Tuesday, September 25, 2012

That time I tried to fly...

Run, he tells me. Just keep running till you can't anymore. Okay, sounds straightforward enough. We run; it's hard. I can feel the pull of the wing (parachute) but do as told...we reach the end...my feet leave the ground and I wait to feel the wind through my hair and the rush of flying. We lift a bit, then I'm running down the mountain. Through bushes and trees...this cannot be right?!? It wasn't. We were crashing and went tumbling a couple of meters down the mountain before managing to stop ourselves. We're tangled and shaky  and thankfully okay. We hang on for what feels like ages before some staff come down to help us back up. I have bits of trees and dead leaves all up my shirt, which is now ripped...I'm scared and embarrassed and cut and bruised but I still cannot wait to try again.

Forgive the dramatic introduction but I just couldn't resist ;) This past weekend a group of 9 Jecheonians and myself went off to Danyang to try our hands at paragliding before it gets too cold. We were really lucky and arrived on the most beautiful day! We were taken up to the top of the mountain via a van with open back, where 4 of us sat trying not to fall off. Once at the top, the view was amazing and there was little time to sit around and contemplate what we were actually doing. The guy taking our money tried to rip us off but thankfully we had Angela there to help us and  we paid our \80 000 and were being hooked up before we could say "I'm scared of heights".

On the way up

View from the top

Estelle and I were the first to go; she made it look effortless and was in the air in no time. As the introduction suggests, mine did not go according to plan. It was a really scary feeling...falling and knowing that if we didn't stop, we would be at the bottom of the mountain with who knows what injuries in no time. It was kind of surreal and so many thoughts were going through my mind: what are the others thinking - they're probably laughing cos this is kinda funny...crap these are new pants and I hope I don't rip them...oh that hurt...we need to stop before we end up on that road...
But we did stop and I wasn't badly hurt, just a black and blue leg and shoulder and some scratches on my arm. There was no contemplation of not going again - I really wanted to. Once back at the top, I had my friends there to help me and calm me and then they were sent flying. I was second last to go and this time around they had 2 men helping me run. I still don't know what actually happened; I think it was a combination of things. This type of thing apparently never happens. Hey, at least I gave my pilot some impromptu training!

The actual flight was incredible!! That feeling of flying is second to none and although it was only 5 minutes, I felt it was well worth everything I'd been through. My guide was so nice and he made a real effort to make sure I enjoyed myself. Landing was as easy as pie and I now have a video to record my flight. A smart person would try and edit it before I post it but I'm not that smart. So here it is. Forgive the shakiness and sound and everything. Only watch it if you're interested and stop watching after I land and give a peace sign with my pilot - it gets really motion sickness-y after that ;) But it's a cool record of the flight. Enjoy :)  (OK the video isn't loading so will need to try at home)

So that was paragliding - would totally do it again and don't let my experience stop you. It takes a 'special' person to crash if you know what I mean ;)

Take off attempt #1

Looking like a pack horse

Fighting! We made it. My good sport of a pilot and me

After some lunch in Danyang, we were headed back to Jecheon to prepare for Will's 25th Masked Birthday Party! What a fun night that was! Estelle hosted us on her roof, and bar a rude so-and-so who at 20:15 (so late for a Saturday right?) came and told us to shut it all down, the party was a great success. Estelle and Meabh made the MOST delicious food, and we pigged out on that, dessert goodies and home made cocktails. Everyone had to wear a mask (and by everyone I mean the girls and a handful of guys) and it felt like a normal party back home. Except we were drinking soju. It was time for Rock and Roll, a local bar, after that where we spent the rest of the evening downing lemon drops and dancing to Gangnam Style. Was a super evening.

Some pics of the night...

Pretty masked ladies

Some of the delicious food

Gangnam Style 

Birthday Boy!

Su and Myself
A huge thank you to Estelle and Meabh for all their hard work that night!!

I think that's the last of the adventure sports I'll be doing in Korea. May try my hand at skiing and tobogganing during Winter but that's tame...right?

This upcoming weekend is a long one for us, thanks to 추석 (Chuseok - Korean thanksgiving) which gives us 5 days of beautiful weekend!! I'm going to Jeju island with some friends and cannot wait. Will be climbing some old volcanoes, seeing waterfalls and beaches and chilling out to the max. Yes - be jealous ;)

Life in Korea is pretty sweet at the moment. My kids are generally a ball and the weather has cooled down quite a bit which is heavenly. My landlord has actually decided to start putting my underfloor heating on at night which is less than ideal. But it shows - Winter is coming! Temperatures are currently ranging from around 18 degrees at night (sometimes colder out here by my schools) and reaching 23-26 degrees during the day. It's great.

So that is all folks. Just a follow up on my last post about Psy and Gangnam Style - I heard on the news the other morning that it has now made a Guinness Record for 'Most liked video on Youtube', which was previously held by LMFAO 'Party Rock'. So go Psy.

Have a happy Wednesday everyone!


  1. Nice pics + post...glad your crash didn't ruin the experience for ya! ;)

  2. Really loved this post bron! Made me chuckle a bit ;)