Monday, 28 July 2014

(Indoor) Skydive

I would absolutely love to do a skydive!

Here is a picture of me pretending to have just done a skydive and accidentally landed in the middle of nowhere (long story haha):

Now yes of course the thought of doing a skydive scares the hell out of me and I wouldn't describe myself as an adrenalin junkie. However, I can't help but think that over coming the fear of standing at the open door ready to jump out into the unknown would be the biggest rush imaginable and so as scared as I would be or because of how scared I would be, I would love to do one.

However, somewhat unsurprisingly, doing a Skydive is quite expensive. Like £250 expensive and so even less surprising is the fact that I am unable to afford to do one at the moment :(

Now that said, there are ways to do a Skydive For Free. But unfortunately at the moment I just don't have the time and effort required to raise enough money to do a skydive for charity. Especially when I should be attempting to raise money for charity with my ACalmCrossing.

So unfortunately doing a Skydive is not about to be ticked off the list anytime yet!

However, there is a fun, much cheaper and less scary alternative!
An indoor skydive!

On Thursday me and my friend Sophia headed down to Bodyflight in Bedford - about half an hour by train from London - where you can partake in several exciting activities including an indoor skydive.

Here's me feeling all excited but not really showing it:

& here's one of the two of us looking a bit more like we're having fun:

So what is an indoor skydive?
Well that's a very good question and one that even though I have just done one, I'm still not completely sure how to answer. Basically it is a way to simulate the experience of the free-fall stage of a skydive using a giant wind tunnel. And wow was it fun!

Here I am - looking all cool and sexy - in the safety kit (all the gear no idea) just before going through into the wind tunnel.

Basically what happens is that you go into this cylindrical room with wind blasting up from a giant fan below you, blowing up to 180mph! The force of this air - and the help of the instructors - enables you to hover in the air about four feet from the ground.

Here is a picture of me and Sophia mid-indoor skydive:

Then with the help of the instructors - who have until now been standing next to you but now also leave the ground - you are spun around in the air some 10 feet  - maybe? - above the ground. I don't know if I'm selling the experience very well? And I don't know how close it is to the experience of a real skydive. But I can tell you it really was great fun! Truly amazing! You get such a buzz. At least I did! I was really quite nervous just before going in. There were a lot of people doing it and we were one of the last so we had a bit of a wait and so the nerves really started to build up. Therefore when we did finally go in there was a big release of adrenalin and I loved every second of it.

We had two "flights" which were very short, they were only in 1 minute 15 seconds each. Which doesn't sound very much does it? & given that it took a few seconds to go in and then out again we were only actually in the wind tunnel for around 2 minutes in total. We travelled all the way to Bedford for 2 minutes haha. But it was so much fun and when you're in there it feels like a lot longer and so I definitely felt like we got our moneys worth. Especially as we did it through Groupon and so it was only £16 each which I think is pretty cheap?

Happy (Indoor) Skydiving :)

Wait! Hang on there a second.
Because the adventure didn't actually stop there!

In true Year31Project style or maybe that should be in true Anthony Hett style that was only the beginning of the adventure.

We had travelled from Bedford train station to Bodyflight by taxi. I had looked at buses but it was the countryside and so they were inconvenient, long and infrequent. I had looked at walking too but google maps said that it would take nearly two and a half hours. So we got a taxi!

However, when we left body flight - even though I had the number of the taxi driver - Sophia thought that instead of paying another £12 for such a short journey and because it was such a lovely sunny day, it might be nice if we walked back instead. And although I had some small concern to how long it would take, I thought that this sounded like a good idea. It was still only 5pm, plenty of hours of sunshine left and no rush to get back to London. So even if it did take us 2 hours or more it didn't matter too much. At least we had the weather for it:

Plus Sophia was convinced that it wouldn't take that long and although I was less convinced I was still up for the adventure. It's not often I get to hike through the countryside so off we set. Following a sign saying Bedford we turned right and head up the road.

However, it wasn't long before we started to fell a bit lost.

Now I'd happily followed the sign for Bedford - that was where we were going after all - but after walking for around a mile something didn't add up. I was convinced we were walking in the wrong direction. I consulted the gps on my phone and we were in fact heading in the completely wrong direction. Maybe that was the best way to drive? But it certainly was the way to walk. So we two options. Head back the way we came or take a right and then another right and make a loop, coming back on ourselves, except travelling on a parallel country road.

For some reason the decision to make was mine and I chose the later. Going back the way we had come somehow seemed wrong, like we were excepting defeat haha. However, in the end it proved that I may have made the wrong decision and going back might have proved to be the better option.

The weather was nice, as was the scenery and the company so we just kept on walking. We were having fun. Well for the first few miles at least but the walk was long. From Bodyflight to the train station is around 6 miles and I'm not sure exactly how far we ended up waling but a good guest would be that before the day was done we had walked in excess of 10 miles haha stopping just the once for hard earned refreshments.

Then when we finally made it back to Bedford. When the cows and sheep were behind us and we had found civilisation once again. Never have two people been more excited to see a sign saying Bedford:

Ok so Sophia was excited. I look more tired and relieved.

But we were there. Except not quite. Unknown to us there was still around another 45mins to go :(

However, in the end after almost exactly three and a half hours of walking and one very deserved ice cream, we did finally shuffled back into Bedford train station, 3 minutes before the next train arrived.

& I have to say that the walk was a lot of fun. I mean in the end it was probably about an hour - or maybe more - longer than it needed to be and the following day my legs really didn't know what had hit them. But at the end of the day, the important thing was that I felt as though I had really lived the day to it's full and had had a very enjoyable little trip out of London.

Happy Daytripping :)

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