Flying into Cape Town

by Andrew Stein

Paragliding over Cape Town

Stefan says to me, “On the count of three, we will start running.  And don’t forget to not sit down.”

“Right,” I reply. “I guess I’m ready.” I ineffectively try to wipe the sweat from my face on this scorcher of day.

I think of all the not-so-reassuring words that fellow flyer and classmate Matt has given me throughout the last couple days in preparation for this moment.  “Even in the worst case scenario, at least there will be little pain.”

I’m waiting for Stefan’s count of three to begin any moment and it feels like I’m waiting forever.  I find myself holding my breath in anticipation until I cannot hold my breath any longer because of my quicker heart rate.  I tell myself that I get more than my money’s worth for these types of adventures assuming that the best measure to use is heart rate per dollar.  My fear of heights causes my heart rate to scale quickly at such moments.

Paragliding Over Cape Town from Andrew Stein on Vimeo.

“One.  Two.  Three.”  We start running and of course I begin to try to sit in my harness well before it is time.  I receive a quick scolding and immediately stand up and resume running.

Before I know what has happened, we are seemingly weightless, Lion’s Head Peak is to our back and Cape Town’s coastline is ahead of us.  We hit a small thermal updraft and climb a little higher before beginning our descent.  Once I feel supported by the parachute above me, I begin to relax and couldn’t be happier that I was convinced to fly via paraglide over this great city.