Day Three – So much adrenalin for one day!!!

Wednesday 20 May – Dubai, United Arab Emirates 

Last night I didn’t get much sleep, though the bed is absolutely gorgeous, it just swallows you. I woke up before my wake up call, which was booked for 3.45am, and I was glad for that – I don’t like waking up to the phone ringing. I quickly showered and grabbed a buggy to meet the group in the lobby, and then off we went to our balloon site. we met with our captain, a Polish man called Piotr who had a very strong accent (the whole time I was trying to think of who it reminded me of, and then I realised it was Oleg from 2 Broke Girls… I’m sure he would’ve been thrilled to know that), and a hilariously dry sense of humor… So dry that we thought he was kidding when he said that we wouldn’t be able to go if the wind didn’t calm down (it was only a very light breeze, but apparently it’s worse higher up and needs to be less than 7 knots), but he wasn’t. Luckily the wind did die down enough, but it did mean that we weren’t up there for sunrise, but there were still beautiful colours in the sky. I was a little nervous (more because of the searing heat of the gas than the height.

Gorgeous view

Because I’m such a worrier, I did have the Carterton Balloon on my mind for a while. The views were amazing though, and we saw a camel trail and lots of gazelles running across the dunes. The landing was hilarious, I didn’t realise that they land sideways and that you get dragged for a bit, so that was a bit of adventure.

It was only about 7.30am when we got back to the resort so we went for brekkie in the restaurant, and headed back to our rooms for free time for the rest of the day and I had a massage booked in for 12.30… Exceeeept, at around 11 I got a phone call saying someone was here to pick me up for my skydive. I said no, I think that’s wrong, I am booked for a skydive on Friday. The persons says oh okay, and hangs up. Two minutes later they call back to tell me sorry, they have changed the date! Eek! I’m not mentally prepared, and I look like I just got out of bed (because I basically did), but I can’t do anything about that because they’re waiting for me! So I quickly change out of my togs and grab a buggy to reception where my hosts are waiting and looking apologetic. Two of the other people booked had pulled out at this point, so it’s just myself and one other guy (plus our rep for moral support). I am absolutely packing myself for the hour and a half drive to the Palm Drop Point, with a bit of motion sickness (the drivers here have a real love for accelerating and decelerating frequently) chucked on top of a headache I’d had all morning. We get to Skydive Dubai, and the other person doing it is told he can’t due to bring too heavy. It’s just me! I meet my guy, a Canadian who had been living in Taupo for the last five years doing Skydiving, and my “paparazzi”, a very cheeky Russian. I get all harnessed up and I’m feeling teeeerrible, I am soooo scared. We head out to a buggy which takes us into the runway and I get onboard a wee propeller plane..

Camel Trail

This is probably the first time I’ve not been worried about a flight like this… I’m not sure whether that is due to knowing it will be so short, or being distracted by something even scarier! I get clipped to my instructor, and he tells me that when we jump I need to put my head up and legs back. It all happens so fast and suddenly I’m standing at the door looking 12,000 feet down to the ground, and then we’re out! I do get an initial feeling like I’m falling fast, but then I adjust and it feels like floating (whilst moving downwards) rather than falling, and I’m trying (but struggling) to focus on my cameraman who is moving in front of me (very skilfully) to take my video and photos. All of a sudden (60 seconds) he is gone and our parachute is up. The view over The Palm is absolutely beautiful!! I’m so comfortable and not at all scared! We swoop down (unfortunately because I was motion sick earlier, this is making me feel a bit dizzy, but I’m still enjoying it). My instructor lets me take control over the steering, which I try for a bit but it’s such sharp turns that I give it back pretty quickly. Then my legs are up and we’re landing really softly. I’m soooo proud of myself for going through with this! Unfortunately I don’t have pics to show you today, I pick them up tomorrow.

After another 1.5 hour drive, and a wee spew on the way due to car sickness again, and we are back at Al Maha and I’m in for my massage. Dinner tonight was extra special, we were picked up in land cruisers and dropped off to a ‘dune camp’, which was set up soooo beautifully. Traditional food for entrees, followed by BBQ main. It was such a special night, with Shisha, Moroccan tea, lots of laughs and finished with star gazing. We are up early ish again tomorrow to check out, and I’m sooo tired, so sleep time! See you tomorrow xxx

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