Unforgettable holiday in the Algarve

My family and I have just returned from Albufeira, after two weeks of pleasure.

I must tell you of what I believe was one of the nicest things that happened to us on holiday. My son is a wheelchair user, but we try to treat him as normally as possible with, of course, obvious restrictions.

Douglas is 27 years old and has been in his wheelchair now for five years due to a debilitating illness. Although he is unable to walk, he has done lots of things that able-bodied people may shy from, such as abseiling, canoeing in white water and, with the help of his friends, cross country travelling in the English Lake District.

While we were on the beach, he saw the parasailing out at sea and, being a daredevil, wanted to have a go. I thought this would be impossible, but I had a word with the people who ran the parasailing boat. The lady I spoke to was, at first, sceptical of his ability to even get from the shore out to the powerboat, but said she would speak to her husband that night about the chances of Douglas ‘flying’.

The next day, we were back on the beach and I went to see them about Doug’s chances. I was amazed when she said her husband had agreed to try to get him onto the boat. With the help of the young men employed by the boat business, we got him into a dinghy and then onto the powerboat. When he was fitted with his harness and attached to the parachute, the smile on his face was something to see!

He was then flown up to about 90 metres and towed for about 10 to 15 minutes. We now had the happiest young man in the Algarve, but he had made one stipulation and that was that I also had to fly. With much trepidation, I was also flown up to 90 metres for 10 minutes, which I really enjoyed and felt very safe. To say they were generous would be an understatement. They would not even let me pay for Doug’s flight, as he was the first disabled client they had flown.

I would appreciate if The Resident could, through its pages, pass on my gratitude to the lovely Dutch couple who run the enterprise and the young lads they employ.

Derek Hindson

By email