Notes from June 7th, Paragliding in Oludeniz:
After a 30-minute ride up Babadag (Father Mountain) from the white sand beaches of Oludeniz, I arrived at the launchpad and nearly lost my lunch. The paved area was so steep it made me dizzy and it literally extended to the edge of the cliff. I was at the top of the mountain, 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) above the Turquoise Coast. A man approached me and introduced himself my guide for the tandem glide. Ziya was his name, but he prefers Craziya. A perfect match, I promptly told him that I would love nothing more than to feel the G-force while spinning around.
My instructions were simple…once the parachute caught wind, I was to walk. When told to do so, I would start to run, and then when my legs no longer touched the ground, I could sit. Simple enough. The only problem was the thinking part…and unfortunately, I had a few minutes to think while we were getting strapped in.
Now I know it has been a while since Biology 101, but didn’t Darwin say something about the survival of the fittest? The strongest, savviest members of a species will survive…and here I am paying money to run straight off a cliff. I have devolved back to lemming status, blatantly ignoring my survival instincts, in pursuit of a good view and an adrenalin rush.Darwin would shake his head in shame…but then again, Darwin didn’t know about parachutes.
The best way I can describe paragliding is as a cross between flying and falling; or perhaps it’s actually just a very slow fall. And “euphoria” is the only word that comes to mind when I think about that 45-minute fall. Pure euphoria. An adrenaline rush that compels you to sing rather than scream. The view of the Mediterranean Sea, the boats, the beaches, the Taurus Mountains, the villages, all spectacular. I will definitely be going again.
Special thanks to my beloved family for an incredible birthday gift!!