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1/23 Trekking and Paragliding in Nepal

Guest Contributor –  Author and Photographer –  Michael Restivo  – “Mike in Nepal” Path of Stones
Friday we decided to take on a major trek to Sarangkot, a small town perched atop a 500 m mountain just outside of Pokhara.
Our plan was to hike to the top, stay the night, watch the sunrise, and para-glide down.
The hike was the most physically demanding trek yet. It consisted of steps cut out in stone going all up hill and by halfway we were sweaty and tired. After about 3 hours we made it to the top and were rewarded by a spectacular view of the valley below.
We found the first hotel with a hot shower, and I was able to shower off for the first time in a week, I felt amazing. Since the town was out of power, we were able to go onto the roof and see and amazing combination of lights below, mountains, and lots of stars. We celebrated our trek over a few beers.
The next morning we got up early enough to watch the sun come up from over the Himalayas, a beautiful view from the top of a mountain. We had breakfast and headed for our paragliding point.

Gliding

Paragliding is when you are strapped in to a giant parachute and hurled running off the side of a cliff. High enough to see eagles and hawks flying nearby, and the rest of the town in mist below. My pilot was a jolly Nepali who loved to tell people it was only his second day and that “two beginners work better than one” (in actuality hes been doing it for six years) They strapped me in a harness, waited for the wind to pick up and we literally ran right off the cliff at about 450 m. The thermals immediately lifted us up and we flew higher than the mountain we had been staying on. We flew over the little villages and roads, the river, the lake, and made passes back to our launching point. He tried some acrobatics which consisted of twisting the parachute and us nearly sideways and seemed to find the thermals that positioned us above everyone else. After this he flew out over the lake and twisted and turned the parachute so we were going left, right, up, down all at once. To come down he put the parachute into a series of dizzying spirals and we landed in a clear open field. We celebrated our trek with apple pie (a trekkers tradition) and of course more beers.
We came back into town and toured our friends through our orphanage and home. Next week we plan to take a boat across the lake to see the peace pagoda, a small white marker high on a hill on the other side of the lake but it’s a easy 1 hour trek to and back. The week after that we are hoping to hit the jungles of Chitwan for a safari, and then maybe do some whitewater rafting. Its an adventurers paradise here. Have to go but hope everyone is doing good. Namaste and talk to you all soon!   For additional posts by Michael Restivo on NEPAL we invite you to visit MiamiRealEstateCafe.com

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