‘If you want to achieve something in life, the sky is the limit. Let your dreams fly high’. Most of us would have heard this in some or the other phase of life, and it has become true for me.
Due to the pandemic restrictions, we were working from home for the past year. With the restarting of the tourism industry and things becoming normal, I and my husband thought of planning a trip to get out of the busy routine work schedule.
We searched for many places near Ahmedabad (the largest city in the Indian state of Gujarat), and after multiple changes of plans, we finalized Diu. It is an island and is part of the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, India. It is around 380kms from Ahmedabad. Diu is mainly known for its white-sand beaches.
The most famous of the beaches is Nagoa beach
We hired a self-drive car from Ahmedabad and started early around 7:30 AM (as we are not morning people, 7:30 AM was quite early for us!). It took almost 9.5 hours to reach the destination. Our hotel Krishna Beach Resort was right by Nagoa beach, which is a sandy horseshoe-shaped beach, one of the most popular locations for water sports, and the most happening place in Diu. While heading to the resort we saw water sports activities on the beach and thought of participating in some of them as I am interested in these kinds of activities.
The next day, we went for a walk on the beach. Tourists were engaged in jet skiing, riding speed boats and having fun playing at the seashore. At a distance in the sea, some people were parasailing over the water. We enquired with one of the agents on the beach, and he took us to the information kiosk and explained us the details of various water sports and adventure activities which were on offer.
Parasailing, also known as parascending or parakiting, is a recreational kiting activity where a person is towed behind a moving manned vehicle (a speedboat in case of sea parasailing or a car or truck in case of land parasailing). The person is attached to a specially designed canopy wing that resembles a parachute, known as a parasail wing. The parasail is connected to the vehicle by the tow rope. The vehicle then drives off, carrying the parascender (or wing) into the air. If the vehicle is powerful enough, two or three people can parasail behind it at the same time. The parascender has little or no control over the parachute.
For parasailing, a consent form had to be signed. Though my husband was not interested in adventure sports, I was very much interested and wanted to try those out. When I read the consent form, I got a bit scared and apprehensive. But the agent tried to convince me and agreed to come with me to the towing boat. For parasailing, we had to go to the towing boat in a speed boat. My husband also agreed to come to the towing and suggested that I should not miss the once-in-a-lifetime experience. The speed boat ride was a little scary and after the short ride, we reached the towing boat. On the towing boat, there were already two more enthusiastic tourists waiting for their turn, so I had to wait for my turn.
When it was my turn, things happened very quickly, and before I knew it, I was strapped on the parachute, all the while trying to understand the instructions from the crew. I was a little tensed, and my heart must have skipped a beat or two. I had no sense of how much time it took, but in a very short duration, I was standing at the launch point, ready to lift off. My husband was ready with the phone to shoot the video, and he must have double-checked the video settings so that this once-and-for-all event is properly recorded. But that was the last of my thoughts at that point in time.
Soon the speedboat roared, everything happened so fast, and the crew instructed me to lean into a sitting position at the launch point. Within seconds, I was lifted off and airborne over the waters. It took a few seconds for me to fathom what had just happened. But I could very soon pull myself together and start looking around.
There I was, above the swirling blue waters of the sea, rapidly gaining height and looking at one of the most beautiful islands in India from an ever-increasing altitude each moment. Nervousness disappeared as quickly as it had set in, now transforming into a sense of achievement. The enthralling feeling of flying in the air was one of the best feelings one can experience, and literally, I felt like a bird flying over the sea.
Once I reached the maximum height, I looked around and got the bird’s eye view. I could see everything – the sparkling blue waters against the perfectly blue sky, the fabulous landscape, the winding roads, the horizon – everything that was there to see. The activity lasts over2.5 minutes in all, where, once you are at the top, you will experience absolute silence and an extraordinary moment of quiet peace and freedom.
I could not make out that I was being lowered as my time was up, and only upon noticing that the scene beneath me was getting bigger and bigger in size, especially the towing boat, did I realize the same. I realized I didn’t want it to end now (totally the opposite feeling as compared to being launched!). But yes, you will be lowered gradually, and your legs will eventually touchback on the surface of the boat.
The moment I reached the towing boat, the first thing I did was thanking the agent who encouraged me to do the activity, because otherwise, I would have missed one of the best experiences in life.