Soar Like A Bird, With A Bird's Help

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If you think you've tried everything there is to try in aviation, think again. Sunrise Paragliding in Nepal has teamed with the Himalayan Hawk Conservancy to present what it calls "Parahawking" -- flying a paraglider in tandem with a trained hawk who will scout out the thermals for you. The flights launch from Pokhara, in a broad valley surrounded by Himalayan mountains, about 100 miles west of Kathmandu. The two Phariah Kite chicks, Shadoko and Sappana, were rescued from a local farmer. Adam Hill and Rajesh Bomjam, owners of Sunrise Paragliding, learned the traditional methods of the ancient sport of falconry to train the birds. Newbies can try the intro experience for $160; that includes getting to know the birds and taking a flight with an instructor and a hawk. Air fare to Nepal, that's extra. Enthusiasts can also sign up for a seven-day intensive course in parahawking. Students learn about the birds of prey and how to train them, in a mix of theory and practical lessons. "Parahawking is truly addictive," the Sunrise Web site says.