As one of our last experiences in the Dominican Republic, we set out to go on a paragliding trip.We grabbed some of the family, Gabriel’s brother, his cousin, and his cousin’s girl, and traveled up to Jarabacoa to meet Tony from Flying Tony Paragliding school.
We spent a wonderful evening camping out on the ground of Rancho Ruiseñor, where the temperature gets nice and chilly overnight, making blankets a complete must.
When Tony picked us up that morning, we hopped into he bed of his pickup, right on top of the paragliding equipment, because that’s just the way you get around these parts. ;)
On our first attempt, day 1, the weather was not cooperating.
At the first take off point the wind was too unpredictable.
We sat there waiting for the wind to die off. A few times we thought it was going to be a go, and we started getting a bit nervous and excited at the prospect of running off a perfectly good hill.
Alas, a storm was rolling in.
So we got back in the pick up and drove around, all the way to Constanza, in search of good conditions.
Ride as we may, that day we never found the conditions we needed.
The rain chased us the whole way, and finally caught up to us in the late afternoon.
We were all a bit bummed, having exhausted a day chasing weather, having almost tasted the freedom of flight, watching someone else take-off, and going home empty handed.
Tony was more optimistic though, and told us we’d try again in the morning and would take off for sure.
Besides, riding around was an adventure in and of itself.
The irony was not lost on us that riding in the back of a pickup in the DR is technically more dangerous than paragliding itself, and that we’d had a full day of adventure, despite never taking off.
Really, we got a free tour of the Constanza/Bonao/Jarabacoa area, badass style.
We went to sleep in a good mood, confident we’d get our prize in the morning.
Paragliding in the Dominican Republic
Day two though, we got up nice and early and headed again toward the same take off point.
This time the conditions were sublime.
We were going to fly!!!
We took off one after the other and enjoyed the pure bliss that is floating over the gorgeous landscapes of the Dominican Republic.
We couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces while nervously awaiting our turns, nor when we were finally in the air.
Tony’s guys pulled off some nice tricks for our entertainment, coming in and riding real close to the ground on the take off hill.
Is there a better way to say goodbye this country we love so much than by flying through the air over its majestic landscapes? I think not.
Check out our really fun paragliding video.