Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Paragliding in Bali

Bali is heaven, a bit messy, dirty and disorganized version of it. But heaven, with the turquoise waters, endless surf, blue sky, authentic spicy fresh food, smily people and great conditions for coastal soaring which I took ultimate advantage of. 
My local guide, the famous Mr Ketut, was fantastic. I got to fly a total of 8 hours in only 5 days. It’s not your usual para-waiting, it’s just step out of the car, unpack, launch and fly, and fly, and fly and then fly some more. 
The only option is top-landing, so I got to do 10-12 of those. I got a bit too successful with gaining height on the last day, with about 300 or more meters and kept on creeping up. I wouldn’t say I was scared, but I was getting concerned. Ended up landing using big ears and tons of turns just to get to the right hight for the top landing. The launching field was full of spectators and I got ovations. Nice to see people genuinely caring about a complete stranger. 
One of the best things about paragliding in Bali, besides the easy smooth coastal soaring, was the time-efficiency. You only have about 4 hour slot when the wind is just good and after that went straight to the beach to catch some waves.
 Even managed to fit in a few runs, read 3 books as well. What more can one want from a holiday without kids. 
At the end of a good full of action day, sipping a drink and watching the sunset I kept on thinking how far removed Moscow seemed from all that. 

Although busy 24/7 but I came back absolutely clear-headed and ready to embrace the upcoming changes which I will talk about shortly. 

Before and after Bali we stayed with friends who are expats in Hong Kong. Fun times. I love Hong Kong and definitely wouldn’t mind living there one day. Humidity was pretty awful but I am the last person to complain about heat. I loved the energy of the big city and in the same time you feel surrounded by nature with the sea and the mountains. Flying there is possible as well. Culture-wise seemed extremely cosmopolitan, probably more than any other city I’ve been to. Put in high on my list of favorite cities next to Paris, Tokyo, New York, Miami, Vancouver, Berlin, Stockholm, Barcelona, New Orleans, Honolulu, Buenos Aires etc. etc. I don’t seem too picky, do I?:) 
I am now in Spain again flying and I could not be happier. I miss the loved ones, but the flying has been so far absolutely outstanding. Posts to follow...