So after the white water rafting, my urge to do some other adrenelin fuelled, something or other was in full flow as I got on the grey hound to head up to Cairns (my first stint anyway).
Along the long, monotonous, smooth roman like roads heading in a straight line to horizon we hummed along, the beach turned in to green fields and the trees less sparce, the odd clutter of forest scattered along the road, now I say clutter, there small clutters would probably be servel times the size of delamere forest! the two or three hours soon passed, dead to the world and giving it z’s we pulled up on the warm Promenade.
Not knowing quite where the hostel was, I asked for directions, being slightly tired and heavily laden with my backpack and front pack and slightly starteled, having just woke up, well I misunderstood and ended up walking in the wrong direction for about 15mins and stupidly thought I didn’t actually remember what I was told. So I asked again, to which I was told we had to walk back the 15mins up the main street….whoops, ah well we could have got a cab, but decided we would walk, by now the pack was digging in my shoulders and I was getting aggreivated, but before us stood the paradise of Gilligans backpackers (check this) “hostel and resort” hang on a hostel that considers itself a resort…and the trusy lonely planet said it was the “Ritz of hostels” surely enough! I was not disappointed…pool, bar en-suite rooms, comfy beds an absolute delight!
Now that good night sleep, made me go out and get a parachute jump, now you know why I do not drink, I have these crazy ideas on a good night sleep, its very dangerous!! So I booked my parachute jump and waited for the call, the weather needed to clear.
Time passed and I waited by my phone, then it rang, “you good to jump now?” to which I promptly replied “Yeap Lets Go!” Waiting outside was a mini bus, Paul’s Parachutes, Yes I kid you not that was the company…had to be a sign!! Then came the rather bizarre bit, we jumped in the mini bus drove literally two seconds up the road and there was the main office…..we could have walked and spared the little extra you get charged, booking through agencies, but I had my mind more set on the fact I was going to jump out of a plane!!
After a brief, but informative training, we got on the trusty mini bus, harnessed up and ready to go, 15mins in the minibus to the airstrip and we were greeted by an old blue and white single propped plane, coated in Paul’s Parachute insignia, and the odd bit of gaffer tape….fortunatly just on the inside of the door……well I say door, there was the archway for a door, but no door….I was calm and a little giddy as we climbed on our winged transport, for the climb to 14,000ft.
Winds battered us from left to right as we cruised down the runway to reach take off speed, we were off the floor, we clambered through the layers of wool like clouds as the, now distant, strip got smaller and smaller…okay so here I was strapped in the plane with a gap at the back of the craft, turbulence making the flight hic-cup, was I scared…n’ah I was getting giddy.
The time came when I watched Barry leave the aircraft shouting “SSSSSSShhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiitttttttttttttttttt!” before I had chance to absorb what barry was saying….I was out of the craft…..oh now I knew what he was saying, for about two seconds!!
The cool air was rushing and surrounding my face, my googles, pressing against my cheeks, wind whistling by, in a controlled spin we plummeted to the floor, freefalling on the waves of air, splashing through the cotton wool clouds, the 60seconds of complete and utter freedom engulfed me, I couldn’t help but laugh!
The cord was pulled by my new found ajoined brother, and I was ripped out of my freefall in to float mode, I felt like I was sinking into a big comfy sofa, the air just glided coldly past my face, my ajoined brother told me to grab a bit of cloud…so I did, cold and wet as it filtered through my fingers. Then there was a little scary moment when my ajoined brother had to release my harness a little, a sharp snap and for a moment I thought I was no longer attached to him, that was only the second time, imagine looking down at the floor half a mile below, then the feeling of a sudden drop, I thought I was going to become very close to the ground, infact part of the ground for a nano second!!
The first turn….this was an amazing sensation, think of the fair ride, with the chairs and chains as it spins around, the chairs drift out, now take away the jolting and the creaking, and add smoothness and wind kissing your face…thats what it felt like, below I could see the top of barry’s parachute, as the floor gradually became closer, I was going to land in a clearing in a field, were the grass was as tall as I am.
My head was like it was on a spindle, I was looking everywhere and everything I could….we gently landed on the floor……well I say gently, remember the incident from the white water rafting and the rocks on my rear…..okay it was NOT the most comfortable landing but I didn’t care!!!
There you have it…..and now it was time to go back to relaxing form the remainder of the time in Cairns, before the return fly to brisbane, then driving to Sydney for my second stint, along those straight roads of nothingness……not looking forward to it….but the buzz from the jump kept me ticking over nicely.