Paragliding at Bir Billing  – 1

Paragliding at Bir Billing – 1


Sunil, Me and Gokul flew out of Mumbai in the wee hours of the morning. We are on our way to Bir Billing for a paragliding holiday.  After an uneventful but pleasant journey, we alight at Kangra airport and lug our oversized glider bags into a vehicle that will drive us up to the village of Bir above Dharamshala where we will be based for the next week.

We stop en route for our first Himachali dhaba fare and then it’s an upward climb to Bir via Palampur. All the way the mountains loom ahead of us and as we continue to climb they transform from shadows to jagged lofty peaks. As we get close the driver points out the takeoff site to us in the distance and suddenly the friendly banter that we kept up on the way gave way to silence.

billing_07_033.jpgI broke the silence to admit to Sunil that it looked pretty daunting and suddenly we were all laughing once more.  We drove straight to the landing area looking for reassurance where we met the rest of our group who had arrived by train the day before.    Today we party and defer the takeoff anxiety until tomorrow.

pa238890.jpg Am thrilled with my room at the Sangira guesthouse set in the middle of a tea garden and on the path of the gliders coming down to land in Bir.  I spend my first evening sitting in solitude – enjoying the scenery, the birds and the dramatic transformation of evening into dusk. It’s been a while since I’ve traveled without husband and son and I’m getting into the solo groove pretty neatly.

The party was at Shaan’s place – she is a fantastic hostess and makes great rum punch. I met old friends and new and danced the night away.

Walking home in the moonlight was simply surreal. Spotted a barred owlet on the way. Wonder what tomorrow will bring

Peace Bliss & Happy Landings



Author: Astrid Rao

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