Any high-octane endeavour necessitating that I get manhandled by a strapping young Spaniard, in a 165mph wind tunnel, is obviously awesome.
Throw in the liberal use of banana terminology, a fetching jumpsuit, and the capacity to fly like a dick-head around a small glass room… and my wildest zero-gravity lunatic fantasises are realised.
I am talking, of course, about indoor skydiving, and last week I was lucky enough to have a go!
If you’re not much of a reader (no one’s perfect), scroll to the bottom for the video.
Indoor skydiving in Spain
Couple weeks ago I had a ‘f*ck it’ moment (shock) and found myself in Spain, attending a travel blogging conference. As you do, when you should be setting up a new life in New Zealand, but instead you’re stuck in England, at your parents house, waiting on the NHS… sigh.
Anyway, the conference was incredible (more on this soon)… but let’s be real here; the highlight was obviously throwing myself around a wind tunnel in the arms of a Spaniard.
Somehow, after the conference, I managed to land myself a spot on a four day press trip around Girona… including delights such as indoor sky diving, kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, canal boating, hiking, lavish hotels and of course more food and wine than I could handle. All thanks to the local tourism boards; Visit Costa Brava, Catalunya Experience and Emporda Tourism…. Yay!
Don’t envy me too much; I did also have to go to an actual anchovy factory. Like, my gag reflex is still recovering. Understatement of the century, but I don’t do seafood. I actually would rather pass a large cactus than be within ten feet of even one anchovy.
The less said about this the better, because quite frankly I have nothing positive to say on the matter, and I realise this makes me a culturally ignorant monster. But there you go. Sorry Emporda.
When I had eventually recovered from the severe nasal trauma inflicted by the anchovy factory (does one ever truly recover?), we went off to try indoor skydiving; perhaps in a desperate bid to blast the stench of sardines from our shoes with 165mph winds, who can say for sure.
Indoor skydiving… what happens?
The session begins (after signing the obligatory waiver, should I plummet to my death in the arms of said Spaniard) with getting kitted out… jumpsuits, ear plugs, goggles, helmets and much giggling… yes, we all look very fetching.
I am rather partial to a dashing jumpsuit to say the least, and I was ready to slob around in it gleefully, if only to hide my rather distinguished food baby… however my suit stunk to the heavens of body odour. It reeked of stale sweat, to the point that my poor gag reflex was on struggle street once again.
But nothing was as bad as the anchovies, and by the time I had worked out that it wasn’t actually me (I was a little concerned for a while), it was too late to change. Which the staff would have happily done, had I not been hiding in the corner embarrassed by my imaginary, yet very severe, perceived armpit malfunction.
It is worth noting, whilst I had the misfortune of my predecessor being an absolute Stinky Pete, no one else did. And this is the only thing I could fault; the entire experience was awesome, just such good fun.
After bouncing around in your too-big jumpsuit like an overexcited Teletubbie, it is time for the briefing.
We are shepherded to a small room for this, and it takes about 15 minutes to learn the do’s and the don’t’s. In a nut shell, you must make your body like a banana… curved. But not too tense. But not too wobbly.
Everyone practices on a small table, and needless to say my banana was all wrong.
Well, there you go, life is full of disappointment. I’m much more a ‘learn by doing’ type gal, and what I lack in skill I certainly make up for later in enthusiasm and volume.
This philosophy I apply generously too all facets of life, perhaps you have noticed.
Fly? The staff all have this printed on their t-shirts in Spanish, and they are not lying; it really is the most incredible flying sensation.
You get two flights, both one minute each. The first one is more trying to get your banana right, and being propelled around by the Dashing Spaniard (he really was rather delicious) because your banana is oh so wrong. Pity.
When I came home ill from Peru 6 weeks ago, my dear mother told me I looked like I was dying (thanks Mum), that she was frightened I might blow away. Well, mums are always right. One slight incline of the head too far, or a slight raise of my ample bottom to the heavens, and I started to accelerate with alarming speed up the tunnel.
Quite literally, blow away.
As you can see from the video, it does take some mastering… especially when you are a stumpy uncoordinated little thing like me.
The second flight is way more fun… this time Dashing Spaniard spun me round, which felt incredible. Then before I knew it, he had grabbed my thigh, leant himself into the wind, and we were soaring up the wind tunnel with scream-inducing ferocity. We twirled to about ten metres high, and then plummeted back down with equal enthusiasm.
I am told that they guy working the machine absolutely pissed himself laughing at the volume of my screams… no surprises there. I am kind of a screamer.
It really is terrifying though! Just in an incredibly good way. An exhilarating, might-die, totally-out-of-my-control, 10m free-fall type way. I was terrified… but I absolutely loved it!
You just have to let go, trust that Dashing Spaniard knows what he’s doing… and trust that there’s not a power cut, presumably.
If you have a chance to go, or you are looking for a fun event for a bunch of friends, I cannot recommend it enough, and I would absolutely go again!
Big thankyou to Windoor Empuriabrava for hosting us. These guys are not far at all from Girona and/or Barcelona, so next time you’re on holiday there definitely pop in.
This was a free press trip, but all views and opinions are entirely my own, and I truly did 100% love it!!
Have you been indoor skydiving? What did you think and where did you do it?