One autumn day this past September, I sailed Barba from her home port in Stavanger into the 50KM-long Lysefjord, about three hours away – my nearest playground for backyard extreme adventures in Norway. The fjord is a spectacular place that I visit on a regular basis and is home to two of the top ten tourist attractions in Norway, the Kjerag Bolt and Preikestolen. My heart raced as I saw the 1,000 meter cliffs of Kjerag come into view, knowing our plan was to paraglide off he clifftops. The next day, German photographer Daniel Hug and I hiked up with our crew, Welsh sailor Nicholas Fraser and US travel writer Terry Ward, who doubled as cheering squad and sherpas for the 2.5-hour slog up the mountain.
When we arrived at the the edge, we sat for 15 minutes to get a feel for the wind blowing into the fjord, the sheer drop off just a few yards from us. Then it was go time. Daniel and I exchanged a manly hug, wished each other the best and geared up the paragliders, donning lifejackets as an extra safety precaution in the event of a water landing.
Then the wind picked up, and we ran for it. There was no turning back now. Within seconds, we were airborne, soaring like birds as few other paragliders have done from Kjerag, waving to the tiny human dots grounded by gravity near the cliff edge. It was the ultimate sensation of freedom. It took as about 15 minutes to fly to the end of the Fjord, where we landed just next to Barba. A new hug followed, and a long term dream had been accomplished. Powered by nature with no outside support, we had experienced one of our greatest adventures to date.
Featured music “Det haster” by the Norwegian group Casiokids (casiokids.com).