“As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
The helicopter calls for silence. There is no talking, perhaps some listening to the pilot and soft attempts at mumbling, but as on a motorbike or diving in the deep sea, the scene presents that rare moment of freedom from speech. Freedom to take in the rush of land and sky. And to come face to face with not only nature but ourselves. To be ourselves.
There is a time for song and dance and a time for quiet and awe. To think or not think at all.
Flying along the Zambezi River where Zambia and Zimbabwe meet, over and around the Victoria Falls and deep into its steep carved-out gorge, the clamorous silence of the helicopter lets us spy out each detail. The twisting of the gorge – zigzagging through the earth, ripping it apart, in that incredible show of time played out over centuries and centuries.
Alongside the silence there is another quality we have seen befall people when they step onto a helicopter – for that ride over the great world wonder. It’s a softness. Perhaps it’s not with everyone, but you can see the change in many travellers, especially first-timers. It’s the softness of gratitude. Of awe. To take off and ride up high, looking down over life as we know it is one of the greatest privileges humans were not made to experience.
When the chopper descends and you step down on the ground, you’re not the same person. Not in our experience. With each adventure the mind expands, the heart finds new ways to feel and the body remembers those old sensations that make it feel so alive. Some of us may ride in fear, eyes alternating between shut and barely open, but the heart feels it all. Every dip and twist, rise and fall.
For those who find only joy up in the skies, with the fish eagles scouting out the elephants and hippos below, the great spark is lit. What’s next! You shout back on land. It’s the effect of helicopter epiphanies… newly-felt insight into the great capacity of life. Of your own capacity for life.
Below is a look at the journey – all you have to do is enjoy the ride.
Discover more about helicopter trips to and from Royal Chundu, over the Victoria Falls, on our website >