Friday, 27 June 2014

Friday 27th June

Today was absolutely amazing. Our driver gave us a wake up call at 3.15!!! He then collected us at 4 to head off to see the sunrise over the Himalayas!!! Was this the day I was finally going to see a mountain?! It was just getting light when we reached the viewing point - we enjoyed a cup of sweet white tea before walking to the viewing spot which already had a number of eager tourists. I realisedcthat I would not be able to stand until the sun finally found its way through the clouds so Jennifer and I paid NRs 100 (R1) to join another lot of mainly Asian tourists on the roof of a little eating area- our NRs 100 included unlimited organic tea, we caught a few glimpses of slightly pink glistening snow and then it started to drizzle, followed by quite serious rain. Virtually every one pushed off but I said we shouldn't leave as there was a small patch of blue sky which I felt sure meant that all was not yet lost! So we stuck it out and finally we were the only tourists left and then the show began!! Just a wonderful and  very moving experience as the peaks and mountain ranges almost duly started to reveal themselves. It reminded me of being on the bush where I always say "wait long enough and the bush will reveal itself" well the Annapurna south range. Did just that. It is at least 9 kms further away than another peak called Fish Tail mountain which actually looked much higher because it was closer to us - about 11kms as the crow flies. We were so grateful that we had been patient because the rain stopped and we saw the whole range in the distance. It was not too long before the clouds engulfed the mountains again it vests so hard to take pictures that come remotely close to doing the sight justice. Here is a pic which gives some idea of what we experienced. 

So we enjoyed a light breakfast at the viewing sight before going further up the hill to the paragliding spot!!! YES that's right you heard that correctly, Jennifer and I paraglided today!!! A first for both if us and what a first! I absolutely love it. I even opted for having a DVD made of my experience. So you doubting Thomas can see for yourselves!! Altho I realise there are still folk who day man didn't get to the moon.... All a hoax- trick photography etc!! 

It was truly and extraordinarily wonderful- I was taken up by a big Nepali man who had been doing this three times a day for five years! He was so reassuring and enthusiastic and just told me to sit back and relax and simply enjoy myself and leave everything to him! The take off is the only tricky part it seems where one has to time the rising wind with when one starts moving forward but the next thing I knew wevwete soaring up into the air and experiencing the most amazing feeling of weightlessness. He controlled everything and told me what we were doing all the time - to be in the same thermal as the eagles and to actually see them circling below us!!  Everything looked so beautiful and clear - we could even see parts of the fish tail mountain peak and Annapurna south - I asked him to take a video of them but feat they might have been too far away - we'll see! I was a little concerned that my sandals might drop off never to be seen again but all was well and we stayed connected!! Before we started the descent he asked if I wanted to do some acrobatics!! Well why not... He then launched into action and we hurtled from side to side swooping downwards I'm tummy lurching swoops!! Enough she cried... I was nervous for the landing as well - with thoughts of - will the knees like this and many what if's but all was absolutely fine if not very graceful!! The idea is to land on gently on your feet with a few little steps and to remain standing! Well I was on my bottom and then of course couldn't stand up without rolling over and then getting up in what feels distinctly like a giraffe getting up after a drink!!! 

I was so elated by and thankful for the whole experience. Jennifer had a good paraglide and a wonderful pilot but was a very unhappy camper and could not relax as she does not like being disconnected from the ground but wanted to do it all the same! 

So an incredible tick in the box and certainly not something I had remotely thought that I would do here altho I have wondered about what it would be like. 

We ate lunch in our room and then collapsed for a couple of hours. Jen and I then went off to rent a paddle boat so we could have a swim in the lake asp it was still swelteringly hot. We rented a boat with a canopy that which had two sets of pedals and a rudder. It was great  - I was grateful that Jen was so persistent as for two ticks I would have carried on chilling in the room! The swim was really refreshing but then came the challenge of how to get back onto the boat!! It took all my strength to pull myself up onto a sort if platform where I lay like a beached whale for a while!e! I would've liked to out on the life jacket and float for a while but was nervous to push my luck figuring I had used up all my energy heaving myself up the first time! I had to pull Jen up as she could nt manage it on her own we pedaled back at a fairly leisurely pace, all the while watching the wind and weather which was threatening to change. It was really super. 

We then strolled along the lake side and found a little place right on the waters edge and enjoyed a beer while watching the storm overbid over the lake.

All in all - a truly memorable day! 

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