Some people find their thrills in drugs, others need group sex to really get their hearts racing. Hell, some almost shit themselves over a new episode of Game of Thrones. Me, I get my jollies by strapping myself to a couple of kilograms of fabric and ascending to the heavens. A year ago I handed myself over to paragliding and decided to put it before pretty much anything else, and that’s why I’m in Bali right now – to rack up as many hours in the air as possible.
After three months of being grounded due to a life-changing journey through the deepest, darkest jungles of Africa, I was absolutely fanging for a fly by the time I swept into Nusa Dua. For the first three days the place was blown out, with winds strong enough to blow a Chinaman’s hat off. And then, on the fourth day, the Wind Gods smiled and everything came together for an epic flight I’ll never forget.
The launch at Payung looks out over a sparkling blue lagoon that looks like something an office worker fantasises about, but as good as it looks from ground level, it’s a helluva lot better from the sky. That first day, I flew for six hours, testing out my new wing and exploring my aerial playground. It was beautiful and exciting, and the sort of experience that reminds me life is pretty bloody good.
I you’ve never been paragliding, the best way to describe it as one long, lingering cumshot hundreds of metres above the ground. And not one of those crap orgasms that you have with a woman you don’t really care about or like very much, or after having a lazy Sunday afternoon wank during an ad break in the footy. I’m talking about one of those senses-shattering, brain-splattering, ball-draining orgasms that make you feel as if nothing outside this moment has ever existed. But with paragliding, it doesn’t last for 30 seconds, it lasts for hours.
Like the best orgasms, I didn’t enjoy this one alone – I got to share it with my good mate Alison (or Al, as he likes to be called. I dunno why, because I think Alison is a very graceful name for a man). Just to be clear, that’s the only orgasmic experience we’ve shared. After making a small fortune as the manager of beloved pop group Milli Vanilli (and experiencing a toreid love affair with Vanilla) he recently retired to Bali and has become something of a legend on launch for his ribald sense of humour and seemingly endless collection of functional sun dresses.
I’ve met a lot of extraodinary people through paragliding, and many have told them that this wonderful sport has filled a void in their life, often one that they didn’t know existed until they first climbed into the sky. I can definitely say that’s the case with me. I spent years trying to fill the empty spacces with alcohol and women whose names I’ve either forgotten or never bothered to learn, when the answers were floating about 210 metres above the coast of Nusa Dua.