Nirvana Adventures End of Paragliding Season Party 2016/17
It’s been a tradition since 2005, as summer comes to an end and the monsoon season looms the Nirvana Adventures Paragliding community get’s together to unfurl our wings for the last flight of the season, give thanks.
We have a lot to celebrate and be grateful for – great flying conditions, a safety record to be proud of, bringing lots of new entrants into the world of free flight and being instrumental in ensuring the sites stay open to the paragliding world. We had also only recently lost Shelar Mama the grand old farmer of the hills here after whom we had named this site and on whose urging the end of season party tradition began so this time around we were honoring him too.
The weekend began with kids from Karanjgaon ( the Shelar paragliding site) coming over to the Native Place Guesthouse for a morning of fun games & prizes. The kids at the site help us immensely with carrying the equipment and packing our wings. Many of our instructors have started off this way and each year we do something for the kids or the local school – Nirvana Adventures CSR program
Visiting Ghonshubai’s shrine – After lunch the entire party left for the flying site. 3 of us made it to Ghonshubai – the shrine of the Devi ( Goddess) on the hill to pay our respects. Since Shelar mama had recently passed away we left some paraphenelia for him – should he continue his antics, roaming the hillsides on moonlit nights to meet the goddess he would not be empty handed.
Back at the takeoff – The winds were strong as is expected for this time of the year – Lots was going on – accuracy competitions, site cleanup, ground handling displays, aerial seed ball bombing, tandem paragliding rides.
Seed ball dispersion over the Shelar ridge – pilots took off with a bag of seed balls and bombed the bare ridges with seed balls that we had made all through summer. Packed with nutrition and native tree and herb seeds – the intention being reforestation of the barren hillsides of the Shelar ridge.
Sunith Rao takes off with a bag of seed balls to bomb the Shelar Ridge
Spot landing competition – Anand Palekar and Vinod Shelar won the spot landing competition and both were pleased to win a vario each. The evening’s refrain was ‘Anand made the spot”
Dhol Tasha on the roof – After sunset the party moved to the Native Place Guesthouse. Pilots and friends took to the roof. The Dhol-Tasha (drummers) troupe began to play and the air was filled with the sounds and echoes of heart pounding, foot stomping drums and cymbals. The rhythm brought everyone to the floor and once the band took a break the instructors and students picked up the instruments and continued for another set – full on dancing and energetic beats.
After all the foot stomping and pounding there was a summer style BBQ dinner and pilots hung about reminiscing about their flying and the para-waiting that would ensue for the monsoon months ( June to September) the fireflies flashed on and off in the trees around and finally turn in to bed.
Next morning a late breakfast, slack lining, dip in the lake and a fabulous lunch after which most people departed sated with promises to meet in October when the PG season opened or to catch up in the monsoon to splash in the streams and find waterfalls.
Peace Bliss & Happy Landings
Astrid, Sanjay & Sunith Rao