Driving up the long and winding road towards the stunning hilltop of Signal Hill, I was captivated by the beauty of the picturesque landscape of the city and the ocean. It was well worth the horrible Cape Town traffic to reach the top of the hill to see it packed with excited people waiting for their chance to paraglide.
The experience is a bit of a waiting game and very much dependent on the weather playing along. It is quite technical but basically the instructors work within a wind ‘window’ – a gap in the weather that is the safest to do the flight in, without being taken onto different unplanned routes.
As I was being fastened into my harness, I was given a run through of how this whole paragliding would work, making me more nervous! However with the crew chatting and laughing, they were quick to put my mind at ease.
As we waited our turn on top of the hill, I stared at the long slope in front of me in anticipation, hoping we get the take-off perfect. I was told to keep running as long and as fast as I could, and not sit down no matter how much I wanted to! As soon as our feet lifted from the ground, my seat was pushed in under me and we were gliding through the air out towards the sea.
It was an exhilarating and mind-blowing experience as I looked below me to see all the people and the magnificent aerial view of the beach. My arms couldn’t stop shaking with adrenalin. I soon managed to gain confidence and relax, and to just enjoy the flight. All along the instructor explained how one could change direction and height – he even gave me a chance at steering the huge parachute above us.
My tummy fluttered with delight as we made a sharp turn back towards the landing spot in front of the Winchester mansions. With a manoeuvre that the instructor Jacques had perfected, we both managed to land smoothly.
It was an experience I will be sure to try again. It was fantastic to experience what Cape Town city has to offer.
Soar above the beautiful Garden Route coastline in this tandem paragliding flight experience.