Previous entry Next entry

Pip&Judi’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 09 Aug 2005

Location: Windhoek, Namibia

Map....It seems a very long time ago now that we were thinking about whether or not to jump out of a plane but we obviously did it.....and what a rush! It was an experinece we will never forget. I am scared of heights but surprisingly was not really nervous ...just pumped up - even Jude was looking very excited as I looked over my shoulder at her before we jumped. Strapped to a deaf and obviously slightly mad South African with your feet hanging out of a TINY plane looking down at desert and a small town suddenly seemed just plain mental. Before I was quite ready (you obvioulsy need to phsych yourself up a bit) we just went. Everything we had been instructed to do on the ground and on the climb to our jump point just left my head (almost as fast as my dinner left my stomach!!)... Unfortunately I jumped feet first like you would off a 5 ft wall and that was a scary sight and feeling -looking down at my boots knowing there was nothing between my feet and the Namib desert 2 miles below. For 3 terrifying seconds I thought I had gone on my own. Then training kicked in ( I know that sounds like I spent 6 weeks with the paras but actually it was 5 minutes chat before take off!!!) and we were in the right position. Wow!!! & Yeeeehaaahh! was about the extent (between expletives obviously) that I could manage before strangley saying a plolite "hello" to another guy who appeared 3 ft in front of me at 140mph 1.8 miles up in the air - like that happens every day!!! It was a bizzar moment. This was all captured on video so thankfully we can re-live that 30 seconds of exhillaraition again and again - and bore the pants of you all with it to.

The chute opened and that was when I really did get nervous. My first thought was to look for Jude's chute and she was up there about 500ft above me...and probably much calmer than me as I was now convinced I was going to fall out of the harness when my instructor loosened it - thanks pal - that was funny!!!

After some wild turns, twists (at one point looking down at our parachutes - think about it!!) and even having a go at steering the parachutes we landed and it was definitely 7 minutes I will never ever forget. Jude was just behind and even with her arm in plaster she was punching the air and shrieking with delight. I wish I could give her that much excitement in 7 minutes!! Watching it back on a 10ft screen in the bar later that night was just unreal - Jude was filmed from a camera on her instructors wrist so could even talk to the camera on the way down (good job I did not have that option) - we've seen the film but not heard the sound yet so that will be interesting......the opening shot was upside down looking at the plane she had just jumped from - I think we may need to bleep the comments!!..... now time to move on to the game reserves.