Crackers, chaos and craziness. That’s what Diwali was like this year. Did I mention craziness? 25 paragliding students, lots of family and add a couple of Europeans to that mix. But so much fun.
The week began with Laxmi Puja and fireworks, food and an air of festivity. The Raos led the Puja with everyone singing along, and Jannis and Angeliki looking extremely confused.
This week also saw the return of Doc and Emil to Native Place. And students from all over the country. We had group from Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, everywhere…Have you ever seen an assembly line? Well, this is what a paragliding assembly line looks like.Shinde hill was a madhouse, with 15 students being launched from take off on a single day, a complete circus. But the energy was contagious as students ran back up the slope on the adrenalin of first flights.
My favourite part was standing near the landing and watching their faces as they come down. The range of expressions seen is priceless. From massive grins to “WHAT AM I DOING?!”, you see it all!
Heading back to the house we’re in for a surprise. In the bathroom, we had to look out for the fish and not the frogs. The common loos have been brightened up with a bunch of eclectic fish swimming around the walls, with the occasional fish swimming against the current. So make sure you take a pee(p) when you’re here.
Yes, I have a ridiculous tan, but it’s just there to remind all of you how much fun it is to fly even if you are baking in the sun. Either way, Colin’s red face should be distraction enough!
Yup, this weekend saw a ton of pilots back at Native Place set to open the paragliding season with gusto. (And also a teensy hope of shooting stars, which we did see, although 4 was the final count). Dr Satish was at Tower Hill with his brand new tricoloured wing. The Ozone Mojo 4 was a beauty to watch at take off, and even better to fly according to its pilot.
The flying continued all morning, with pilots going back for more flights as the wind welcomed everyone back in the air. The only small disappointment was the amount of development at the base of Tower Hill. So make sure to scope out the landing field and get a brief from the Fly Nirvana crew before you take off.
And of course, the party went on back at Native Place, with the hope of seeing some more shooting stars, but hopefully we’re luckier next time (there’ll be an update on Facebook for the next meteor shower). And it plans to continue this week with Jannis and Angeliki back at the house!
They’re heading to the paragliding site with us soon, as the conditions continue to stay beautiful for some ridge soaring (and some brave attempts at thermalling from me). Who is joining us for the next parawaiting session?
This weekend Nikhil Bhide, unveiled his brand new glider; the Ozone Geo III in the sun colors of yellow, white and red. Being Nikhil’s first wing and the first Geo III in Kamshet everyone was excited to see it unfurl. The Geo III possesses the same DHV 1 safety class as the Ozone Mojo 3, but is about 2 kilos lighter thus making it an ideal travel glider without compromising safety. This suited Nikhil perfectly.
Saturday pilots and guests gathered together on the roof as usual to mingle enjoy the starry canopy above. We also joined in the wedding anniversary celebration of guests Mehul & Nikita. It was their 1st anniversary and Nikita wanted to do something different and a weekend of paragliding and stay at Native Place is what she chose. A novel way to celebrate we must agree! They thoroughly enjoyed the experience of flying, soaking in the relaxing vibe on the hillside as well as the camaraderie and setting at Native Place
We also welcomed pilot couple Chetan and Vrinda who visited after more than 3 months. Vrinda made up by whipping up some delicious gajar halwa (desert) on Sunday afternoon after which we took off to the Shelar site for some Sunday sunset flying. Conditions were great and I clocked my longest flight yet at 2 hours 10 minutes! We returned sated our smiles reflecting fulfilling flights
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
The dates for the course were November 4th to 6th. Ten of us from Nirvana Adventures including a young Sunith Rao who has been a great fan of Jocky’s having watched his Security in Flight training video innumerable times since the age of 4. In all there were over 35 pilots signed in for the course and our team went with no expectations and an open minds happy to meet the big man, listen to and fly with him.
Jocky Sanderson came across as youthful and full of energy. We were all familiar with how he looked from having watched his Security in flight video for the past 15 years. ‘He seems to be growing younger’ I thought. I guess it comes from doing what you love most. From his very first lecture we were spellbound. He delivered his lectures with a playful energy and his sound effects ( yes he made the most interesting sounds much to our delight) we were hooked. A guru for sure – I’d say a natural child and a guru rolled into one. An amazing combo of wisdom, patience and enthusiasm
Over the next couple of days were filled with morning and evening lectures and and an afternoon flying session (Strong winds in the morning kept is in the classroom) The group was loosely divided according to experience and the more proficient pilots took off in stronger winds while the rest waited for more favorable conditions. the flying was task based – thermalling, practicing maneuvers and those who got enough height would head out with Chris White, Jocky’s colleague.
All in all it was a wonderful experience. Jocky beame a catalyst and raised our energy levels and our eagerness to learn, better ourselves. ‘Practice Practice Practice’, ‘Push your boundaries’ and ‘become one with your wing’ were the key words flying around. He changed the way we percieved our home sites and opened our thought process to new and exciting possibilities. Many pilots bested their performances including Rinul Pashankar who flew 6 km XC along with Jockey on the last day ( read about that in the next blog)
To see more pictures of this weekend click here
We are all grateful for the wonderful energizing experience
Peace Bliss & Happy Landings