Parapente en Ruitoque (or parasailing in the Andes)

Ruitoque, Floridablanca, Colombia, Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Tony and Jane meet up with On Delay’s latest guests, Siggy and Hilary, and explore the Santander department with lots of help and hosting from our wonderful Colombian friend Jaime and his (equally wonderful) family. This is the first blog about our adventures in Santander.

On Sunday afternoon, Jaime took us to Ruitoque — a parasailing location par excellence. There is a very professional club (Las Aguilas) that offers tandem flights. Tony, Jane, Sonia, Juan David, and Sarita (ages 15 to 50+) signed up for 20 minute flights.

The flights were truly delightful — not at all scary*. The views over the city (Bucaramanga) and the countryside were stunning. The weather was perfect. We flew above the birds, but flew like the birds — riding the thermals.

* Because it was Hallowe’en / Day of the Dead weekend, lots of the employees were dressed up in costume. The scariest thing was a child wandering around stiffly, dressed as a zombie with face paint that gave him a uni-brow and a deathly pallor.

I was surprised how pleasant and easy tandem parapente is. There was no running over a cliff to take off. Landing was relaxed and controlled, and we landed in the same field that we took off from.

Here are some of the pictures that our ground crew Siggy and Hilary took of us. (Click on the photos to enlarge.)

Here is the parapente field where we took off and landed. The view over Bucaramanga is beautiful.

Tony and Jane took off first. Here we are getting into the harnesses — safe and comfortable.

Next Juan David is prepared for take off.

Here Sarita looks happy and ready to go! Her pilot is dressed as a clown.

And now Sarita is up in the air.

Here is a good picture of Sonia, just off the ground.

We all got our full 20-minutes worth and a bit more. A nice flight is lovely of course, but a good landing (imho) is even more important. We all enjoyed good landings:

Jane landing.

Here is Juan David landing.

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