I have booked to go paragliding – some people’s idea of hell,my idea of bliss. In the jeep taking us up the mountain I chat to the lady sitting next to me, a bubbly Scottish lady of similar age – we are both keen and excited – strangely it is the men that are subdued. One poor guy is actually terrified, he is with his girlfriend who has clearly talked him into it.
The “pilots” have playing cards that they hand out – each card has one of their names on it and that is how they pick their passenger – simples!! My pilot is called a name I cannot pronounce so he says to call him John. They have such confidence and bravado and shout loudly to each other during the hair-raising drive to the top – probably the scariest part of my trip with its sharp hairpins, no crash barriers and narrow unmade roads.
To be fair I get butterflies when we arrive at the top but the views are spectacular. I am strapped into my harness and then attached to John. His instructions are short and plain – when I say run, you run and do not stop. We walk nearer the edge where there is a short steep drop off and he says run – my short little legs go as fast as they can but it was only 3 or 4 steps before we were airborne. WOW WOW WOW – what a feeling, what an experience. Total peace and quiet, just the sound of the wind and spectacular views across the sea – I am lost in the sensation. John asks if I am enjoying myself and I say I am – he says “Better than sex yes?” and I laugh and agree! It’s so long since I’ve had sex (!) but this feeling of pure abandon, peace, joy and exhilaration certainly ticks my boxes. Because I am an adrenalin junkie I ask him to spin and so we twirl up and down and round and round and it’s like the best roller coaster in the world. The flight takes about 45 minutes and I don’t want it to end, but I know we are slowly descending. I worry about the landing but we drop softly and land on our feet just metres from the beach – I hug John and thank him for the wonderful experience. Gradually everyone from our jeep comes down and we all have the same silly beaming grins on our faces. Even the guy who was so clearly terrified described it as the best thing ever.
I am starving having skipped breakfast in case I am nauseous before my “flight”. Now ravenous I go to a beach bar and order a club sandwich and a beer. Then a group comes in and I recognise Mary, the lovely Scottish lady from the jeep and her girlfriends. When she spots me, Mary calls me over to join them for a champagne cocktail (or two) and, when we discover we are all staying in the same hotel, they invite me to join them for dinner.
We range in age from 42 – 62 and are all very diverse. They are all broad Scots and at first I could have done with a translator but I soon pick up the ayes and cannas and I finally get back to the hotel around 2am – so much for my peaceful relaxing holiday.
Nursing a tiny wee hangover the next day, I hop on a local bus and go to a local market a couple of towns away. The first thing I see is a man with a severed goat’s head in each hand – I do a double take and wish I hadn’t ! EEeewwwww 🙁 The market is hot and heaving and to be honest – full of cheap tat – and the stall holders have all the English patter – Cheap as chips ! Asda price ! Better than Primark ! Lovely jubbly! as they try to entice me to buy their fake designer goods. I wander around the town but everything is closed – because it is a festival – hence the goats heads. So I head home and sleep by the pool. My Bridget Jones book lasted just over a day so I download a self help book on my Kindle and try to glean some advice from it: I think I know where I am going wrong – dating’s not to find the one – dating should be having fun. And I decide this will be my mantra. So I meet up with the Scottish girls again for cocktails and I’ve booked a Jeep safari:
I eat out with the girls again and go out for a couple if cocktails but I know I am being picked up early the next day – jeep safari ! I know, I know, I said all I would do was relax and lay by the pool – but now I’ m here I want to have fun!