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Random flashback 2:

La madrugada

Up at 5:00 am this morning, I looked back lovingly at my awful Grand-Canyon-like bed and sighed. It would be 40 hours until I saw a bed again. I then proceeded towards the kitchen, nailing my foot on the vacuum cleaner abandoned in the door…

Coriolistic Anachronisms | When Canada really irritates me…

Coriolistic Anachronisms


When Canada really irritates me…

So for the first time this year, Canada is doing a remarkable job at PISSING ME OFF. An hour and a half on the bus and the SkyTrain to Coquitlam to attend a West Coast Soaring Club meeting, which is only held once a month and I’ve missed the two previous months because of my work schedule.

What came out of it? Nice folks, for the few of them who showed up. But that’s the only positive thing I could find about the whole endeavor. Basically, I’m screwed. I haven’t flown seriously for almost two years. I’m dying to fly. I need to fly. I have to fly. I must fly. And I guess it’s tough luck for now.

It seems like Vancouver isn’t such a good place to paraglide after all, unless one owns a car and has a nice bank account. I have neither. In order to fly around here, I’d have to get a yearly HPAC membership. k-ching! $140.00. Then I’d have to get the Club’s membership, to make friends and – maybe – find rides. k-ching! $45.00. Then I must get a landing pass for some of the club-maintained sites. k-ching! $50.00. And then maybe even a donation for some guy’s wind-talker somewhere… Yeah right… And what do I get out of this? Not much. All of the flying sites are 1 ½ to 2 hours away. Without a car, pretty darn hard to get there.

And then there’s Grouse Mountain. Except that for Grouse, you must be a member of the local elite society, have an advanced level (which I am short of by 60 flights), get a flight check by one of the members somewhere else, and then fly as a guest, with a member, on a leash, for a season, before being put on the list! And that’s the only site at which I could’ve flown regularly without a car.

People! Get a life! Flying in Canada is now just like flying in the States. No, actually, it seems even more complicated! I’ve had great flying down there. But here, where’s the freedom? Where’s the fun? Where’s improvisation? Where’s exploration? And our country is supposed to be the land of wide open spaces???

God how I miss St-André-les-Alpes, and Castejón de Sos, and Bagnère de Luchon, and Chamonix, and Füssen, and the Point of the Mountain, and the Dominican Republic, and even the Dumps in San Francisco! Flying in all those places was magic, and it was simple. Unregulated for most, paragliding-friendly for the rest.

Canada and BC, on the other hand, sound so far like a freakin’ headache.

So maybe I won’t stay here after all. My move to Vancouver was always conditional to being able to fly. It doesn’t seem to be happening this year. I’ll have to take a vacation and go fly somewhere else, some place where paragliding is still what it should be: a celebration of freedom and adventure.

And an hour and a half on the bus and SkyTrain back home.


  • NewYorkAngel

    Yeah, yeah, go somewhere else… Enough with complicated stuff!! I’d suggest…hmm…let’s see..Spain… (Complêtement par hasard, ché pas pourquoi.. ;-) LOL).Bon, allez, anywhere in Europe would be awesome!Don’t you think?!

    Comment logged on 2006-6-7
  • fab

    Vince I didn’t know that flying was such an headache here.
    I’m sorry to bring you the news but: fun, improvisation and exploration are not part of the Vancouverite dictionnary.

    Comment logged on 2006-6-7
  • Anonymous

    I can’t believe it ! I’m as pissed as you are ! What’s left, now ? What end of
    the world will you have to go to just to
    find freedom, risks, imagination and soaring possiblities ? Gosh… life is
    a bitter pill. Better smile just the same :-)

    Comment logged on 2006-6-7
  • Ally

    *Sigh, and it is so difficult to explain to the rest of the world why one wouldn’t be perfectly content living in the beautiful place. Can’t always judge a book by it’s cover. Breaks your heart doesn’t it?

    Comment logged on 2006-6-8
  • Vince

    NYA: well, I must say that Castejon de Sos, in the Spanish Pyrenees, had some pretty cool flying… ;-)

    Fab: that’s sad, sad news indeed. I wonder if they can be taught.

    Anonymous: life is an ok pill, it’s the detours we take to swallow it, that are bitter ;-)

    Ally: my heart is made of the best memory foam, unbreakable and always comes back to its original shape… ;-) But yeah, the book cover had me fooled. The thing is, everything else IS so perfect here…

    Comment logged on 2006-6-8
  • Fred Carter

    Para gliding can be good in vancouver.

    There are lots of places to hike and fly
    no certificates needed.
    I am a pilot and I have flown black MT
    above Horseshoebay 13 times, including
    some great soaring high above it.
    I have flown Dog Mt , Seamour Mt, Mt Strachen, Squamish chief. I havent done it yet but my dream is to fly off one of the lions.
    I now live on the Sunshine Coast
    and am developing a site on Mt Elphinstone with five flights off allready.
    Very handy to have a car though
    in this wide spread land.

    Comment logged on 2006-6-13
  • Vince

    Hi Fred, and thanks for your comment, I needed this kind of encouragement!

    Comment logged on 2006-6-14

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