Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lima: Flying High...On A Kite 11/10/08

OK, so sometimes I just have to do it... whatever "it" is. So there I was in Lima, staying with my friend Jim Sanford. I met Jim in Canoa, Ecuador and he invited me to stay with him. He has a beautiful apartment right on the water. He also likes to fly paragliders... basically a big kite that you hang from and jump off a cliff. Fortunately (for Jim) he can do this off the cliff right in front of his apartment. It being a beautiful Sunday in Lima, we walked along the park and watched all the paragliders sailing through the sky.

Now you have to understand, yours truly is Afraid of Heights. Like, seriously freaked. But that bothers me, so sometimes I just have to do stuff to get over it. Like, yesterday, hanging from a kite 600 feet off the ground. This is not something one does alone when one (certainly not this one) doesn't know what they are doing. You go in tandem with a supposedly seasoned professional. So, after a bit (ok, much) convincing by Jim I just had to give it a try. Here are the results:
First, the takeoff. It's easy: You just hang this kite off your back and walk off a 300 foot cliff. (Then you brown your shorts)

Then you sail all over the cliffs and the ocean. You also try REALLY hard to avoid the buildings. My pilot happened to like the updrafts from the buildings, so we did a lot of really close inspection of many of Lima's finer apartments for sale... generally through the 20th floor windows. These guys can go forever with the right wind, but I was only up for about 20 minutes (although it seemed like much longer).

Landing, of course, is another matter. You just hold on and hope to hell you don't go over the


Finally, we made it back to earth and I could breathe again. Marco, my pilot, was back up with another tourist two minutes later.

Did I get over my fear of heights... Nah! But can't let that keep me on the ground.

The rest of my Lima visit was somewhat anticlimactic, although Jim and I had a great time. I also got a lot of work done on the bike, along with some new tires to get me through the next stretch of the trip. But enough of the big city, time to get back into the desert!

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