Ever since seeing the postcard-perfect picture of Oludeniz beach, I knew we had to see it with our own eyes. Jutting out along a blue lagoon in Belcekiz Cove, this white sandy beach outlined by turquoise waters is ranked as one of the top 5 most beautiful beaches in Turkey.
We planned to spend our Sunday on the beach, have some lunch and swim in the lagoon. Once we arrived, we were approached by a friendly Turk with an Australian accent inquiring if our family was interested in tandem paragliding. We were surprised to find out that children as young as four were able to paraglide tandem. We accepted this unexpected invitation with a mixture of surprise and excitement.
We met a friendly crew of pilots outside Hector’s paragliding office at 11am. From there we all boarded a 4×4 which took us 6,500 feet up Baba Dag Mountain. From our stop, we ascended on foot to a small plateau and readied ourselves with flight suits and helmets while the crew prepared the paragliding wings. Then, one by one, we took off like birds caught by the breeze. Brian was the first to go up, followed by Susan, then Peter, Lucy and Edmund. I was the last one in the air, relieved to see the children launched safely.
According to one of our pilots, paragliding is safer than flying in an airplane because there are no mechanical engines involved. Paragliding uses the natural lift of the wind.
Now for a person like myself who is afraid of heights, I was surprised to find the 30 minute flight in the sky to be quite relaxing. I imagined myself as a bird gliding through the air currents. Not once did I experience fear or a sensation of falling. It was more of an experience of floating. My pilot Musa and I floated in the air in sublime silence, taking in the breathtaking beauty of Oludeniz beach. Engulfed in the breeze, I was captivated by the majestic hues of blues. The clear azure sky seemed to carry us safely down towards the wild turquoise blues of the sea, which lapped serenely along the brilliant white of the beach. This experience of flight was surprisingly more peaceful to me than thrilling.
We all landed safely on the beach promenade. I was the last one to touch down and the children ran to welcome me with excitement on their faces, invigorated with non-stop chatter of their magical experiences.
The rest of the day was spent idly lunching at one of the outdoor restaurants. We visited with a British man and his Turkish friend while the children built a sand castle. From there, we ambled down further along the water, passing a handful of multigenerational families fishing along the beach. The children swam and jumped the swelling waves of the late afternoon’s high tide, with the beginning of sunset settling into the air. Brian and I sat together watching their joy, pleased with the unexpected gift of the day.
Written By Jenn