A Moment of Breathlessness
There are some photos that leave a vivid memory of what it took to capture them. And when it came to choosing an image for this week’s challenge, this shot jumped to mind.
It was taken in Queenstown (New Zealand); overlooking Lake Wakatipu with The Remarkables mountain range in the background.
We’d taken the gondola up the mountain to enjoy the views and then decided to try out the Luge. Funny how nobody mentioned that there’s then a chair lift up from the restaurant level to the start of the tracks.
My travel journal reads:
Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t know much about chair lifts. My only recollection of actually seeing one is in the misty background of an early Bond film.
So here’s how it works: the chair lifts go round on a continuous loop. Basically, when the staff member tells you to, you step smartly between two of the buggers and stand on the bright yellow footprints on the floor (Facing forward – THIS IS IMPORTANT). The next chair then comes up behind you and taps you gently on the behind (because you are now in its way) at which point you give a little jump and it scoops you up and carries you up, up and away.
Now here’s the joke: you then have to REACH UP and pull the safety bar down onto your lap.
Only by then, you’re 50 foot in the air and level with the top of some of the surrounding mountain ranges – which although dazzling in their grandeur and beauty, further emphasize the fact that the ground is, in fact, a long way off.
Not forgetting that the chair is rocking happily to the slightest changes in the breeze… And you want me to LET. GO. of what? To pull down WHAT?
Suffice it to say that Auburn was saddled with safety bar duty. I just clung on like a limpet and concentrated on not drizzling urine onto the people walking along the paths beneath us.
You’ll be pleased to know that I survived this horrendous episode … I know I was. Africans just aren’t built for this sort of thing; we prefer the simple things in life – like ground beneath our feet … and fufu in our belly.
I was to spend the evening in mild agony having almost dislocated my shoulder in an attempt to wrap myself tightly onto the back of the chair in the hope of feeling secure. As far as I was concerned, if I was going down, the chair was coming with me.
But somewhere in the midst of the bladder-inducing panic, I managed to whip out the digital camera and snap a couple of shots.
I was stunned to get home to find that not only had the shots come out rather well, but I had also managed to catch the paraglider on the left of the frame (not that I had noticed their existence at the time!).
Whenever I look at this photo, I get a little shiver because
- It looks like the image I wanted to capture in my mind; and
- I still remember how precarious it felt to dangle up there enjoying the view.
And I have to laugh; because after all these years, I still don’t know how it is I manage to get myself into these stop-the-ride-I-want-to-get-off adventures.
You can see how other bloggers responded to the challenge at The Daily Post
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AUTHOR: I am might war. I have a love of music, the written word, travel, Anime, polar bears, people and “sticking and colouring”.