Travels

Paragliding flying near Teide in Tenerife

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With my team ready in Izaña. The Teide in the background

In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, a type of insulting intelligence filled scrolls with drawings of machine designs and artifacts that could make man fly like birds. Leonardo Da Vinci thus tried to fulfill the dream of the human being to feel the wind on his face while enjoying aerial views of the earth's surface.

One clear November morning, just over 500 years later, I was preparing to paragliding over a part of the island of Tenerife.

He paragliding It is a sport that began to be practiced at the end of the last century, used by mountaineers who wanted to fly down from the tops they had climbed. It is basically a form of flight without an engine in which the wing - totally flexible, about 20-35 square meters and 3-7 kilos in weight - is the element that we must master by means of rope lines that join the Pilot with a harness.

It consists of taking advantage of the currents and different layers of air at different temperatures to rise in the air. The flight can last for hours and travel hundreds of kilometers, but commercial tandem and initiation tandem usually do not spend 20-30 minutes and travels just over a dozen kilometers.

But you fly That twenty minutes you feel like a bird, free. Minutes in which you forget everything and feel lightly, physically and psychologically.

The extended wing at the takeoff point

This is how I felt the first time I tried paragliding, last October, in the Basque region of Uribe. This time it was a short flight from a height of 700 meters. In Tenerife it would happen to greater words.

Those who think that the island of Tenerife - and the rest of the Canary Islands - has nothing but a beach and Sun must not have set foot on it. Paragliding is just one of the many activities that can be done on this volcanic island. Hiking, diving, surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, sailing ... And a long list of claims for lovers of nature and outdoor life.

That morning we met the boys of the Enminube company in the town of Güímar. After the initial presentations we got into the van and started the ascent along the zigzagging road that would take us to the takeoff point: a viewpoint near the top of the Izaña Port.

Luisma - who would be the pilot with whom I would jump - told me in the car that Enminube was created in 2010, when a group of paragliding-loving friends, with more than 20 years of experience, joined to launch this adventure business. He himself had competed in flight championships throughout Spain. He gave me a lot of security besides having a good laugh with him.

In the air!

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