SKYDIVE IN PAR­ADISE

Go Travel The Pacific - - Contents - by Claire Whit­taker

I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced many great ac­tiv­i­ties over the years, but this hol­i­day, I wanted some­thing dif­fer­ent. It was time to fi­nally cross some­thing of my Buck­etlist. En­ter Skydive Fiji!

It’s a beau­ti­ful blue-sky morn­ing. I’m picked up from my ho­tel by the cour­tesy trans­fer and taken to the head of­fice where the pa­per­work, weigh­ing, buck­ling of the har­ness & safety pro­ce­dures briefing takes place. Ja­son, my tan­dem in­struc­tor, is ex­tremely re­laxed which helps calm my nerves. I tell him I’ve got a fear of heights, but he ex­plains that it wont bother me dur­ing sky­div­ing, be­cause it is noth­ing more then a plane ride.

The flight is com­ple­mented by stun­ning views over the Mount Evans range, turquoise reefs and white sandy beach is­lands of the Ma­maca Is­lands and the Ya­sawa’s on the hori­zon. A free aerial scenic tour on top of my skydive. That’s what I call value for money!

As we ap­proach the 14,000ft (4km) mark, the door is flicked open, the wind gushes through the air­craft and with­out hes­i­ta­tion, out we go. The first few seconds are over­whelm­ing. The

sen­sa­tion of freefalling is a cher­ished feel­ing I wish would never end. It feels like I’m float­ing in the air, not like fall­ing at all. We’re go­ing 200km/h but I feel re­laxed and am smil­ing away.

Af­ter a minute of freefall, Ja­son opens the para­chute and I can en­joy the canopy ride with un­in­ter­rupted views of Nadi Bay down to the land­ing area. We fly the para­chute to­gether and take a few pho­tos with the GoPro ac­tion cam­era Ja­son is wear­ing on his wrist. Best ‘Self­ies’ ever!

We glide into the beach where my two friends are wait­ing and I am speech­less and sim­ply in awe of what I have just ex­pe­ri­enced. Why didn’t I do this be­fore?!

Ja­son jokes to my friends that they’re next. They are ad­ven­tur­ous, but they need a bit more time to think about it. Af­ter me rav­ing on about the views, they want to see it for them­selves and get in touch With Heli-Tours Fiji.

They opt for a 40-minute scenic flight that takes them all around the Ma­manuca Group of Is­lands and into the Mount Evans Moun­tain range. Heli-Tours uses their 3-seater he­li­copter for this flight. It has a win­dow seat for ev­ery­one, so per­fect for scenic flights. Tyson, the pilot, asks if I feel like join­ing my friends on this flight. Yes Please!

A short briefing and away we go. Tyson clearly loves his job and knows a lot about the sights. Beau­ti­ful sand cays, idyl­lic is­lands with stun­ning reefs, fancy re­sorts, rag­ing water­falls and lush val­leys. Fiji just doesn’t stop to amaze me. The whole trip has left me with one prob­lem. How am I ever go­ing to top this?

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