Uživaj, a Dalmatian Odyssey #5: Testimony of François, world paragliding champion!

« Eight people from diverse horizons, aboard a boat sailing through the Croatian islands, all with a single thought:  how to reconcile sustainable tourism development with the practice of outdoor sports? »

 

A Human Adventure

 

We all were united by the desire to further discover and examine the natural spaces that enable us to practice outdoor sports and to question best practices.  The very eclectic crew had a full agenda, punctuated by meetings and outdoor sports.

 

We brought on board:  paragliders, paddleboards, climbing equipment, a windsurf board, kitesurfing boards and scuba diving equipment.  It was the beginning of a beautiful adventure!

We had multiple objectives.  Even though we hoped to focus on sustainable tourism, seeking to make the least impact, we did not want to go to extremes.  We must remain objective.  We must consider the current reality of tourism.  So, we chose to fully enjoy our stay, while trying as much as possible not to leave any traces while passing through.  On board, our debates were often between realism and utopia.  Man’s optimum place in nature, which we are ready to accept, remains difficult to discern.  On one hand, our human desires are difficult to avoid, and on the other, our impact is not negligible.

 

Paragliding and Sailing:  Researching and Sharing Sports Secrets

 

Sailing has something magical about it, allowing the time to observe the islands upon approach, and to muse over our paragliding possibilities there.  We would pass from one element to another, and it was truly a very nice experience, completely different from arriving by car!

 

Paragliding, there are numerous possibilities.  In the Dalmatian islands, the activity seemed to us to be very little developed.  Take offs and landings were delicate or improvised, or both.  The vegetation and the rocky, aggressive terrain did not make this any easier.  The weather was not always in our favour, but the advantage of an island is that there is always one side in the wind!

What joy to find, on a small island, thermal winds that would allow us to rise up to over 1,000 metres and see a breath-taking landscape!

 

A Shared Adventure

 

 

With such an eclectic crew, what is certain is that we have much to share with each other.  Each member has their chosen field, and as such, everything invites sharing different viewpoints and experiences:  sailing, diverse sports, the raw food diet, counting juvenile fish... all this without mentioning meetings with locals about their vision of local tourism development.

 

After exchanges about sailing, climbing, paddleboarding and other interesting activities, it was our turn to share our passion for paragliding.

As with any learning experience, there is always a beginning, and theirs was magnificent.  It was a great pleasure to see a crew so happy to discover suspension and to have fun with a sail above their heads.

 

JEANNEAU