Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hanging Over Queenstown

This morning Mum and I had breakfast in our hotel, the Copthorne Lakeside Resort, seeing our surroundings in the daylight for the first time. Overlooking Lake Wakatipu, and mountain ranges at every direction, the sun was shining and there was a thread of cloud across the landscape.

Having read up on some of the adventure activities offered in the area, I had decided for the degree of difficulty, the fact that there is no water involved, and that you don't need to land on your feet, to go hang gliding whilst here. Booking was as easy as having the concierge calling a company for a timeslot, and then they came and got me, Mum in tow as my spectator.

Queenstown Hang Gliding and Paragliding with pilot and co in a little mini van collected us, and took us to the ski base of Coronet Peak. Here I was strapped into my harness and giving my instructions for our take off over the edge of the mountain. Nervous, we stood waiting for the right gust of wind...or any gust of wind! Being at the end of the season, and given the need to get something like this right, we waited for awhile, making my nerves increase.

But when Niel, my pilot, asked if I was ready at last, given the length of time waiting, and anticipating, strapped in and facing the space above Queenstown, I was ready for the steps and short run off the cliff.

With a nervous moment to get my feet into position, I was then flying with ease over the forest and mountain below...flying, like a bird. Once up there, and settled in, I had to try and remember to look around and enjoy the experience...which was easy, cos it just felt like we were floating up there in the winds. But I did need to remember not to focus so much on holding on!

We flew over the trees below, and then I was handed the steering myself, and shown how our weight movements would control the direction of the Glider. As gravity and the wind directed us down, we soon circled the landing field, and come in to land, on our bellys on the green grass. Easy as!

Feet back on the ground, Mum and the rest of the crew joined us at the Flight Park landing field, and we were taken back to our hotel. The rest of today, Mum and I have walked around Queenstown Gardens, taking in the Lake and the Mountains, and all the activities going on overhead. We have wandered through the little touristy town, before dinner at the Speight's Ale House.

1 comment:

  1. WoW! Awesome. Flying like a Hawk. Love it. See you soon. I'm lonely. : (


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