Ahhhhhh finally! 3rd time was the charm! Arrived this morning at 10:15am and was pretty much immediately told that we were good to go today! I guess the wind or whatever was behaving itself. They had the bus all ready outside, so we just had to sign our life away on the various forms and head off!
We left around 10:45am or so, it took us an hour to get to this little tiny airport, owned by the skydiving company, out in the middle of nowhere. I wasn’t too nervous on the ride up, was chatting, messaging, playing games, etc.
We arrived a bit before noon, got put into the briefing room and basically given three instructions – the position to be in for the jump itself, the position to be in for the free fall, and the position to be in for the landing. Super simple, not much to remember. We dumped all our random stuff into lockers and got into flight suits and harnesses. Reminded again how important the positions were, and off we went.
We were the first group of the day, so we just wandered over to the airplane just a quick walk away and hopped on. I was part of the first group of four people to go, which I was thankful for (patience is not one of my skills, for those who do not know me). I met with the person I was going to be quite literally attached to, then met with my photographer who basically started videoing me the second we shook hands.
Got on the plane and went up, up, up! It took us about 15 mins to reach our diving altitude of just over 4000m, it was a nice little scenic flight – some beautiful sights to see out the window. My photographer was taking tons of great pictures and getting some video of me in the plane. All of a sudden I started feeling some tugs on my back as my diver was doing some final checks – I got told to stand up and then sit down as we were attached together, and then the diver and photographer showed me the special little hand shake to do, and… yeah… door flies open lol.
I was the third to go – would have rather been the first, I thought. I figured it would be one, wait a bit, two, wait a bit, etc, but not so much. Door flies open, the first photographer stands ready, the first two hobble over and BOOM! Gone. Then immediately after, the next. Then my guy has got us up and walking towards the door! Damn that was fast.
My photographer stands up outside the door to catch us, and takes a dive just a second or two before we launch off. I basically am attached to my guy, and my job is to sit outside the plane on his lap, attached only to him, holding on to nothing, feet curled up, head back (they call this the banana position) with my hands holding the straps around my chest.
It feels like this takes awhile, but I’m in that position for roughly three seconds before he gives us a push, and we are free falling!!!!!
What a RUSH! Talk about adrenalin flowing – it was a huge shock for a second, the amount of air just coming right at you. Mouth open, you really feel it lol. Even with the plastic glasses protecting your eyes you can feel the pressure there too. After a second or two recovering I see the photographer right beneath me, falling back first pointing the camera at me (attached to his head). He’s making all kinds of motions to remind me to move around a bit, so I do – thumbs up, arms out, just generally moving around like an idiot. Feels amazing.
I don’t think I really screamed at all, not sure it would have worked that well if I had lol. We were in free fall for just about a minute before my diver popped open his chute, and then the photographer. He timed it really well and got some really cool shots of me falling with the chute.
So it was super duper loud, just the air, as I fell, and then as soon as the chute opened – dead silence. I realized that my ears were popped so I had to yawn several times to fully unpop them, getting a bit of sound back each time as we slowly descended. It was so amazingly peaceful up there – beautiful, stunning view. Just a bit of a “whisp” of air flowing by. We occasionally had to make a bit of a course correction to get to the right spot, but otherwise it was just a really nice, slow descent.
We approached the landing zone, I got into the landing position, which was basically just feet up, and we slowly glided in. The way we landed I just felt a bit of earth beneath me and I was sitting perfectly still – it was a fantastic landing, I really thought it would feel a lot harder! I got detached, shook both the photographer and divers hand, and that was it!
The next group still had to go, I got some pics of them coming down and was able to watch that, and then we had to wait a bit for all the pictures and DVDs to be processed, but that was it. It felt amazing when we got down – I had a smile stuck on my face for a long time. Hour long drive back, pretty quiet – was surprisingly tired after the whole thing.
I would happily, very happily, do that again anytime. It was such a fantastic experience. I will have to keep my eye out for awesome places to do it. I really do need to go back to New Zealand and get it done there.
The rest of the day was wandering and relaxing, planning stuff to do tomorrow. I’m out of the hostel pretty early and then I still have the entire day here before I catch the overnight train to Poland, so I wanted to stack up some stuff to do. I got the pics and video of my dive uploaded to Facebook, had dinner, and here I am writing this!
So that’s it! That’s my skydiving experience!!! I HIGHLY recommend this to anyone. It is not scary. It goes super fast. You don’t have time to be afraid. You can absolutely do it. No question. It’s the exact same advice a number of people gave me – trust me, it’s awesome. Just do it 🙂
Tomorrow night I’m off to Krakow, Poland – will be there in the morning. This is where Auschwitz is located, which is the primary reason for the visit, so I’ll be doing a tour there asap. Following Krakow I’ll be taking a train into Warsaw to spend some time there.
Prague has been a wonderful place to spend a few days, the hostel has been great, the people I’ve met here have been wonderful – thrilled to have been here!
That’s it for now – talk to you later 🙂
Video of the jump available here!