Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Illawarra Fly in the Mist

Yesterday in the late afternoon, the Illawarra Fly was looking terrific, or better expressed, the forest was looking great, in the damp. The leaves of the tall Eucalypts were dripping onto the Tree Ferns below - just the way Nature intended.

Even though the weather was misty, almost threatening, a good number of members of the Robertson Chamber of Commerce turned up for a familiarisation tour of the Illawarra Fly last evening. The Robertson locals are not put off by mist and drizzle.
Bernie and Dorothy

Within moments of starting to walk out onto the metal ramps, there was a real sense of excitement in the group. "Look how high we are - in the treetops already".

Dion (photo: Dorothy Baker)

This is achieved by the clever placement of the start of the Fly, at a point where the hillside drops away steeply, towards the edge of the escarpment proper (the actual cliffline is not far away, but we could not see it last night).But that did not disappoint us, for just the sense of being in the treetops, and then above them, in swirling mist and light rain was very invigorating.

Sean, the Manager of the Illawarra Fly, in the mist.
For the record, several of the group were a touch nervous of the heights, but the kids loved it. Running along the ramps, and inevitably getting a bit of a sway going. The management are fairly relaxed about this, as they know the construction has been designed to cope with movement - it has to be able to sway and flex, to withstand the forces of heavy winds (in a storm).
Penny and Larry,
and several local teenagers in the background
Did I say that in addition to the series of metal posts which support the main load of the structure, there are huge steel guy-wires steading the structure? I am convinced that it is perfectly safe. But for some people, there will always be an uncomfortable feeling of being far higher off the ground than one is normally used to. C'est la vie!
"On the edge of the world"
(photo: Dorothy Baker)

Speaking personally, I love the Illawarra Fly experience. This is my second visit and I have still not seen it on a really clear day. I look forward to the opportunity to see it like that soon enough.

No comments: