Paragliding in Queenstown, New Zealand

I was just opining on instagram that I ought to give my travel photos more limelight on my blog, so today, I decided that it’s about time I gave some air time to my New Zealand holiday, which took place way back in December 2012.
If you are interested, you could also read about Lake Tekapo, my first stop in New Zealand in the following posts:

Paragliding was one of the activities that I did in Queenstown. It took me a while to take the plunge, quite literally, because I have always been relatively risk averse.
But I am glad I did it eventually, because New Zealand, especially Queenstown, is probably one of the best places to do this. The adventure companies here are very experienced, the scenery is amazing and the atmosphere just feels right. I mean, everyone does adventure activities here!
All geared up!
After extensive online research, I signed up with Skytrek, which has flown over 60,000 customers since 1992. The co-owner is also the most experienced paragliding instructor in New Zealand. That really put my mind at ease.
Skytrek instructor
I signed up for the paragliding session in the afternoon and was surprised to see that there was nobody else but me. 
Amidst all the excitement, it was a little nerve-wrecking as I got all suited up for the experience.
All ready to go!
I was told to run down a slope, but after just a few steps, I miraculously floated off the ground and drifted into the sky.
It was a beautiful day.The picturesque view of Queenstown was a welcome distraction as it immediately cast my fears away. I marveled at the sprawling pastures against the backdrop of majestic mountains surrounded by meandering rivers, while furry blankets of clouds dotted the bright blue sky. 

Amazing view of Queenstown

The ride was very smooth and comfortable, to the extent that I almost forgot about being so high up in the sky with the blinding sun and strong winds battering down on my face.  Well, that was until my instructor decided to throw me off-guard with a few acrobatic twists and spirals, with his GoPro camera in tow.

As the ride got a little more exhilarating, I shrieked a little and my eyes shut tight whenever I felt the G-force as we continued spiraling downwards.

The funny thing
about me is that I get really hungry when there is too much motion, and
by the end of my 25-minute ride, I was feeling weak and famished! 
“How was it?”, my instructor asked upon landing. 
“I am very hungry now!!”, came my reply.
I think he was more amused than anything else. After a hearty laugh and an exchange of goodbyes, I made a dash to the nearest cafe across the field and ordered myself a warm bowl of soup.

Landed and hopelessly famished!
Thank you Skytrek for the fab experience!
Discovering new lands and experiences never fails to give me a deep sense of satisfaction. This time, my virgin paragliding experience awakened my sense of adventure, an element that has been lying dormant deep inside me for what seems like an eternity. 

And so, would I do it again? Yes, I would, in a heartbeat.