What a great day I’ve had!
I’ve had my first ever helicopter flight, flying over volcanoes, canyons and waterfalls in La Reunion, and I’ve also arrived at a beautiful beach front hotel on Mauritius – where, I hasten to add, I’ve just been treated to a half hour back massage. Ah Bisto….!
So as I kick back on my balcony with a beer and a pretty view of the Indian Ocean, and a mango tree, let me tell you a little bit about that helicopter ride…..
Firstly – the whole experience is pretty crazy – I mean, any type of aviation kind of blows my mind, completely going against any laws of gravity that once might have existed!
But with helicopters, I don’t know what it is, they just felt a tad more as though those laws were being defied to an even a greater scale!
With an aeroplane it gains its speed and momentum on the ground, to help then begin it’s ascent into the sky – it then uses epic sized engines, wings and propellers to help keep it in this flying position. A helicopter, however, obviously doesn’t have these seemingly handy attributes – instead, starting in a completely static position, before, what is essentially a very large ceiling fan, slowly pulls it vertically from the ground, causing it to hover, much like that of a drunk man desperately trying to stand straight and not fall over, before slowly it moves forward.
And another thing, how do these very large ceiling fans enable the vehicle to change directions the way it does? In my little, okay maybe naive, mind, it feels as though they are positioned the wrong way.
I mean – don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great, and if I were to be sat and shown exactly how the dynamics of a helicopter works I’m sure I would get it. But as a layman, sat there in the front seat of a helicopter – I just thought wow, this feels insane!
But insane it might have been – but awesome is how it felt! It was just amazing to be sat at the front of this small flying aircraft as we pushed forward towards the Indian Ocean, looped around and then headed back inland for the giant pitons and canyons found along the West of La Reunion.
Each time we would fly over a peak, our pilot would twist and dip us into the vast crescents that lay before us.
Over we flew, passing peak after peak, and around the dormant volcano of the two found on La Reunion – one is dormant whilst the other is one of the most active volcanoes in the world – until eventually we flew down into a large and narrow crescent that had numerous waterfalls cascading down it’s sides. As the sun hits the water, the most perfectly positioned rainbows were formed, and it sort of made you want to just stop and wish you could capture this moment in your heart and in your head forever.
Once we had circled the waterfalls, we scaled to the top of the peak and popped out over the top, once again heading for the coast, and back to our landing spot. Our 25 minute flight had all too quickly come to an end.
But – what a 25 minutes it had been. This certainly would be a running contender if I were to ever make a ‘Top Ten Experiences’ list!