By Clare Dyckhoff
What do you look for when you traveling? Is it the nearest beach, the warmest sea, the best place with the largest selection of adventure sports? If you’re an adrenaline junkie with a burning desire for all things all active and fun then you may be interested in my tale about paragliding in Turkey.
My family and I have visited Ölüdeniz in Turkey twice now and we still cannot get enough. Literally translated as ‘Blue Lagoon’, Ölüdeniz is a stunning sight for anyone wanting time to relax and meet some fantastic people.
I’ve always been one for activities abroad, trekking up mountains in Peru, climbing hundreds of stairs to get to the top of an Irish tower, and my family is no different.
Befriending the local paragliding company, my Dad and brother showed no hesitation to signing up to go up the rickety roads toward the top of the mountain in a truck that barely fitted on the width lacking tracks. Pretty soon my Mum, sister, Grandparents and I were all stood filming and ‘whooping’ as they descended to the ground, unscathed (unlike a parasailing incident I had a few years before- a story for another time), and we soon moved on toward the bar. A week and a half of walking past the owner of the company, Ahmed, and lots of “you know you want to go paragliding, Clare!” later, I had signed up, alongside my then 86 year old Granddad, to go paragliding the next day.
We made it up the rickety, death-potential roads and were soon stood on top of the mountain we were about to jump off: “Clare, you’re with Ergin”, the company leader bellowed across the scenic surroundings to me. Before it emerged that I’d been paired with the youngest, dare-devil pilot, and before I could look across to my Granddad who was tied to another pilot, the words “RUN RUN RUN” were being commanded at me….it’s strange, when someone tells you to run, your legs temporarily refuse to, but soon enough we were swooping high above the most incredible bird’s eye view of Ölüdeniz that I had seen.
Lucky for me I spent thirty minutes in the air doing loop-the-loops and downward spirals that sent me revitalized, but sent my mother watching, on a spiraling downturn of worry and anxiety for my safety. She never did enjoy rollercoasters.
Paragliding in Turkey is to day one of the best experiences I have been fortunate to have, and I never hesitate to look at the video and photographs of the event just to remind myself how much fun jumping off a cliff was. If everyone was jumping off a cliff would you do the same? Well my answer is yes, if it results in some fantastic photographs, views, and memories for a lover of all things fun and new.