Day 1: 'S' stands for Skydiving
Texel Travel Blog› entry 2 of 5 › view all entries
"Fall free, freedom's in the air,
It's calling you, Your heart is there.
Fall free, Blaze across the sky,
The perfect fall, The perfect high."
Fall Free - Alan Parsons
Relax with a day at the sauna - check. Take the cat to the vet - check. Mow the lawn (dumdi dumdi dumdum) - check. Answer urgent business e-mails - check. Delivered the Porcupine Tree review and interview - check. Drop some of Judith's remaining stuff off - check. Pack the bags and car - check. Yes, it looks like all the remaining chores of this week had been done and we're mentally and physically ready to go. North we went !
We left Uden around half past nine and all went well until we reached Utrecht. As normal, it's impossible to pass this city without getting caught in a traffic jam.
At 13:15 we arrived at the Texel Airport Hotel, where we were received as if we were long lost family. What a wonderful place (more about it in a review later on). The apartment was stunning. A small kitchen, a bathroom with Jacuzzi and steam cabin, DVD player and surround set, you name it. The place was more luxurious than home ! ;-) The apartment had a double bed and an extra bed had been placed in the living room.
The balcony of our room overlooked Texel airport, and that's where we made our way after unpacking our stuff. I had already had e-mail contact with Linda of the Paracenter and made reservations for tandem dives for the three of us. Mike had immediately been very enthusiastic, but Nick had hesitated but had eventually realised that this was the chance of a lifetime (besides the fact that it would make him look very cool at school). The weather was windy and cloudy, so it was doubtful if we could jump that day. If so, Linda would call us, if not we would go on the waiting list for Friday or Sunday.
After grabbing some lunch at the restaurant next door it was time to explore the island ! I decided to drive up to the very northern end of the 25 km long Texel.
We took a stroll across the beach, enjoying the breeze, the kites and the cool sea water on our feet.
Arriving back at the airport I first had to sign a whole lot of waiver documents, after which we were asked to wait until we were called. Okay, I have to admit it. These weren't the most relaxed 30 minutes of my life. Tension and anticipation were building. Eventually the three of us and three others were called and received our jumpsuits and harnesses. Instructions were given and we met the skydivers to whom we would be chained for a free fall from 9000 feet (3 km).
The propeller plane took us up to 9000 feet in about 15 minutes. At this height the clouds were well below us and we had been firmly attached to our diving partners. Nick and Mike were the first ones to dive from the plane and I have to say that it was a slightly unsettling sight to see them drop away from the plane towards the clouds below. But there wasn't time to worry about it because Ivan moved us to the door, pulled my head back and after a quick glance at Cas and the camera he pushed us out of the plane. The first thing that went through my mind was 'what the f*ck have I done ?!'.
When Ivan and I touched ground Cas was already waiting for us and Mike and Nick followed shortly after. Especially Nick was in total exstacy, while Mike (who had made a 360 degree flip when exiting the place) looked slightly baffled and pale.
It was well passed 7 P.M. when we decided to have dinner. The hotel owner had suggested De Bikkelaar in De Cocksdorp, where you could eat limitless spareribs. Sounded good, so we made our way to the small village and after doing some groceries we had ourselves some meat ! Nick and I ordered twice and although they weren't the best spareribs I've had, they were tasty enough. Back in the hotel Nick and Mike wanted to try out the Jacuzzi and I learned a new lesson: never put bathing soap in the water when you use the Jacuzzi ! Oh well, it made for another good laugh at the end of an unforgettable day.