Paragliding at Torrey Pines, California – A Memorable First Time Adventure

By Lakshmi:

Who?  Anyone who is pining to fly like a free bird over some of the most picturesque cliffs, beaches and homes.

What? Paragliding at the Torrey Pines Gliderport in San Diego

How? The Torrey Pines Gliderport is located at

2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037
Tel: (858) 452-9858
Fax: (858) 452-9983

It costs $175 for a tandem paraglide.  You can also hang glide here for $225 and take lessons on both.

Why?  For many years, I have wanted to paraglide.  Watching the grace of many a paraglider in umpteen locations around the world, it felt like the ultimate liberating experience.  So, on a trip to one of my favorite cities (La Jolla), I literally decided to fly.  I was there for 10 days, and every time I called during the first few days, my timing did not match that of the wind gods.

I was determined and finally on a clear Friday morning was ready to take my tandem flight.  I got to the Gliderport, did the paperwork, signed all the legal waivers, spoke to the instructor, got strapped in my seat and before I knew it had taken off.

My first reaction was one of delight and pride.  I had talked about this adventure with family and friends for so long and here I was finally summoning the courage to do it.  Looking down at the beach and cliffs and the tiny people left behind, the reaction turned to one of exhilaration. Then my instructor started telling me stories and I felt inhuman being suspended somewhere in open space listening to one anecdote after another of families that owned the multi million dollar homes below that they inhabited a few months during the year.  I wanted to get a better look at these homes and my instructor scooped us down a bit.  I was treated to a magnificent view of the most gorgeous villa like homes with sprawling landscapes and gorgeous pools being tended to by an array of household help.  We proceeded past these homes to admire the ruggedness of Torrey Pines (some great hiking here as well).  There were a few birds that were flying close and it was a bit surreal to be flying amidst them.

The flight was only 20 minutes in length, but somehow felt a lot longer.  As I got instructed on the landing and turned to do so, a wave of nausea hit me, increasing in intensity at landing.  I managed to thank the instructor and stumbled to lay down on the green patch of land from where we had taken off.  After fifteen minutes of laying down and relaxing, I awoke refreshed and ready to share the story of my adventure with my family.

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