an adventure it was to backpack up the tower hill with the glider.
Alas! I completed my P1 (1st level course) and I was desperately waiting for my P2 (2nd level course) to begin. P2 is where I can expect at least one hour flights each day!
If you are looking for an outdoor activity with thrill, this ones a must try. So eventually I came back for my P2 course and landed up clocking an almost two hour flight. This one gave me a chance to make ever more new friends and have some fun experiences. By the end of it I was so close to buying a glider and flying super regularly.
My Instructors: Sanjay Pendurkar, Ravi, Yogi and Ramesh.
Although Sanjay sir started his own school, Indus paragliding which I would blindly recommend.