Here are some snaps from my first ever trip to Colombia way back in 2010.
I remember hearing tale among other travelers of an extreme sports paradise ’round Santander, Colombia, and that it was based out of a small city called San Gil. There you could go hiking, white water rafting, cave exploring and even do what is called “parapente,” also known as “paragliding.” What really drew my attention to that area though were the thermals of hot air that flow throughout the great Cañon de Chicamocha, a massive valley canyon formed by years of erosion caused by the Chicamocha River, upon which you can float for upwards of 1/2 hour or more.
I signed up in about 2.2 seconds.
And after breaking out early in the morning to get to the launch point one fine july morning, I arrived before the massive cañon feeling absolutely astounded.
Before launch I was able to take some ground snaps of the pilots as we unloaded the gear, then shortly there after we suited up and I made my first flight — during which I took these photos.
From the ground it looks as if are actually flying around so much faster than you really do; but in all reality, while you’re up there, it feels more like you are just slowing floating around, laid back, subtly spinning circles in the air while you lose yourself in the breathtaking views of the canyon’s expanse.
Everything went great. But what they didn’t tell me, however, was that it was really, really easy to “marearse'” (TO GET SICK!) while in flight. (as if that wasn’t obvious!!!!)
And it is.
But an even bigger piece of advice for those who are about to “hacer parapente” for the first time:
Do not, I reapeat, do not eat any roadside empanadas, no matter how golden delicious and tasty they look, before you make your first vuelo — OR ELSE YOU WILL SEE AND TASTE THOSE EMPANADAS FOR THE SECOND, MAYBE EVEN A THIRD TIME!!!
No matter the case though, It’s definitely worth it.