Getting High in Reunion

Since arriving in Réunion, my goal has been to see the Island from above. But I didn’t want to see this green gem from a plane, I wanted to see her in free fall and under my own parachute! I have been a licensed skydiver for over three years now and before I left the U.S. I discovered there is a skydiving club called Paraclub de Bourbon at Pierrefond Airport in St. Pierre. So I brought my parachute and other skydiving equipment with me on the long flights from San Francisco to St Denis.

However when I first arrived I was disappointed to learn the club was closed for a few weeks due to aircraft maintenance. Then when I returned when it was opened again, it was too windy or too cloudy. It took over two months before I finally had the chance to skydive in Réunion. By this time I was itching to get in the sky and get my adrenaline fix as skydiving is my addiction of choice.  Finally one beautiful December morning I drove to Pierrefond very early in the morning. The weather was good and the prop of the plane was turning, so I put on my gear and took a seat in the Pilatus Porter.  

From the plane I was able to see into Cilaos, past St Pierre to the south and Etang Salé to the north. It was a beautiful view! When we reached 13,000 ft (or about 4,000 m) I jumped out of the plane with my boyfriend.  Finally I got to make a skydive over Réunion!  We held hands and did some flips above the island before it was time to separate and pull our parachutes.  I was able to take in the beauty of the island in free fall and then under my own parachute, which I landed safely onto the small landing area next to the hangar at the airport. 

Finally, I got high in Réunion and it was amazing!  

Vocabulary

free fall – chute libre
however – par contre
due to – à cause de
windy – venteux
itching to – impatient de

hold hands – se tenir les mains
take in – apprecier

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