XC Brazil Paragliding ran their first guided tour of Brazil in February 2009 and next year will be our 10th in the business.
I first came to Brazil in February 2004 to do a two-week cross-country course in Governador Valadares. I thoroughly enjoyed it but very quickly realised that there’s so much more to Brazil than just GV.
There are many different guides running courses in GV but, at that time, there weren’t many running organised tours to different paragliding sites. The planning and the research began and five years later it started.
My first group were three Russian pilots, from Israel – Michael Moskvitchov, Alexander Fishgait and Oleg Steshenko. I vividly remember the look of ‘mild concern’ on Alex’s face when he asked me three questions:
- Q “Are we the first Russian pilots you’ve ever had over here?“
- R “Yes you are!“
- Q “Are we the first pilots you’ve had from Israel?“
- R “Yes definitely!“
- Q “How many tours have you done?“
- R “You are my first group!!!“
The tour was a huge success and we’ve been going from strength to strength since then. We’re always looking for ways to improve the service that we offer and things have changed considerably since that first tour, but I’ll always be thankful to Alex, Mike and Oleg for being the guinea pigs.