Jumping off cliffs…..yes…really!

Vicki and Vikie jump off a cliff!

You heard me right!  On a dull afternoon in Tenerife, the 2 Vicki’s decided that jumping off a cliff and paragliding to the beach was a really good idea!

It did seem like a good idea when Vicki first mentioned to me that she was toying with doing it and would I like to go too?  As always, my mouth had agreed it would be great before my brain had had a chance to intervene with any logical reasoning, the story of my life!  Before I could say ‘fear of heights’, the whole escapade was researched, booked and paid for as my birthday present. Gulp!!


ME!  Just about to ‘land’!

Errrrrr….second thoughts!

So, there I was, 5 hours before the allotted timing of our great adventure and I found myself strangely excited about the accumulating cloud!  If the weather isn’t right you can’t do it!


Am I a coward?  Definitely not.  Was I regretting saying ‘yes’?  Hmmmmm…..just a bit maybe?  Would I go through with it?  Yes!  I said I would, so, come hell or high water, I was determined to somehow find the guts to follow through.

The allotted time slot had crept up behind me and bitten me on the bum and here we were outside the hotel awaiting whatever vehicle was on it’s way to take us up to the top of the mountain, the words ‘lamb’ and ‘slaughter’ kept creeping into my mind!  Eventually a people carrier with a couple of other occupants arrived with the boot loaded to the roof with rucksacks of miscellaneous shaped sizes.  These were the parachutes we decided unanimously, both wondering how such innocuous looking bags could possibility be carrying the necessary equipment to float us from the top of the mountain to the bottom safely.

Having collected another vehicle similarly loaded with people and equipment we started the long trip up the (extremely) steep and winding path, couldn’t possibly refer to it as a ‘road’!  Higher and higher we climbed, all the time thinking we couldn’t possibly go any further up, only to encounter another summit around the next corner.  GULP!!

Errrrr…….JERONIMO?

Eventually we arrived at an ankle twistingly rocky piece of land which, at first glance, appeared to be flat for quite some way…..we were wrong.  100m from where were standing, being pulled and pushed into various harnesses, there was a sheer drop off which we were going to jump!  My misgivings were increasing by the moment as people started running across the rocks and jumping off, and once, finally, we were suitably attached to our ‘experts’ it was time for the off.

Vicki went first and I watched her elegantly run across the rocks and take perfect flight with ‘Roberto’.  Ok, thinks I, can’t be that bad as I watched them float away into the distant clouds which weren’t bad enough to prevent us from jumping.  My turn……’Umberto’ was my expert and as we stood intimately face to face ready for the run I really did wonder whether I had lost my mind or just experiencing some kind of ‘mid life’ crisis?  But, before I had time to speculate further, he was shouting at me run!

Run was probably putting it fairly loosely, I stumbled, half fell and tripped my way forward with Umberto shouting ever louder to run faster…..I was doing my best over the enormous boulders I was trying to navigate!  Then suddenly, my feet left the ground for an instant, and then crashed back down again, how the hell had Vicki made it look so easy?  By this time Umberto was screaming at me to run faster, apparently, once you’ve committed this far there’s no going back and the sheer drop was drawing ever closer!

After what felt like an eternity our feet left the ground again and I felt a huge sigh of relief from my host!  At this point I was dangling precariously from the harness until I was instructed to hoist myself back into the ‘seat’.  After a lot of wriggling I finally felt as though my bum was at least halfway onto said seat but it still felt ridiculously precarious.

FLASHING!

Having gathered myself slightly I started to look around and realised I was actually as close to flying as I was probably ever going to get!  It was amazing!  I giggled, I wriggled, I flapped my arms and legs around and enjoyed the freedom whilst Umberto filmed my antics, then I realised that the harness had got caught under my jumper and was pulling it ever further and further up.  I tied, in vain, to pull the wretched thing down and eventually gave in to the inevitability that by this time it had ridden up above my bra, which thankfully, had resisted the tugging and was still in the correct place!

We floated, we swung from side to side, we did corkscrews, we took the thermals and soared higher and higher over the mountainside and it was fabulous!  I loved every minute of it.  I could see Vicki already on the ground as we came into land and on watching her video, she not only did the perfect take off, flight and landing, she also looked as beautiful as ever as she waited for me.

Predictably, my landing followed in the footsteps of the rest of the flight and instead of elegantly trotting to perfect standstill with the parachute floating gently to the group behind us, I feel over and the rigging landed on my head!  The film is hilarious and watching the 2 together is even better!  Vicki’s perfect performance and then me………stumbling around the take-off, exposing myself during the entire flight and then crash landing and being bonked on the head at the end.  Typical!

Lucy, who is directing the film we’re making, edited both films putting Vicki’s flight to ‘Come Fly With Me’  and my backing music is ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, the two flights couldn’t be in more stark contrast if we tried!

As the two of us sat sipping wine that evening we both agreed that it had been worth every penny and we’d both do it again in a heartbeat.  Maybe next time I’d be able to keep my clothes on, not sprain my ankle and not suffer a concussion on landing?   Maybe………….





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