We left Chitwan NP and drove to Pokhara, about 110 away. Pokhara is about 170 km North-West of Kathmandu. It is the third largest city in Nepal, but it is number one for tourism and for good reason.
Pokhara is home to Nepals second largest lake (Phewa Lake). It also boasts an awesome view of the Annapurna Mountain Range which is only about 30km away from the city centre over the hills.
Amongst quite a few mountains (three of which are ranked in the top 10 highest mountains in the world) you have Machapuchare – aka Fishtail Mountain. It has been nicknamed Fishtail because people have reported that as the sun sets the reflection of the mountain in Phewa Lake resembles a fishes tail.
Even though we are out of tourists season Pokhara is busy and full of foreigners. You can see why though – there’s heaps to do and it’s beautifully scenic. We stayed two nights and on both mornings we sauntered to a cafe overlooking the lake and watched people climbing into colourful little boats to make the short journey across the water onto an Island in the middle. We watched school kids in kayaks paddling over to the city with their school bags. Not a bad way to get to school when the weather is so good.
We spent the first day exploring and in the afternoon we took advantage of the hot weather (mid twenties) and hired kayaks to explore the lake and island.
If you looked up in to the sky all that you could see was para gliders dotting the blue background and swirling around down to earth. You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to float around in the air (way too much of a pussy) but Jerome and his brother were dead set keen on booking a flight.
After choosing what looked like quite a good company (Frontiers Paragliding) we booked the brothers onto a para glide for 11.30am the next day. The pilots came down to meet Jerome upon booking to decide how and if they were able to get him into the air and safely down again. An Indian pilot called Ajay was chosen after determining Jerome’s weight and strength. Success!
Unfortunately the next day was slightly overcast so you couldn’t see the beautiful mountains. We had woken at 4.30 and taken a taxi up to Sarangkot at the top of the hills to watch the sunrise.
This was also where we would come back later to watch Jerome and Sebastian gracefully jump off a cliff and float down to earth. Jerome bummed his way up four sets of staircases to watch the sun rise. Although overcast it was still beautiful. A great view of Pokhara and Phewa Lake.
11.30 came and we tailed the boys up to the para jump site. Jerome was first. To be honest I was bricking it for him. One of the pilots kindly carried Jerome from the vehicle to the jump site a few hundred metres away.
Jerome had zero fear as they placed him on the ground, strapped him up and attached the chute. He was placed at the front with the pilot behind. Once he was set, two men picked Jerome up from either side, and with the pilots help they ran full bolt to the side of the cliff and chucked him into the air!
In perfect unison the two helpers slid down onto their sides as Jerome caught a thermal and glided perfectly off into the sky to join about 50 other colourful specks. I started breathing again and bit back a silly tear. Such a cool moment!!!
We saw Sebastian off safely and raced the 5km down the hills to the lakeside. Unfortunately we missed their landing but Jerome took awesome footage of him going into a tailspin prior to a perfect landing.
Jerome was looking slightly green around the gills ahahahah! We had definitely picked the right company for the flight. They helped out so much and everything they did was flawless.
After a Nepalese lunch in the sun we folded ourselves back into the car and made the 7 hour hair-raising journey back to Kathmandu.