Parachuting in Costa Brava, Spain

 Empuriabrava skydive logo
Empuriabrava skydive logo

My daughter watched a video about parachuting in Empuriabrava, Spain on YouTube some time ago, but then in April 2009 we stopped in Cairns, Austraia before going to a wedding in Melbourne and she found out that they had parachuting in Cairns too, so of course she wanted to try it! I was not so eager about the idea, but then again she was soon going to turn 18, so I could not really object.

Tandem parachute jump
Tandem parachute jump

We went to a parachuting school in downtown Cairns, where she watched some videos and put her name down for a jump. The day of the jump finally came, so we showed up and she was taken by bus to the airport for the jump, while my husband and I were taken on another bus to some cane fields nearby where jumpers were supposed to land. We waited for a while for the weather to clear, but the jump did not take place, as conditions were not optimal, so we returned to Cairns to find a very disappointed girl!

We were planning to go on another boat cruise in France this summer in addition to the ones we had enjoyed in the past (Enjoying the Canal du Midi in France! and Boating holiday in Burgundy, France!), but my brother Will could not go this time. My sister Susie suggested that we rent a place in Spain instead, as that would be closer and cheaper for her and her sons. She searched on the Internet and found a big rural property in the Costa Brava, which was close to the beach and had space for our group of nine people. Coincidentally, the place she selected was situated just a few kilometres away from Empuriabrava, which was exactly the place where the parachuting school Gisela had originally seen on the Internet many months before was situated!

Perfect day with blue sky for jumping from 4,000 metres!
Perfect day with blue sky for jumping from 4,000 metres!
Boarding the small propeller plane for the jump
Boarding the small propeller plane for the jump
Gisela and her instructor after their tandem jump landing
Gisela and her instructor after their tandem jump landing

After eighteen hours of driving from Austria (past Italy, Monaco and France), we finally arrived in Mas les Cabretes, the place my sister had rented for us in Vilanova de la Muga,Girona, Catalunya. We were very happy to see my sister and nephews again, so even though it was very late and we were tired, we all sat outside to talk for a long while. The topic of parachuting came up and my two nephews told us that they had jumped before and that they had loved the experience! I think that talk inspired their cousin and the next day she was searching on the Internet for parachuting opportunities in the area and she eventually booked a jump for two days later!

Even though I was not happy about her jumping, I went to see her, as I had done the same in Australia a year and a half before. Her booking was for 10 am, but I suspect that she did not get much sleep that night, as she is usually a nervous girl. When I saw the place I felt more confident, as they seemed to be very organized and professional and outside the small airport I also saw many foreign license plates, which indicated that people came from far away. My daughter was given a number and then she was called for her briefing. The instructor led her to the small propeller plane that would take them up to 4,000 meters, they boarded and soon the plane took off in perfect weather and a blue sky. Gisela looked quite calm and collected and I could not believe that she would dare to carry this out! The plane circled above the airport and after some 15 minutes they reached the required altitude. Soon it was possible to see tiny dots in the sky, which resembled mosquitoes and the waiting guests started using their cameras and videos to record the moment. Then coloured parachutes approached the airport at great speed, but they all landed quite gently and softly on their feet.

Gisela’s first comment was that it had been a bizarre experience, but then she said that she was looking forward to doing it again sometime! I felt very proud of her that day, as she had shown us that she was a very daring and courageous girl!

Skydive Empuriabrava started in 1985 and since then it has grown to become one of the top three skydiving centres in the world. To date over one million jumps have been executed. Through their tandem jumps they have brought skydiving within everybody’s reach, even if there is no prior formal diving training.

Empuriabrava, Catalunya, Spain

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