Paragliding in Kamshet, India: ”The thought of travelling to India had never crossed my mind. Paragliding gave me the opportunity to come – and I just loved it” said Camilla. “I have never seen such hospitality, warmth and live for today happiness.”
Camilla completed her beginner paragliding course in 2010 and accompanied her paraglider husband Novak on a pg holiday to Kamshet, India the same year. People told her she needed to gain more experience before taking on such a trip but she signed up for the adventure never the less.
About the flying: She found the flying stable and good for beginners too. Today with 3 years of flying experience under her belt she is she is even more appreciative. “I have grown with the place and there is still so much to discover” she enthuses. “I feel l secure and confident when I am here”
The India Experience: “I feel at home at the Native Place guesthouse, such an amazing place to live in full of warmth and hospitality not at all like a hotel. We enjoy the Indian food, and the interactions at Native Place, the wild tropical garden, sunset over the lake, evening on the terrace with all the pilots & students and the relaxed, and warm, happy holiday atmosphere.”
“Everyone in this year’s group says it is the best trip they have ever had -great flying, delicious food, warm ambiance and good company.”
At the landing: “I am a social person – I enjoy the contact with the children at the landing. It is a joy to see them running about happily in the sunshine. We look forward to interacting with them at the end of each flying day. We are able to see their needs and although one cannot help everyone it is possible to touch some of them and share simple joys.” Camilla takes the time to write letters to some of the children.
Make a difference: The friendships formed on the landing field led to them wanting to make a small difference. “We are all very happy to give something back.” she said. “Sanjay Rao took us to visit the local school last year – we wanted to see the infrastructure of the school that takes care of so many village children.”
After discussing with the teachers and spending time with the school children they decided to put together a fund towards a projector for the school. This would give the kids of class 10 access to interactive tutorials thus putting them in a better position to do well in this crucial examination year. Camilla took charge and asked friends, family and pg pilots to contribute and made it happen! “We are all very happy” she said. “We wanted so much to give something back – this made sense – the school is close to Nirvana Adventures and we can see, feel the kids, school. Not like Red Cross or some big NGO where the money goes into a black hole
Camilla Ljungberg visits India along with instructor & guide Peder Dryssen of PG school Aventyrscenter Sweden. Peder guides pg holidays all over the world and his annual trip to Kamshet, India has been on for the past 8 years. He says that unlike the other trips he takes around the world, at the end of each India PG trip at least half of the group signs up for next year! Catch up with them at www.aventyrscenter.se
We closed the flying season at Kamshet with our traditional end of season party on the 9/10th weekend of June. Saturday began with an early morning trip to the Shelar site to pay our respects to the Devi on the hills. We walked up to the shrine in silence, said a prayer, lingered a while to enjoy the view before running down the hillside and driving back to Native Place to wait for the Shelar village kids to arrive.
The plan was to give the kids a new experience and for this we enlisted the services of team building professionals to take them through the mountain adventure experience that we offer our corporate clients.The kids were super excited and loved the rappelling zipline, team games and the nature activities. They were given an orientation on mountaineering equipment and those interested were given details on courses to help pursue a passion or a profession.
The day was full of excitement and joy with the kids having a blast with all the fun activities and pilots landing up through the day. In the evening it was just pilots – dancing, chatting, bonding and firefly gazing.
Our way of saying ‘thank you all’ for a wonderful flying season.
Peace Bliss & Happy Landings
Astrid, Sanjay & all at Nirvana Adventures
Kamshet in the rains: We made plans to meet at Native Place during the monsoon to enjoy the rains, streams and waterfalls as well as the verdant shades of the hills all around. So those of you who missed this occasion keep a look out for the announcement of the next event: ‘Discover Kamshet in the rains’
It was to be a moonless night on Saturday the 21st of May, a perfect night to spend on the Native Place terrace, far away from the bright city lights, with a cool west wind blowing over the lake and an inky sky studded with stars hanging above.
After a hot afternoon at the site, a soothing sunset flight at Shelar all we could think of was quick shower and head up for the action on the roof. It proved to be a wonderful night with shooting star sightings and even the odd firefly ethereally floating by.
The next day was Nirvana Instructor Sandip Bhalshinge’s wedding and we headed out in all our finery to the marriage hall ready to be accosted by a riot of colors, share a simple meal and meet many familiar faces. Sandip hails from Karanjgaon the village near the Shelar site and it was interesting to meet all the glider packing kids of Shelar, and especially nice to see some of the glider packing girls like Pashi and Ushi who are now married and have moved away.
The best part of the village weddings in the area is the village trance like party where dancing in the streets goes on till late at night powered by the hearth stomping monster speakers with incredible audio power aboard a mobile silver carriage that comes with a DJ console, seats for the bride and the groom, a generator and a contagious tempo guaranteed to get your hips shaking and your feet tapping.
Full on crazy dancing was the order of the night and every one let their hair down, jumped into the fray and kicked up a dust. After the street dancing the party moved back to Native Place where singing continued till the wee hours.
Monday morning saw a sleepy but happy rejuvenated bunch of people heading back to the city and to work after a very special weekend. It sure was the perfect recipe for a memorable weekend of paragliding, culture and camaraderie.
Some of the above were familiar faces, people we have known for many years , as well as first time visitors. Each guest found their own place in the sun / sky / hammock. Every guest was treated to panoramic nature views from the air and from Native Place, enjoyed great food at Native Place, made friends, achieved best flights and pushed their boundaries … Most of all each of them felt a sense of being at home – in this remote rural corner of India – at a unique eco friendly and culturally sensitive guesthouse called Native Place.
Students in the Elementary Pilot Course come back to Native Place after an early morning session at Shinde Tekdi paragliding site
At Native Place we capture the Grey Hornbill on camera for the first time
The Crimson Sunbird is back
Singing on the Native Place terrace at Night with Dara Hogan visiting pilot from the UK
Anand Ashwin and Kunal have an early morning flight at Tower Hill on Sunday before heading back to the city
Another wonderful weekend
Peace Bliss & Happy Landings
Astrid & Sanjay Rao