I know I’ve included some pictures of the paragliding sites in Bali in previous posts, but here are a few more. While the weather didn’t usually cooperate with the pilots, there was on average a least one day a week of good flying weather and one particular week with four or five days that were awesome.
So, one of the sites there is called Timbus. About four weeks into the trip a fence was erected by developers to curb pilots getting to the site through their property. To the right of the fence used to be cow pastures. Now, the land has been cleared and no one knows what will be built there next. Golf course? Villas? One things for sure though, paragliders will not be welcome from the looks of things. For now, folks are still taking the known path and then just skirting the fence. It’s dangerous though and we couldn’t help wondering how much longer people will be able to fly here.
I said in an earlier post that few women are in the sport compared to the men. Here’s a few women I met there. Julie was from India and Penny was from Singapore. I heard a great story about a German woman pilot I didn’t get to meet. She beach landed (you really want a top landing) and got a little scrapped up. She immediately had five guys looking to help her get her glider together and then one took her back to the launch site after he stopped for some iodine for her cuts. Wouldn’t take any money either. The two guys who bombed out twenty minutes before her? They had to walk to the road to find a reasonable rate on a taxi to take them back. Local prices were too high!
Marc reached another milestone in Bali. He got his Two hundredth hour in the air there! We celebrated with Bintang’s after the flight.
We met an amazing woman named Maggie one day and helped her achieve her dream of a tandem flight by taking her to the launch site. I think ten minutes after we introduced her to Reky they were up and away for a nice long tandem flight. She even hung out with us afterwards for dinner and drinks. Gotta admire a girl who comes to Bali by herself and isn’t afraid to take on challenges.
Gunung Payung was the other site for flying. A little further down the road, it was also reached by traversing cow pastures. I like this one better because I could walk to the temple and down to the beach from there.
Ok, so here’s a really neat coincidence. Our last day there we go out to Timbus to check out the flying. We see a taxi that is braving to rutted cow pasture to get to the site and a couple of guys guiding it. We started talking to the guys as it’s very slow going and find out one of them in from New Zealand. We talk a little about our trip and then go on a head. About ten minutes later Marc brings the guy over to me and says “honey, we know this guy!” “What?” “Do you remember meeting a guy outside Mission Bay one day who was kiting his wing and said he was living in Hong Kong? This is the guy!” Isn’t that incredible? Kinda like when we picked up the French hitchhikers the second time.
So that’s about it for flying in Bali. Oh wait! I did get a thrill out of the size of the kites there. One of our last days there I emerged from the bush to see a bunch of locals pulling like mad and a zippy sound in the air. Turns out I’d just witnessed the launch of a huge kite.
Alright! So, that was Bali. I’m glad to be back in Auckland though and really looking forward to getting back to the states. Marc’s already flown at Kariotahi beach once and I hope he’s gets a bit more in this last week. Cheers everybody and thanks for liking my blog.