Thursday, April 3, 2008

Soar like an eagle....


O
r maybe that should be "scream like a banshee" .....as Lei and I each hurl ourselves off the edge of a mountain and soar above open waters.

Yep. I don't know how I did it, but I managed to convince Lei to go paragliding. It's going to be hard for most of our friends to believe that we're actually going to be doing this. If you were to line up a bunch of people and ask any of our friends to pick out the two that you thought would want to paraglide, we would NOT be the ones picked...I can guarantee you that!

In reading up about things to do in Fethiye, paragliding kept popping up various lists of "must-do"activities. Turns out that the nearby seaside town of Ölüdeniz is one of the foremost sites in the world for paragliding. The take off point is Mt. Babadag (6,500ft) and the prize is to soar above the Aegean Sea and admire the spectacular scenery of the famed Turqouise Coast from high above.

Since neither one of us has ever paraglided before in our lives, we've signed up for tandem flights with pilots who are certified professionals. While I'm really going to be excited about doing this, I can already feel the pit of my stomach dropping as we take off and somewhere in the distance, I'm already hearing the sound of Lei's screams as she takes off :-)

Even with experienced pilots in control, accidents do happen.....and I am a klutz. Evidence - dislocated elbow in Aswan, Egypt. So, out of curiosity, I decided to see if I could find out what the medical care is like in rural Turkey. It took a while but I found a blog posting from a woman who quelled my concerns.
If you are concerned about the possibility of requiring medical care in rural Turkey, I can provide you with a first-hand experience. Unfortunately, in 1999, my husband broke his leg and bruised some ribs on launch a few days into our trip. An ambulance and paramedic, is stationed at the mountaintop everyday. The hospital in nearby Fethiye is modern and it has a special Department of Tourism Health, who made sure that we saw English-speaking doctors. They were prompt, but thorough. A few hours after Mike was admitted, the ambulance transported us back to our hotel. When we returned to the San Francisco Bay Area, a local orthopedist confirmed that the Turkish doctors did an excellent job setting his leg.

I will try and stay safe as I do not want to see the inside of a Turkish hospital. Besides, I'm planning to bring my camera with me on the flight and I have to be in one piece to capture the entire experience!!