Sunday, 24 April 2011

Hang glida go go


I spend so much of my time on the ground watching my husband Ian taking people hang gliding - it's not often I get to go up alongside him. But this week I was lucky, and so on a perfect sunny windless day we took to the sky.

I'm a little bit nervous as we get strapped in ready to go - this is after all, just a wing that I'm attaching myself too. But I remind myself of how many years Ian has been hang gliding - more than a quarter of a century -, and the small second mortgage he took out to buy the best hang glider in the business, and I feel a bit calmer. We have a tow line attaching us to the back of a microlight plane which is going to tow us up. As the 'all out' signal is called, and the microlight starts to pull away, my heart is racing but within seconds we are airbourne and there is so much to take in that my nerves fall away.

We are gaining height very quickly as we are towed up.
Once we get up to 2000 feet, Ian releases away from the tow rope, and it's just me and him, and the birds for company.
We can see up river towards London, and downriver towards the coast. It's rather surreal looking down over the M25 looking at the queuing traffic like a line of ants. It's amazingly quiet, and we can talk to each other all the time. We soar and glide for around 15 minutes before gently making our way back to the ground for a smooth landing.

'I don't remember agreeing to this in the wedding vows...'

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