Enjoying Bali from the sky
The colorful parachutes flying above the Kutuh hills can be seen from afar. As they get closer and closer, reaching the coast of the Indian Ocean, they make the blue sky seem full of rainbows.
Paragliding has become more attractive for many domestic and foreign tourists, young and old alike. And a lack of experience does not prevent participation. For those who are not trained, the thrill can still be enjoyed by flying tandem with an experienced operator.
There are a number of paragliding operators in Kutuh, including those who choose Timbis hill or Gunung Payung temple as the takeoff point.
Bernard Fode, a Frenchman who passed away in January, was an enthusiast who used to offer free paragliding from Timbis Hill for beginners in his spare time, having stated previously that he would like to see more Balinese people experiencing the attraction and enjoying the beauty of their island.
Paragliders usually come to Timbis hill in the afternoon when the day gets windier. This is the same time that women begin presenting religious offerings on the hill overlooking the seaside.
“We ask permission from the universe, wishing for safety,” said one of the women.
In addition to Timbis, there are also takeoff and landing points at Gunung Payung, located one kilometer from Timbis. Paragliding is also provided at Bugbug hill in Karangasem.
The natural beauty of Bali lends itself to paragliding. From above, the panoramic seaside hills and green fields are an idyllic view for the paraglider. All that is needed is the right wind, an accessible area and flat ground for take off and landing. To enjoy this attraction and soar like a bird, domestic tourists are charged Rp 400,000 (US$42.40) for every 15 minutes, while foreigners pay $75.
Customers can fly in tandem with a professional operator, or can fly solo if they are licensed paragliders.
Risky, one of the operators in Timbis, said that the sport was interesting because it involved local people in the surrounding locations, citing the cooperation between paragliders, porters and local trainers in Kutuh.
“The local people, mostly seaweed farmers, can earn additional income from this,” Risky said.
The green seaweed farming area also offers a stunning contrast to the blue ocean.
Those taking part in paragliding at this location also respect the Gunung Payung temple by avoiding flying directly above it.
— Photos by Anton Muhajir