Imagine a flying machine that is small enough to keep in the boot of your car, light enough to carry in a rucksack yet with the performance to enable you to soar along ridges that run on for miles and miles or traverse large tracts of countryside using nothing but invisible currents of air and heat from the sun!
Welcome to Paragliding which is the quietest, cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to get airborne as a solo pilot! You are never too old to learn to Paraglide and pilot ages range from 16 to 75, men and women and from all walks of life.
Paragliding in Pokhara
The main area for flying in Nepal is the Annapurna region, more specifically the Pokhara valley. This lakeside town is Nepal's second "city", nestled at the foot of the Annapurna Himal, the views commanded from here, of 3 of the worlds 8000m peaks, are unsurpassed. At an altitude of 800m ASL the subtropical climate means that, year round, it is short and T-shirt weather. The micro-climate of the valley makes it an ideal area for flying, with far more constant conditions than the Kathmandu valley 150km east.
There are several sites around Phew Tal (the lake) but the most accessible is Sarangkot (1500m ASL). A view point 700m above Pokhara, it is unique in that it has a road running to the top. A short walk brings you to the take off. With regular cycles providing easy reverse launches, you could not ask for a more picturesque site. With the lake 2000ft below, the mountains behind, and the unlimited potential for XC and out and returns, this has quickly become the main site for the area, and many pilots have based themselves in Pokhara for the season, flying from this mountain alone.
There are an abundance of other sites around the valley but all need to be walked up. With names such as Dikie Danda, Devi Falls, Poomdi and Matepani, all can be connected by air from Sarangkot.