Looking back on the summer of ’17 I can say with certainty that it was not short on adventures and bucket list experiences. Yes, I do have an actual list of things I want to do or try, events I want to attend, places I want to see or visit (and in this case fly over😊), memories I would like to collect or simply moments I wish to have in my life one day. And while my 7-pages-long list (in fact, it is still growing) is not really focused on anything materialistic (although that Vespa and VW camper van hold their spots pretty high!), it includes several experiences that should bring my adrenaline quite high … pretty much anything like skydiving, bungee jumping, zip lining, base jumping, portaledging, maybe even base jumping one day, who knows.

It is no surprise that when I was planning my trip to Turkey with my annoying friend Martarita (jk, I love her!) and learnt that Dalaman coast belongs among the top places to try tandem paragliding, I just knew we had to put it on our itinerary. Convincing Marta wasn’t an issue.

  • “Marta, do you wanna try paragliding in Fethyie?”
  • “I’m not sure if I feel like jumping off a plane.”
  • “Great. This isn’t jumping off a plane, this is running off a cliff.”

So this is a story of how we flew with a parachute 2 000 metres/6 500 feet above one of the most beautiful coastline I have ever seen.

The top of the Mount Badagag, where the paragliding takes place from, can be reached by a car through a winding narrow road. Since the curves in the road went left and right every 10 seconds my stomach got significantly upset and I must admit that the 30-minute drive to the summit was probably much worse than the flight itself.

As soon as we got to the peak, we walked around staring at all the beautiful views of the far horizons and enjoyed the chilly breeze cooling off our faces as the top was much colder and less humid than at the beach town Oludeniz. I was introduced to my pilot Oguz, a smiley Turkish dude and adventure junkie as he called himself, and got strapped to the parachute. I was expecting some kind of a safety lesson but instead, Oguz asked me whether I tend to get car sick or sea sick. ”Both”, I nodded timorously which made him laugh. The only set of instructions I was told was: “Trust me and when I say run you run and keep running.” Okay, I can do that. He emphasized that I wouldn’t stop running until we were really high in the air. Do you know how dogs keep swimming with their paws even when you take them out of the water? That’s what I imagined.

“Ready?”, he asked.

YES! I was more than ready. I was super excited!

So we ran and ran and suddenly we were gliding through the blue skies and the ground was dozens of metres away from our feet. I couldn’t believe how smooth this take off actually was! At quite slow and relaxing pace we spent about 40 minutes just floating through the sky and enjoying the view. We chatted about Oguz’ career as a tandem pilot and how his part time job during Aviation university turned out to be his life passion. His love for paragliding and skydiving took him all around the world with South Africa and Afghanistan being his favorite spots and he said he couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I looked around and understood why, the view was unreal.

At first, we saw lots of mountain peaks as we were gently gaining even more altitude. The beach was hidden so far away and the mountain range seemed endless. I felt so blessed to be flying over the well-known Lucian way, an epic 500 km long coastal footpath which now also holds a spot on my bucket list. 😊

About 20 minutes later we got closer to the coast and at that moment it was absolutely clear to my why Oludeniz, also known as Blue Lagoon, belongs among the top ranked beaches in the entire country and why Trip Advisor named the beach to be the 4th best in Europe (even though it is geographically in Asia, cough cough).

The flight was incredibly relaxing and soothing and honestly, I could cruise around the skies all day and never get sick of it (at least mentally). Most of the time, my friend Marta was paragliding with her pilot close to us (which is apparently not an easy task for pilots to stay next to each other!) so every now and then we threw a shaka at each other and it felt special to share this experience with her, moreover to see her gliding next to me with a big smile on her face. We couldn’t have asked for a better weather and since it was a beautiful clear day, Oguz pointed out that even Greek island Rhodes was visible in the far distance!

I was touched how lucky I am to witness something like this. I know it sounds cliché but seeing the world from another perspective truly makes you realize how small your problems are and that no matter what you’re feeling or going through, the world also keeps going at its own pace. We were just floating and having a time of your lives but in the meantime, everyone and everything below — people, cars, birds, fellow paragliders, ocean waves – was going about their own routine, without a care in the world that we were up there flying. Having this “observer moment” was certainly memorable for me.

Before we got to the landing, Oguz asked me if I was feeling adventurous. Very hesitantly I nodded so he did few loops. In the end, he gave me the stripes so I tried piloting the parachute for a bit as well which was so much fun. Landing itself was even smother than taking off. As we were approaching the ground, I was told to just start walking once we land and keep on walking so the parachute would not land on us. We touched the ground so gently that I almost did not feel it at all.

I should probably also mention that not only was this an experience of a life time and something I will always cherish, I could not have asked for a better company to go with. The team of Sky Sports Oludeniz is super professional, caring and fun! And while I know that this kind of adventurous are something that we should not try to save money on, because safety first, I must say the paragliding in Oludeniz is also very affordable since the entire package cost around 120 euros.  I think it’s great that there are places with such topnotch service and more people can try paragliding without selling their kidney.

Thank you, Sky Sports, for making it unforgettable and my pilot was being super cool! And thank you Marta, for saying yes to anything I suggest 😊

Next time? Skydiving!


1 Comment

  • Jane J. September 27, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Looks so much fun. Putting it on my list too. 🙂


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