Monday 3 August 2009

Flying through the Dark

I was at a promotional event this morning put on by the Las Vegas tourism people - reps from Treasure Island, Planet Hollywood, Cirque du Soleil and so on - in Mollie's Hotel in St Mary's Bay just the other side of the Harbour Bridge. It's a beautiful little boutique hotel in an old wooden villa with high moulded ceilings and a narrow staircase - very charming, if self-consciously so (swags of Trelise Cooper fabrics over the windows, opera musak) and the morning tea, pretty little cakes on tiered stands and a variety of fine old china almost made me forget their error in calling it a High Tea. Anyway, it was in total contrast to what was on show from Vegas, where a 2500-room hotel is what they consider a boutique hotel there.

The main man was called Rafael, who gave a perfectly-timed speech fitting in with his accidental background music of Nessun Dorma, and who was particularly enthusiastic about the zipline activity there, which he was busily slimming down to be able to go on. Turns out it's a flying fox, but still and all, it sounds pretty exciting: a series of runs high over canyons through the mountains.

I love flying foxes: there was a great long one we found at a motel on the West Coast years ago, when the girls were too young to go alone, so we took them in front of us - handy for padding the bump at the end. Then there was the one at the end of the high ropes course on Outward Bound which was not only super-long, but we did it in the dark - that was pretty exciting, flying through the bush, night-sight shot by the spotlights we'd been under doing the course. But best of all was the one I did at Waitomo, in a cave deep underground that I'd had to abseil into, and then stood there all alone for a time in the dark until my guide joined me. Not the place to be thinking about balrogs and Shelob and such. We scrambled through tunnels and came to a place that blazed in our headlamps, crystals sparkling everywhere, and then I was hooked onto the flying fox and we turned out our lamps, and I whizzed through absolute dark, whistling past stalagmites and stalactites with total faith in my safety. It was a blast.


the queen said...

We are planning a trip to Vegas this fall. Exciting to think there's a zip line out there. I think we'll be getting a travel agent to help us plan it; I don't think I'm up to the research.

TravelSkite said...

Part of the promotion was a competition for a free trip to Vegas, but I'm not sure (though I suspect) what the underlying message was: single airfare there, then a Strip View room at a hotel, and double tickets to see Peepshow. Seems the zipline's not the only hooking up that goes on in town.


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