Jumping off a cliff isn’t what I normally think about when I wake up in the morning. Not often anyway. Today I was contractually obliged to do so. After giving Half-Price Alfie a load of shit, and eventually some money, I was booked on a 9am flight. As I showered and got dressed I started to wonder if this was really a good idea. After all, I wasn’t entirely sure if I was afraid of heights or not…
Wandering down Tat Avenue early in the morning was quite nice, I saw the sellers setting up their stalls, food being cooked and, most importantly, Shadow Bar wasn’t trying to burn themselves down with a can of Febreze! In fairness it would be an improvement if they succeeded. I reached the store-front where Alfie normally sat and gloated but he wasn’t there. I was unceremoniously plonked in a seat and told to wait. After a while we were told to follow some guy where we were joined by a bunch of other people from other hotels. A piece of paper was put in front of me, “Sign this” said the man behind the desk. I did as I was asked/told, then afterwards jokingly said “Have I just signed my life away?” trolololol and all that. I just had. If I die from death in the face, it’s not their fault.
With my mortality now legally subject to change without notice we were all packed into the waiting mini-buses. Beside me sat a Japanese guy, about my age I’d guess who didn’t say a work, behind me sat a Russian couple, there was a middle-aged British couple who were lovely to speak to, and a pair of Aussie brothers. For each of the passengers there was also a pilot, as you’d hope. The bus spluttered to life and we began to climb.
Remember what I was saying about the roads in a previous blog? Yeah, well these weren’t roads. They were just dirt tracks. This was fine at first, the suspension was a little rough as you went over the bumps but it was bearable while at sea level. After a while though, we weren’t level with the sea anymore. Oh no, we were quite a bit higher. The roads were rougher. And thinner. And winding. I wondered if the drivers looked back in their mirrors and tried their hardest to make us tourists shit out pants. I didn’t, but I was close. Close enough at times that I actually started to wonder if I should have left a will!
After a climb that seemed to go on for a very long time, we arrived at the launch pad, 6380ft above sea level. Then the views started
On the drive up we had drawn names from a hat – Okan was my pilot today. Without saying a word slapped a harness on my back, clipped it around my arms and legs, pulled at the metal hooks and then buggered off. This gave me a chance to see how the rest of my bus-mates were getting on. Russia, Japan and England were getting on fine. My attention was drawn to one of the Australians. He was using his charms to ingratiate himself with the guardian of his life.
“G’day mayte! I’m Jayson, oo’re yoo?”
“Ah noice! C’mon then Ali-ba-ba, let’s do this eh?”
Ali-ba-ba. He called the man who controls his decent Ali-ba-ba. Twat.
So there I stood, watching the flights ahead of me take off. I honestly felt like I should have been more apprehensive, nervous, scared, terrified, petrified even. But nope, I was fine. I even checked my pulse to see what was going on in my chest. About normal. Clearly I’m all man and this kinda shit doesn’t face me. Man points.
My delusions of bravery were cut short as someone shouted “Sir! Stand there!” which I did. Okan attached himself and the parasail(?) to us and gave me these sage words of advice regarding take-off –
“If I say run, run. If I say stop, you stop or we die.”
I couldn’t even muster up a smart-arse remark (ME!) and just nodded.
A run full-pelt, as fast as my lanky legs will carry me! All the time spent on the gym’s treadmills, walking to work every day, it all pays off! For about 3 steps. Then the air fills the paraglider(?), lifts me off my feet slightly and pulls me forward.
“RUN! RUN! RUN!”
Who am I to argue? With a hop, skip and a jump I’m in the air, and…
There was a lot of air between my shoes and the floor…
The views were spectacular, and very peaceful. You have the sound of the air running past your ears but other than that it was very relaxing. However, I had mentioned to Helen the day before that I was a little concerned that conversation with the pilot may be a little stilted. You know if you’re stuck in a lift with someone that you kinda know, but not really, but feel like you should say something? That’s awkwardness for a few seconds? A couple of floors. Try having someone sat against your back, literally in control of what happens next, and not a word to say.
“So….. been doing this long?”
Also, just to add annoying to awkward, he has a little camera on stick which he’s using to take photos and videos of me, while I take photos and videos of anything else. Clearly going to sell me them later, or use it as some kind of black box in case the worst happens. I’m trying to enjoy the views when he says “look at camera” and then waves this tiny camera in my face.
Anyway here are a few snaps
This is Oludeniz in it’s entirety
This is the hotel we were staying at. I was tempted to sell this photo to them for their brochure (for money off the bill, ofcourse) but I couldn’t be bothered!
I really like this shot, dem boats is pretty! And I hear one if the Captains runs a full-body massage service…
As you can probably tell we’re getting closer to the ground now, the subjects of landing comes up. The below photo seems appropriate.
“When I say stand, stand.”
Interesting words. One I totally understand, but we’re going rather fast, probably about 25-30mph and our runway is coming into sight
The moment after I take this photo he shouts “stand up!” – there’s no ground beneath my feet so it’s a physical impossibility. But hey, that floor’s getting closer! I stand on nothing, land on less than that and collapse in a pile on the floor. I stand, regain my composure, back to awesome.
I meet up with Helen who was thankfully not nearby to see me collapse up my own arse. We spend the day chilling and baking in the sun. We return to La Plaza for dinner, working our way though the menu. As we begin to tuck in to our mains, Helen’s eyes are drawn to something moving over my shoulder. “Benji, look who it is…” As subtle as I can I look over my shoulder to see a collection of Peroxide Blonde women sitting down… wait… is that…
Nose and Spanners! The two from the plane! The two discussing how to split a pie smaller than my hand. Here. In a place that serves full meals. That cost money. But Nose and Spanners aren’t alone, they have the entire Peroxide Patrol – a dozen or so. All with the same shade of blonde, same make-up and I swear a couple of them were wearing the same dress. There were even a couple of kids with them, young girls, same colour hair as the taller specimens. It was just odd to see, so many Copy/Paste women. Bit of a shame really. Even make-up didn’t help Spanners out much.
Also, the restaurant seemed to be playing music in the style of a Mexican Richard Cheese. “Gangsters Paradise” was one of the songs that piped up, but without the verses, just the chorus. Proper weird.
We wandered back to the hotel and met a fluffy little kitten who literally attacked my feet as i walked past. Cutest kitty in the world but a right little bastard! Would attack anything that moved, and when left alone would cry out until I walked back in, she’d then pounce from behind a wall! Now and then though, she’d settle…
Helen fell in love with her and insisted on taking Daisy with her to bed. Her name was apparently Daisy as Helen decided as such. I think it went well until about 3am when I heard Helen open the living room door and put Daisy out. Apparently she was attacking Helen’s face in the night! Heh, awesome cat.
Tomorrow is the day of the boat trip…. Sure it’ll be fine….