See also: extra. And S's tweet. It turns out S has hankered to try paragliding for many years. A nudge from meeting a paraglider at the intercambio a couple of weeks back was enough: today he met up with Dirk in La Herradura for a fledgling ride as a tandem.
There's a very popular launch spot in La Herradura which involves landing on the beach. So I followed them in the car and sat on the beach to await their arrival. It turns out paragliding could more accurately be described as parawaiting. The wind was very feeble and I could see them along with several others, waiting at the launch site for it to pick up enough to step into the void.
I didn't mind, it was a lovely day and I had a book, and Whatsapp to exchange comments with S. After an hour or so I decided a drink in the nearby bar would be a good idea, and ordered a tinto de verano. I was one of only three customers at this point ... I was a bit surprised that no free tapa had appeared after ten minutes or so. But it didn't bother me overmuch until the bar got busier, and looking up from my book I realised that everyone except me had been served a tapa with their drink. Huh. The waiter was scrupulously avoiding my table. I carried on sipping my drink slowly (S and Dirk were still waiting to take off). A good ten minutes after I'd finished it, the waiter suddenly approached and plonked down a plate of cold migas (soggy fried breadcrumbs with garlic, about the least desirable tapa you can imagine). I hope everyone else enjoyed the marinated artichokes they were served. The resident sparrows enjoyed my migas.
In the circumstances I decided not to bother with another drink and returned to the beach, mentally composing my 1-star TripAdvisor review of El Rebalaje. After only another hour or so, the wind finally picked up and they were off! They spent about half an hour in the air while I took about 30 rubbish photos, and landed on the beach a few metres away. S was looking happy! "Much cooler than I expected," was his verdict.
We repaired to the pizzeria across the road for lunch, a much happier experience with friendly staff and excellent pizzas. Then home, and I'm off out again shortly for post ping pong tapas with the usual suspects.
edit: what the sea looked like on this day last year.