Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ground control to Major Tom

To follow up an incredible morning of flying through the gorge on the end of a rope, I decided to spend the afternoon flying through the air on a microlight flight. You are probably wondering what the heck a microlight plane is…and apparently I should have asked the same question of the person selling me the ticket, as I showed up in a dress and flip flops. As you can see below, I was quickly given a flight suit to put on over the dress and was told I would have to fly barefoot…which makes the pictures even more classic.

I had a bit of time to wait at the airfield before “Flying Kangaroo” (my Australian pilot) was ready. A friend from the backpacker had joined me to watch and we sat with another American (we’ll call him Tennessee), who was also taking a micro-flight. His Zambian pilot, aka “Likes to Watch Top Gun”, aka probably needs some help coming up with a new tagline, was also not ready. As we waited, Tennessee was trying his hardest to impress us with his attempts at witty commentary. Also, he apparently didn’t see my triumphant face-first jump into the gorge earlier and was convinced I was going to freak out in the go-cart with wings. At one point he said, “We’ll just see who has the wettest panties at the end”. To which I quickly replied, “You wear panties?”A chorus of laughter from everyone (including Zambians who usually don’t get my jokes) around followed… and Tennessee was silent untill Flying Kangaroo was ready for me.

I was strapped into the ‘student-pilot’ seat. Yes folks, that one is going on the ole’ resume. Next, I was given earphones and a microphone to communicate with the Kangaroo. He said, “Karen, can you hear me?” I said, “Ground control to Major Tom”. He didn’t laugh. Apparently the Flying Kangaroo wasn’t a fan of David Bowie.

The pictures from the flight will tell the rest of story. One thing is for sure, I will never forget seeing ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ from clouds above…

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