I'm taking you to the west of Aveyron for my first paragliding flight on the heights of the Lot! Fly away with me...
The tunes and me, that's two! Rather close to the ground, I let myself be tempted by this paragliding flight offered by Elisabeth and David. Both are great paragliding enthusiasts and are eager to help people discover the sensations experienced by the birds that we observe from the ground every day...
We meet on a beautiful afternoon in early July somewhere on the borders of our beautiful Aveyron to start this experience!
Le Saut de la Mounine, a place of legend
This locality takes its name from an ageless story told to young and old: a young girl in love with a boy is forbidden to marry her beloved by her father. She is the daughter of the lord of Montbrun, he is only a simple commoner.
With the help of a hermit living on the cliff overlooking the Lot alongside his monkey: his mounine in Occitan, they set up a scheme to make the angry father say “yes”. The mounine will jump from the cliff dressed in a white dress like the young lady to give the father the illusion that his daughter will have committed suicide following her numerous refusals to marry. Taken by an infinite sadness, it is when he sees his daughter (very much alive) that he immediately celebrates the engagement!
Already knowing this legend well, I would like not to suffer the same fate as the mounine!
Immediately David reassures me: he has been practicing his activity for years, before in
the Alps, and perfectly masters everything you need to know for a successful take-off, and a successful flight.
We are getting ready…
Good and good, more than equipping yourself: harness, straps, big bag
backpack that will serve as a seat in flight and above all: a good little
We attach ourselves by the good of carabiners between passenger and monitor… We just have to wait for the wind to pick up… The leaves of the oaks below are starting to wriggle, it's time!
We stand ready. The wing is impressive placed on the ground before takeoff, the lines are very straight and form lines
colorful on this rocky soil of the causse.
The wind picks up: “Look ahead, walk briskly when I tell you.. Let’s go!” I comply, a cry marks our feet which takes off
from the ground, the sail carries us and soon we are 300 meters above the meanders of the Lot.
What a view ! What freedom! It's so impressive this feeling of flying in silence: we are higher than the birds themselves! Under my feet, I even see a kite…
In the sky, with the birds...
I no longer have any apprehension, I just enjoy. We discuss with David: he is equipped with a microphone to communicate with the other paragliders in the area but also with Elisabeth who is on the ground and who will pick us up with their van. It also has a box that measures the presence of rising hot air, which allows you to rise a little higher. He explains to me that you can fly as long as you have this warm air (up to 612 kms away for the record) but at the same time, you never know for how long precisely: the paraglider is dependent on the climate , he has to deal with weather changes.
We will not climb very high, but already the show delights me! I see the fortified bell tower of Sainte-Croix, Sauté-bastide of Villeneuve, the Lot and its cliffs, I guess the position of Figeac and in contrast to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie.
It's time to settle down. We leave the cliffs to fly over the causes and its fields full of straw bales or sheep, which we will try to avoid: one experience at a time! I would do without making a life-size leapfrog…
“This field there, do you see it? This is where we will land. It's impressive because we will arrive quickly, but just remember one thing: you get up from the harness (the seat) and you get ready to run” It's noted.
In fact, I didn't even need to take a step. We landed as if we had just jumped in place.
Elisabeth is waiting for us with the shuttle to take us back to the starting point where my friends
wait their turn. I'm thrilled, and they will be too!