The Day I Skydived. Bovec Slovenia
I would like to consider myself to be a somewhat-of-a-daredevil. I am up for a challenge and will try anything provided it will not disfigure, maim, or hurt me. At my age, I will also tend to be a bit more careful in what I do.
Back in 2016, I was on another one of my April escapades, and one of the countries on my itinerary was Slovenia. Here, I had a chauffeur cum guide named Drajan, who was showing me the sights and significance of this stunningly picturesque country.
One day, he drives me to Bovec, a mountain town in northwestern Slovenia, surrounded by the peaks of the Julian Alps. After a while he pulls up at a hangar and before I know it, I’m being introduced to the tandem operations manager, Andrej Kostanjevec at Xtreme Skydiving. Drajan thought that my visit to Slovenia would be incomplete if I didn’t see it from above. Together with Andrej , they try valiantly to coax me into a tandem jump.
Meanwhile I can see a light aircraft continuously picking up young, healthy men and depositing them into the air, way up above, and then they float and soar and land gracefully back on ground.
I tell him I don’t’ want to die. He tells me not to be so dramatic. I tell him my heart may not be so strong. He tells me we should find out. I can feel my resoluteness waver. Andrej then pulls out the trump card: “Imagine what a cool mum you would be when your kids see you skydive?” I gave in.
I’m decked in flight gear and with false bravado I clamber into the belly of the light aircraft along with seven other young men.
I bet they can feel the culpable fear emanating from me as well as see my lips turn blue (with anxiety) and probably even hear my heart thumping.
Ten minutes later, we have reached 4,000 meters and it’s my turn to jump. Andrej tells me to close my eyes in case I’m scared but I look out and see a carpet of clouds. Within seconds I’m out of the aircraft with Andrej strapped onto my back. A whoosh of air almost whips away from goggles as we free fall at 220kmh (135mph) for about 60 seconds. The wind is cold despite my suit.
But once we’ve cleared the clouds, Andrej opens the main canopy and we soar, and glide, and marvel at the panoramic views of the snowcapped Julian Alps and the winding Soča River below.
The next seven minutes is a totally exhilarating, adrenalin-pumping experience.
Andrej lets me steer the canopy and I fly effortlessly. And then it’s time to land.
He guides the canopy gently onto the ground and I land with a slight bump.
What an experience. Despite a slight headache, my heart proved to be fine! There is cheering and fist bumping and I get a certificate as proof of my achievement. And yes, my kids did think I was a cool mum!