Travels

Skydive on the Costa Brava: flying over the Mediterranean (video)

The services at Skydive Empuriabrava leave no doubt (C) Avistu

You realize that he is serious when the door is opened and the gusts of wind take possession of the interior of the cabin. Until then all bloggers wore more or less natural smiles, displayed nice comments under which a certain nervousness was noted and slowly chewed the minutes it took for the plane to reach the jump altitude: 13,000 feet tall.

In the crowded interior of the twin-engine of Skydive Empuriabrava only two of us had gone through the same experience, both Ignacio Izquierdo and I had parachuted over New Zealand. Despite this, and I only recognize it now that nobody reads to me, when I saw Sele jump (whom I had reassured with phrases like “you fall like a stone” or “you are not clinging to anything”) that premiered the moment, and it was my turn to approach the edge of emptiness, I felt like it was the first time.

Parachute jumping is an adrenaline shot that looks, forgive the pun, from above and over the shoulder to the bungee jumping or bungee jumping, with all my respect for those who practice it.

When one, embedded in a harness that joins it by four points to that of the monitor, jump from the plane, goes from sitting on a bench to fall at 200 km / hour from an altitude of 4000 meters. And you have to trust that the parachute folded to the back of the monitor, and that you won't see until it opens, will work properly.

"Risto Mejide." That's the character I thought about when I saw him with that bare skull and oversized glasses that covered a third of his face. "Well, at least I'll jump with a celebrity," I told myself. The kid - an Argentine who had nothing more to do with Mejide - was the monitor of my tandem jump, the man to whom I would entrust my life.

The kid had come a while before boarding the device, he gave me the relevant instructionsHe explained the movements that I should do and how he would indicate them to me, he placed the harness on me and with a pat on my shoulder he left me alone for a while with my nerves and a new pressure on the crotch (through the harness). I should have asked him if he remembered, though I doubt it, my partner Quique, who parachuted in this same place in 2006, a year before I tested that experience.

No tandem: these paratroopers are professionals (C) Avistu

To the plane we went up, determined to jump, Sele (Sele's corner), Victor (Machbel), Roberto and Maribel (The Green Pea), Ignacio Izquierdo (Chronicles of a camera) and Miguel (Miguel en route), all participants in This Minubetrip of the Catalan Tourism Agency. The plane took off and the next few minutes would be just a silent countdown Towards the inevitable.

At one point, the monitor will treat you like a Santa Claus to a child and ask you to sit on his legs; in that position it will be easier to hook your harness to his. When the warning light changes, they open the Super Otter door and the first skydiver jumps. My turn is the following and I hang all my weight, as I indicated, of the monitor, which approaches the hollow of the sliding door.

And we are no longer there. We are no longer inside the plane. Your body notices it because it falls like a stone, your mind notices it because it does not surround you more than the air, which you pass through 200 km / hour. The first two seconds are terrible, as you record that at 4000 meters high there is no going back.

The kid drops a small parachute to improve stability, makes a signal and now the fun begins. You open your arms, you scream, you laugh: you are falling but you could be flying (vertically, yes). On one side the sun is placidly reflected on the Mediterranean Sea and Ampuria Brava It's at your feet and you're in no hurry to get to it. Blue, green and brown are the colors that fill your retina.

It's been almost 50 seconds and the kid touches your shoulder to change your position. A sudden pull and now there is something that holds you in the sky, the main parachute has opened In all normality. A slow descent to the ground, at 20 km / hour, allows you to appreciate the beauty of the Costa Brava while secretly envying the Argentine you hang from and who goes through this routine every day at least a dozen times.

Note: Although we multiply my free fall time by ten, it cannot be compared with what Félix Baumgartner of the Red Bull Stratos did yesterday when he jumped from the stratosphere, at 39,000 meters of altitude, and fell for more than four minutes to That opened the parachute.

I can't even imagine what would happen in his head those seconds between the time he left the capsule, he placed himself on the platform and, like the one who jumps into a pool, he dropped to Earth.

Olé.

Felix Baumgartner of the Red Bull Stratos about to jump into a vacuum from 39,000 meters high