Flying a site with two lives.
I never thought it could happen to me. As I scoured Google Maps in search of Malawi's highest peak, my objective was to train the first Malawian to paraglide, have him fly from there, and make a film about it. It was an epic 'top-to-bottom' and we all went home satisfied. Three years later and I have returned to this magical land with a deep hunger, no longer to teach others, but to teach myself. The lesson: Fly far and high in a land no paraglider has ever explored. After a three hour hike in, my team and I found ourself perched 500 metres above the valley floor. The thermic cycles were strong and frequent so we wasted no time. Within ten minutes of launching, I was wishing I had setup my in-flight pee tube; not because I had forgot to go earlier, but because I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. My wildest of dreams had come true! The great Mount Mulanje, upon which I often gazed while training Godfrey years back, was allowing me to fly along its beautiful body: A medley of ancient spires, massive caves and painted cliff faces. Throughout the entire flight, I had a feeling that this rock knew something I did not, suggesting that I tread lightly for this incredible mountain commanded the respect of a dinosaur. As the short winter's day came to a close, I landed on a dirt road to the tune of hundreds of cheering villagers. They had all whitened something they had never thought possible. So had I. For more photos of the great Mulanje, follow us on Facbeook: [url=http://facebook.com/schoolofdreams/]http://facebook.com/schoolofdreams/[/url] View this flight online or in Google Earth here: [url=http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/922361]http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/922361[/url]
We have this habit of driving in the middle of the day. In Malawi, without AC, this is like turning on your oven and jumping in for the afternoon. As a result, we tend to arrive to new destinations somewhat delirious. Along the long, windy road to Dedza, we pulled over to fuel up. The guys whipped out the map but I couldn't have been bothered; I was in awe of the landscape before us. Where the sun dipped below the new terrain was glowing like something out of a fairy tale. Perhaps it was just a bout of heatstroke but I was certain that we had finally struck gold. Today, after a relatively growling hike, I had my best flight in Malawi thus far. For an hour, I soared up and down a magnificent range, waving at villagers and ultimately landing to the joy of a hundred children near where we are staying below. With a heart full of bliss and a belly full of 'Nsima,' tonight I dream of glorious cross country flights across the Dedza region to come. Erica :)