Tandem paragliding – April 26, 2015. Freedom Day weekend.

A picture popped under Facebook memories – “this day on blah blah” – our series of pics from tandem paragliding off Signal Hill, Cape Town. My folder on the computer is labelled Sunday April 26, 2015.

I look at these pics and I and I go ‘wow– did we do that.’ Here we are in lockdown, during Covid-19 and these images are the antithesis of where we are right now as we stay at home to flatten the curve of this virus.

 I am not an adrenaline junkie. Definitely not a thrill seeker. Surfertravelguy [hubby] had wanted to do this for ages. I said: ‘No way’. We went up a few times to look and the wind was wrong on Signal Hill. One Sunday afternoon, the wind was perfect. I was terrified. I was reluctant to spend the money. I recall that things were tight that month. Our motto is: “Go while you can.” It is the tagline on this magazine website, TheCapeRobyn.

Surfertravelguy admonished me: “Remember: Go while you can. That’s what we also say.”

I did. I took off that cliff. Yes, it is a tandem ride. There is a professional rider behind you. There are harnesses and helmets. Still, one has to take the step off the cliff. It’s about letting go of hard ground. That part freaked me out. Once I stepped off and we were airborne, I found it absolutely liberating. That sounds clichéd but it was about letting go and taking off.

The operator, Kai told me that he is from Turkey and that is where choice paragliding spots may be found. No idea his surname. This was a chat in the air. It wasn’t a story that I was covering so I didn’t clock the details. Cape Town is a magnificent city and the view was exhilarating. After letting go of my fear, Kai asked me if I like roller-coasters. I do. Kind of.  He did a figure 8 number which was scary but fun. I loved the landing, on the grass in Sea Point, near Rocklands Beach. I wanted to go again.

 It was the Freedom Day weekend and that ride was emblematic for me of being free of the physical – transcending material and letting go. It’s Freedom Day, today in South Africa – April 27. Wishing everyone a meaningful day –wherever you are.

Remember: Go while you can- wherever you can – seize the moment and make the memories with the one that you love.

Tandem Paragliding travel price guide

✔ Price: About R1200 to R1500 plus R300 extra for GoPro pics and footage – made by the para company

Conditions: Pick a warm day, light westerly breeze. If the wind is blitzing – don’t do it. Check that you are riding with an authorised company which has all the necessary certification and equipment.