Sunday, 24 July 2011

The most expensive 15 minutes of my life so far...

Sometimes, when browsing the relevant Lonely Planet guide for a trip, I stumble across something interesting to do or see and become completely fixated. Come hell or high water, I will do/see that thing. Even if it is going to bankrupt me. Call it a minor stubborn streak in my nature...

So it was with the third main way to see the temples of Angkor. We'd done the exploring at ground level, then the fixed line balloon. The last option was to take to the skies for a helicopter ride, and it was this that had caught my eye before we'd even left home. We'd never been in a helicopter. It would allow us a new perspective over the site. It was obviously fate.

So, after our three days of temple-hopping, we got up early the following morning and pottered along to the airfield. It almost didn't happen - the helicopters only fly with a minimum of three people, and during the wet season, less people sign up. We popped into the booking centre a couple of times before getting lucky. Thankfully, the sky was clear and blue, and the rain was holding off, allowing us to get up into the air.

The experience was ridiculously expensive for the amount of time we actually had over the site, but was completely worth it. Flying in a helicopter was a new and exciting adventure, and nothing at all like the stomach-turning light aircraft flight over Nazca last year. Our pilot took us in close to Angkor Wat and a few of the smaller temples, and it was also interesting to see all the fields and paddies stretching out in front of us. The time flew by, and we were soon back on the ground. A bit of a treat, but hey, that's what holidays are for, right?!

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