Sure, you can plod up a mountain path to get a great view, but Julie McMackin discovered that there is another way to get high in Slovenia…
“I love the reward of the stunning views when I walk a mountain path and climb through the various levels of vegetation to be up in the clouds, where trees shrink and bend with the challenges of living at that height. Sweating and panting every step, the view seems all the better for the personal challenge.
Recently I tried getting the view a slightly different way. One of my Intrepid group noticed a flock of colourful parachutes circling over Mt Vogel in the Julian Alps. We were busy hiking at the time, but it inspired us to find out more the next day in Lublijanska Cesta, the main street of Bled, just what was involved.
Bled can reasonably be compared to Queenstown in New Zealand, as it is fast becoming one of the exciting adventure hotspots in the world. Agencies have long lists of activities from quad biking up mountain valleys, to rafting, canyoning, rock climbing, caving, fishing and week long hiking trips in the Mount Triglav National Park.
Most of our group signed up for some sort of activity, and I was with I was with the jump-off-the-mountain gang. When the parachute was unrolled in a small grassy space amongst the trees, I was wondering what would happen if we didn’t get an updraft. As I was being loosely clipped into the harness, I was given the instruction from my pilot “run and keep running until I say you can sit”.
I needn’t have worried, only 4 steps into my run there was this almighty resistance from the chute and up we went, soaring! I have a great photo I took from the air of a glider circling below me in the breeze – now that is on my list for my next visit to Bled!”
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* photo by Pavol Herda – Intrepid Photography Competition