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SPONSOrs

Just like many of you, I’ve often noticed the brightly colored canvas wings floating over the updrafts of the Costa Verde. People dangle underneath them secure in a buckled harness as they glide along on invisible currents.

“That looks fun,” my girlfriend has said on more than on occasion.

“That looks dangerous,” is my usual reply.

But despite the inhibitions you might have, it’s impossible not to be drawn in by the freedom and adventure of flight.

The other day I was walking home and I happened across the office of Peru Fly, a paragliding school that also offers tandem flights. On a whim, I decided to step inside and have a chat. No, I didn’t eventually succumb to the temptation and let them take me up for a whirl, but I did obtain all the necessary information in case someone out there reading this is more intrepid than I am.

The man sitting behind the desk was jovial and didn’t seem to mind as I teased him about the enterprise.

“So is paragliding dangerous?”

“No,” he said with a laugh, “all of our pilots are professional have been certified by the Asociación Peruana de Vuelo Libre.”

“And what kind of services do you offer?”

“A fifteen minute tandem ride for 40$, or an eight day piloting school for 450$.”

He gestured to a photo behind him which showed two people harnessed to a flying wing. Both of them were smiling widely, but the cynical part of me couldn’t resist asking the obvious question.

“If it isn’t dangerous, then why do they need helmets?”

“Well, you’re supposed to wear a helmet when you ride a bicycle too.”

Touché.

“How about the class, what’s involved?”

“We take you out to the Dunas de Lurin where the hills are a little more gradual. The whole course is entirely hands on and is about 4 hours a day for 8 days.”

The class sounded like a lot more flying for your buck.

brief stop at Parque Raymondi where the paragliders take off and land. It was a bright sunny day with a healthy wind and the pilots were there in force, filling the skies over the Costa Verde with a symphony of motion and color. If you have the time, you should make an effort to stop by and watch for a while.

Paragliding is one of the many sub-culture activities that’s out there to be discovered and enjoyed. What a shame that we don’t have the limitless time and resources necessary to experience them all. Then again, when it concerns something that really draws you, there’s no obstacle that can’t be overcome.