[Bir Tibetan Colony, Himachal Pradesh, India]
This week let’s keep it short and sweet:
- The pre-PWC competition finally kicked off a few days ago, with 90 registered pilots and their hordes descending on an already tiny Tibetan Colony in the Himalayan foothills
- Crappy weather, the beginnings of a cold, and the prenominate competition resulted in radically reduced flying time and quality (four rides to launch, but only two flights in the past week…and neither of them longer than 30 minutes)
- Of the many paragliding celebrity sightings, perhaps the coolest (for me) was seeing John Silvester, “The Birdman of the Karakoram.” That link is to part of the video. You should watch it. It’s short and the reality of what he’s doing is beautiful, dangerous, and utterly amazing. Five years ago–when I first started to think about paragliding–I found this video. It made me absolutely apeshit-crazy to (1) visit the Himalayas, (2) learn paragliding, (3) quit my job, and (4) fly in the Himalayas. Five years later, you all know what I’m doing and where I’m doing it. Four for four. Kinda makes me feel warm ‘n fuzzy all over (and not just in my warm, fuzzy bits). Not too shabby, eh?
- Momo consumption, like flying time, is likewise way down this week: from seven dozen delicious steamed dumplings of tasty goodness down to two or three dozen of same. Though the old tastebuds may be annoyed at the cutback, the arteries are undoubtedly happier
- I spent a bit more time with Bill and Ted. Bill really is an ornery mofo (this week he continues to park himself in front of the main water supply faucet–occasionally drinking from it but more commonly chasing anyone else trying to gain access)
- With great excitement I’ve started prepping for my return to Nepal, which feels like a return home. Seriously. My tentative plan is to arrive back in Pokhara on November 8th
Speaking of my return to Nepal and those missed flying opportunities (e.g. today, as I sit indoors typing, is FANTASTICALLY beautiful, with perhaps the best weather of the entire trip thus far), I have oft been reminded these past few weeks that I actually live here (however uncertain and time-limited that status may prove to be) and am not, like so many others, on vacation. One one hand, this allows me to relax, expand my focus, and generally feel less hurried than those who are rolling through for a few weeks. On the other hand, it allows me to relax, expand my focus, and generally feel less hurried than those who are rolling through for a few weeks–it reduces (nay, eradicates) any sense of urgency that might drive me to work, play, and explore harder than I already am…and there’s just so much I could be doing in addition to what’s already being done.
In any case, the realization still knocks me flat on my proverbial face: I’m living a dream. My dream.
And in my dream, I’m very very very hungry. Which means I’m outta here!
Peace, love, and escargot,