I am neither a risk-taker nor an adrenaline junkie. So there are certain things I am as likely to do as a family of penguins is to arrive on a beach in Florida for a spot of sunbathing . Items on my unlikely to-do list include: leaving a plane at a surreal height and relying on a parachute to get me safely to the ground, bungee jumping off a vertiginous building, and white water rafting.
Flying by helicopter is somewhat down the scale of risky activities but up until recently I hadn’t given any thought as to whether doing so belonged on my list of things I would do or things I wouldn’t. This was because I never imagined I would travel skyward in one. However I hadn’t reckoned on the inventiveness of my good friends J, M, and A who took me out last Saturday on a magical mystery tour in a belated celebration of my birthday.
It wasn’t until we arrived at the heliport that I realized a spot of flying was on the agenda. I am not afraid of flying although I am not keen on the charging headlong down the runway bit for take off or when the wheels bump to the ground and the plane seems to shudder as the pilot brakes on landing . A helicopter ascends and descends vertically so getting airborne and coming down again is way smoother than a plane’s take off and landing. I suspect many of you knew that already but I didn’t. There were a few hairy moments in the air when the pilot showed off his skills, it wasn’t loop the loop but he did turn the machine almost on its side.
I really, really enjoyed my time in the helicopter. I was lucky as I got to sit beside the pilot and had a panoramic view. I was glad I brought my camera, as instructed, so I had the opportunity for the very first time to take some aerial photographs. It was so kind and thoughtful of friends to book the surprise helicopter ride to give me the opportunity to take said photos, especially as one of them truly, truly doesn’t like flying.
It was an exciting and lovely day and most definitely not my average Saturday!