Tandem paragliding. Let me see if I can give you an idea of how I felt:
“Relax”, counseled the pilot. “Now that we have your helmet on, we can strap you into the rest of the rig and we’ll be airborne shortly”.
Actually, it was a piece of old schwarzwaldkuchen. Now that I know how unbelievably easy it is, I’m a bit embarrassed by how apprehensive I was at first. I mean, it’s not like skydiving where you have that all-important ‘is the sodding thing going to open or not?’ moment, because with paragliding, the canopy blossoms above you in all its glory before you even leave the ground. The only thing you need to worry about is screwing up the take-off and ending up in a prickly shrub (and having to pull thorns out of your backside for the rest of the day). This seldom happens.
The flight was – words fail me here, but ‘tranquil’ or ‘serene’ convey something of the essence. The view when you’re whizzing past the pointy bit of Lion’s Head is pretty damned spectacular, too. Now that’s a side of the mountain I could get used to very easily*.
So what else can I tell you? Ah yes – the date. After all the initial excitement, it tapered off rather tamely towards the end, with a chaste hug and a promise to “stay in touch”. All together now, “Boo! Hiss!” The thing is, we’re so entirely different from one another that the chemistry simply wasn’t there. If I’m Eeyore with a god complex, then she’s Tigger on speed. Not exactly a match made in heaven.
* If you ever find yourself in this part of the world, you might want to give Stef of Para-pax a call and see for yourself (and no, he isn’t paying me for this).