Bucket list and no2 spot in the world

On August 17, we got to tick an item off the bucket list. Paragliding and paragliding in the no 2 spot in the world. What a blast!

The girls and I were picked up from the hotel and brought to Sarangkot. A short 25 min drive up the hills of Pokhara.

Post a massive storm the night before, the weather cleared . It’s the tail end of monsoon so the sun is back shining again. It’s hot and it’s humid.

I went parasailing many moons ago but consider this adventure with my chicks as an all round first time.

Kaia… My mind says yes but my guts tell me no, walk away!

Skye… I want to do it but don’t ask me again.

Willow .. I’m definitely doing it. Out of 10, I’m an 11.

Me… As long as I don’t wipe out on take off and rip a hole up the backside of my trousers … Bring it on!

Papa… I’ll sit this one out.

We get to the hill and get assigned to our pilots. This is tandem paragliding. We get our briefing and Q&A. The chutes gets prepped and we suit up. When I tell you to walk, walk against the resistance of the chute… When I tell you to run, run! Pretty simple commands and now the adrenaline really kicks in…

I’m so proud of the girls. They are still game and are excited. Kaia goes first. A mere 4 steps and she is off in the sky! What an awesome take off and not a peep. Skye and Willow are next. Skye is the meat of the Willow/pilot sandwich. These 2 are very excited. Take off is very smooth. I get to see Willow’s and then Skye’s little legs still pumping in the air when they suddenly realize they have left the ground. And then a resounding “wooohooo”. I’m last to go. I wait for the wind sock to be in the right direction to start the walk and then the run… I question briefly my great parenting skills… Before you know it, I’m up gaining altitude rejoining the others.

The setup. You are sitting in what ressembles a chair leaning back against the pilot who is directly behind you. It’s really comfortable and very peaceful. Just the wind, the kites, the sights and a few other paragliders in the sky.

The sights remained awesome even with the Himalayas hiding behind clouds.

So so cool !

We have converts. The girls want to go again.

Group shot pré flight.


Happy Chicks!



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Got to love them…

A prickly topic to post but one that should be addressed nevertheless. Extended travel with your loved ones. It’s your family. You love them, right? Warts and all? Hmmmm… Honestly, not easy. The 24/7 isn’t the problem. The difficulty in negotiating the needs and wants of 5 is. Everyone wanting something, generally different, at different times.  “Not now…”, “Later !” “But why now?” “why can’t I have pizza again?” It’s important to retain humour throughout the getting to know you 24/7 phase. Keeping a routine when so much changes around you is really hard. Eat, sleep or soiled diaper… If …

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6 degrees of separation

Here we are in UB, have a meeting planned, to find out that 2 people, randomly connected to us, know each other. How? The teacher and her student. The background. When we decided that Mongolia would be the starting point for our adventure, a DB friend’s interest was heightened as their family sponsor a young girl there via the Christina Noble Foundation. He floated the idea of a meeting. He wasn’t sure where she lived but would reach out to the foundation and organise a meeting if it was possible. And so it happened! The young girl lived on the …

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Stuck in a sh**hole

I’m sharing an internal joke. Last year my eldest melted down on me about the trip. Her key worry was of being stuck in a sh**hole in the middle of nowhere with no ticket out. Fast forward to today, our last stop after being on the Mongolian ‘roads’ for 15 days and before returning to Ulaan Bataar. We have overnighted in a comfortable and very clean family ger. The outhouse is the usual long drop. It’s time for departure and the younger 2 go for the last pee before hitting the ‘road’. There is a nail on the outside of …

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Beijing – 17 years later

What a cultural shock! From temperature to the hoardes of people… Beijing is a dramatic change, dramatic, from Ulaan Bataar. People have been helpful. Curious about us having 3 girls. Keen to know where we are from. Surprised that our girls, in particular Kaia, can converse in Mandarin. I have been to Beijing many times before on business, this was my first time back as a tourist in 18 years. Last time here I was single and gatecrashed a trip a friend was taking with his wife (Paine/Norman). 1. Beijing is still congested. A sprawling cartésien city, large avenues, except …

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See you later Hong Kong! Hello Mongolia!

We spent our last night in Hong Kong at the Marriott by the airport. We got to enjoy a few sundowners and a spectacular sky before our departure the next day for Ulaan Bataar. Departed at 31C and arrived to 22C. The flight to UB was easy and direct. Anything to avoid a Beijing transit point! We were picked up by our very welcoming guide Poojay and driver Unrow. Www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk. Traffic in UB is manic and the city appears sprawled out. It took a while to get to our hotel but we got there. Dropped our backpacks off and when …

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To Do List

The preparation for the trip was quite stressful. Doug has written a fair bit about the actual move, I’ll write a bit about the wrapping up from work and getting things ready for the move to then depart 24 hours later for the first leg of the adventure – Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia. If you can, wrap up work earlier that 2 weeks before. It’s great to get the extra dollars but it also distracts you from the many little things that need to get done. I’ll share our to do list below. The overall real preparation started 2 years ago …

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