One of the many skylines of Singapore.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Singapore.

Where are they going next? Bali on May 25th.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Well that was a fantastic way to start the new year!

Valle de Bravo is a popular area for paragliding. It started back in the 1980's with hang gliding, but now you don't see any hang gliders... it's all paragliding. The wind conditions are near perfect and consistent every day from November through March.

This is our sixth time here in Valle de Bravo, so we've seen the paragliders doing their thing and we've always wanted to try it.

I had done a quick check online for prices, and had found one website where they wanted $125 USD for a basic 10 minute flight, increasing in price to $175 USD for a half hour.

But when we stopped in at Valle Profly, friendly bilingual Marlen answered all of our questions, showed us some videos, and gave us group pricing of 1,500 pesos ($77 USD, $105 CAD) for a 15 to 30 minute flight provided more than 5 of us signed up.

Ruth and Marlen at Valle Profly.

Sold!

Yesterday, nine of our group took to the air!

We arrived at their office for the 10:30am meeting time, and bilingual pilot Raoul went over some things with us. Because there were nine of us, and they only have three pilots and three paragliders it was going to take some time, but we were prepared for that. The three lightest people were to go first... Ruth, Susan, and Denise. But they had room in the van for 1 more, so I went with them to take photos.

The other five made their way over to the landing area where the van would pick them up when it was their turn.

When we got up to the launch pad on top of Monte Alto, we were the first group to arrive. There are 8 or 9 other paragliding companies operating in Valle de Bravo, and soon a couple of vans showed up loaded with people.

Our head pilot Raoul explained that we were going to wait for better flying conditions and we would let these other groups go first. It turns out that you need a decent breeze to have the safest takeoff, and these other groups didn't seem to care. Raoul said "You will see some sketchy take offs, and do not think that is going to be you. We will wait until conditions are better".

And sure enough, we stood and watched about 15 people take off, with many of them stumbling and barely skimming the trees after lift off. It didn't appear that anybody got hurt, although it certainly didn't look like fun. We don't know what these people paid, but I timed some of them and they were at the bottom in between five and ten minutes.

Eventually, the wind picked up as it always does, and it was time for the three ladies to get suited up.

There's Sue, ready to go!

It was Ruth's turn first!

There she goes!

And we have lift off!

As the wind gets stronger, it is easiest to lift off. In fact, by the time it was my turn and they had brought Paul and Bob up to meet me, I was watching other people take off and once the sail is up you pretty much just walk off the hill and into the air.

Wow... can't wait to get going!

Pilot Raoul, getting Paul all set up.

Included in the price is a GoPro video, and we have the file, but it is too large for our cellular internet. Obviously I also had our camera with me, and I videoed my take off and landing. The take off file is to large, but the landing video is included below.

Once I was ready, my pilot Nestor got me to walk about halfway down he steep takeoff pad. He hooked me into the gear, and said that I would feel a pull back when the wind picked up the chute. I was to walk backwards until there was no more pull, then we he gave the word we would run foward hard.

The entire takeoff took about three seconds... and before I knew it I was in the air!

Yeehaw!

We flew around the takeoff point, and I got a shot of Bob taking off shortly after me.

Wow! This is Paul.

In the background is the 15,000 ft Toluca Volcano.

This is what is below!

Bob on the left, and Paul on the right.

Bob.

I said to my pilot, "I can understand why you love this so much"!

What a great feeling. Soaring like a bird, and only the noise of the wind to listen to.

Bob.

Hi Bob!

There's our landing spot.

Setting up for our approach.

Here we come!


And, we're back on the ground!

What a fun thing to do, and we would do it again in a heartbeat. So easy, however we are glad that we got lucky and chose the right people to do it with. Our pilots Raoul, Nestor, and Luis were great, and patient, and definitely had our safety and comfort in mind when we compare them to the other operators.

We stayed at the landing area and waited while the last three Wendy, Garth, and Roy had their turn.

Here comes Wendy!

Is that a happy face, or what?!

Here's Roy, ready for landing!

And here comes Garth!

What a great way to start the new year.

Afterwards, we walked as a group down to the popular Los Pericos floating restaurant. It's a tourist restaurant at the main dock, and we figured we would have a meal together so we met the 5 non flying group members there.

While the place itself was nice, and the service was good, the food was only mediocre. My meal was probably the worst I've had in Mexico, and the most expensive.

Denise, Bob, and Sue.

Feels like you're on a cruise ship!

Nice view of the central docks.

Ruth had the fish. She said it was bland.

And I ordered chicken fajitas.
Seriously? This is the funniest looking plate of fajitas I've ever seen!

And it was cold. Normally, I would have sent it back, but we were all hungry, so I just filled my stomach. But we would not go back to Los Pericos Restaurant in Valle de Bravo.

However, overall... a fantastic start to the new year!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The tiny Coleman Party Propane Grill is at a record low price.

And in Canada...

Selection of Saucony Running Shoes is on sale.



27 comments:

  1. Wow...I would love to do that! Great pics. Too bad it was a crummy meal as it should have been a great finish to your whole experience. Thanks for the ride!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you would love to do this then we really recommend coming to Valle de Bravo to do it. It was a fantastic ride, and our pilots were great and so was the price. :-)

      Well, at least we now know not to eat there again!

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  2. Wow, that looked like so much fun ! This entire area looks so attractive - we've been following every day, and wish we were there with you!

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    1. It was a blast, I think just about everyone of us was ready to go again, you couldn't wipe the smiles off of our faces! :-)

      The town and the area here is beautiful, both from the air and from the ground. So glad that you are enjoying our posts. Maybe you can be with us next year if we do this again!

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  3. Fun, fun, fun!!! What a great adventure!

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    1. Lots of fun, it was definitely the right way to start off the New Year! :-)

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  4. I love that you guys are so adventurous. Even more that your fellow travelers are as well!! Kudos to all of you!! I don't think I would have done that at half your age!! Chicken fajitas - I looked at it before I looked at the narrative and asked, "Why is Kevin eating chicken tenders?"! Looked like something a fast food place.

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    Replies
    1. It was amazing and we were so happy that out of the fourteen of us, nine decided to go. Not one of them had any regrets about doing it and you couldn't wipe the smiles off of our faces afterwards. :-)

      We thought the same thing when we saw the plate of food placed in front of Kevin! We were totally unimpressed with the whole meal and now at least we know not to got to that restaurant again.

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  5. Wow, looks fantastic. So nice you got some shots of the others too - they will never forget that!

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    Replies
    1. It was fantastic! You are right, no one that went will ever forget it. :-)

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  6. Sorry to see you're having such a boring time in Mexico. :cD

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  7. Following you every day, and yes, I definitely want to do that! I love your sense of adventure and the fact that you've learned that you don't have to spend the most money to have the most fun!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! We love adventure and it is nice to see that this group also likes the adventure. I think that everyone that did the paragliding would have jumped at the chance to go again! :-)

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  8. Brilliant, looks like tremendous fun

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    1. It definitely was! If we do this tour again, you and Tony will have to meet up with us and have a go too. :-)

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  9. Certainly a nice way to glide into the new year, what a riot!

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    Replies
    1. We honestly can't think of a better way to have brought in the New Year here! :-)

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  10. As usual, true to form, FANTASTIC pictures Kevin! Thank you!

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    1. Thank you Lynnette! The one of Paul came out really well, we will have to make sure you get a copy of it. :-)

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    2. Thank you for the copy of Paul’s “flying stunt”! 😊

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  11. Replies
    1. We are glad to hear that because we are totally loving it too! :-)

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  12. Sadie says "wow, I want to do that with you Mommy"

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    Replies
    1. Sadie could do this no problem. There was a little girl about Sadie's age that went just before me! :-)

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  13. Replies
    1. It was a blast! If you get the chance to do this then you need to do it! :-)

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