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4월 15, 2008

Oka San and Maeda San of Falhawk International / Ozone Japan: We thank you!!!

We have now returned from an amazing trip to a wonderful country. Japan impressed us on so many levels: the food, the people, the landscapes, the flying, and the culture in general were full of pleasant surprises.

When we travel to fly, we are in fact traveling to travel. Although paragliding is so often the ‘reason’, or the ‘mission’, the true experience that we are striving to have is simply the experience of being someplace new. Meeting fellow pilots and fellow humans, learning from them and about them, and improving our understanding of their culture is a source of great pleasure for us whether we’re flying or not. Of course, landing out after a long XC flight in a strange land where you are a lone foreigner is also a wonderful feeling, one that we hope to have as much as possible.

All of us were blessed with the experience of landing our wings in a strange land far from take-off, and also of being embraced by the locals and shown a detailed slice of Japanese life. We toasted sake and sho-chu, twisted up to cloudbase in butter-smooth thermals, bathed in traditional Japanese hot-springs, ate more than our fill of sushi (even for breakfast, some days!), and met some of the kindest and most accommodating locals we have ever had the pleasure of spending time with.

Foremost, we would like to thank Oka San and Maeda San again. Without them our trip never would have happened, and without their constant efforts our adventure never would have been as incredible. Thank you guys so much, for helping us and for tolerating our unfamiliarity with Japanese customs! 😉

Some more photos at right, again all by David Dagault. Stay tuned for more stories and some video!

Cheers from all the Team.