I definitely did not realize when I signed up for paragliding that in order to paraglide, one must run at full-speed off the side of a mountain. Or that the only thing keeping you from falling to your death are nylon strings about two millimeters in diameter. What seemed like a leisurely activity in the guidebook suddenly seemed more like a death wish. But I came to Nepal to try stuff like this, so I'd be damned if I chickened out.
Me and my pilot, mid-flight
So, that led me to the top of a mountain with a very steep incline and a lot of wind. Nevertheless, when my pilot said to start running, I ran. Miraculously, it worked, and we were airborne. We drifted over the valley and through the mountains for about half an hour, catching thermals and enjoying the bird's eye view--literally. It was a ton of fun; kind of relaxing actually! Once I realized I wasn't going to crash, that is. I think I would've felt a little differently if I had been the one steering.
For those of you too scared to try it, here's what you can see from up there
In the afternoon, I had signed up for a pony trek, which I thought would be a great way to see some mountains other than just by hiking. Turns out, a pony trek in Pokhora means a little boy brings you a horse, tells you to get on, then leads you--on foot--down the main road by the lake. No mountains. No trekking. Why didn't he have his own horse? I could've walked faster than the pace we went. Maybe it'd be fine for someone who's never ridden before, but I was excited to get into the mountains! Definitely didn't happen. Oh, and my horse was also the laziest creature I have ever seen. He was incapable of galloping, so it was either walk at the pace of a snail, or trot, which as some of you know, is not the most comfortable thing in the world, even if you know how to ride. Now picture three hours of trotting. Needless to say, my bum was in rough shape the next day (get your minds out of the gutter).
We were on a tight schedule so we packed up the car right after and made the drive to Chitwan National Park (no guerillas this time, LUCKILY.)
So, overall, the verdict: Paragliding? Thumbs up. Definitely worth it. Pony trekking? I want my 50 bucks back. Pokhora was gorgeous and I wish we had more time there.