Sunday, December 20, 2009

Big Brave Girl

Having started our time here by taking some perspective-skewing-look-its-not-that-tall-really photos (which only really served to convince me how much I would hate to holiday on a big liner like this), the time came to suit up, hang all kinds of halters and lines and clips and guns on me and get up on that Harbour Bridge arch.Well, not guns, but the scariest part is actually the very first bit - after that it is fine. But you start the walk by walking out of a tunnel carved in the side of the Bridge Climb Building at first floor level which takes you on a walkway underneath the level of the road. This consists of two planks of wood with a small gap in between them and one open handrail. Hmmm. Seemed to me you had three choices. You could either be blissfully unaware that walking tens of feet up in the air on two planks of wood is not potentially accident ridden. That's hard when you are clipped onto a wire for your own safety and, no doubt, the reduction of litigation liability for the company.
Or, you could turn back right there. but it would be very hard to explain how you spent $258 and returned without the 'free' photo of you at the top. Or, you could swallow hard, imagine you were Jodie Foster playing a US Navy Seal in some action film, about to whoop the bad Russian guys, that the rain bag handing inelegantly off your bum in a bag is actually a large sub machine gun (with a spare pearl handled pistol for that last minute shootout), and get on with it. And hope that it didn't get any worse.

Which oddly it didn't. From the walkway you go up metal stairs through the concrete pylons, coming out at roughly road/train level. then you climb I think four ladders, which you can just see in this photo running steeply from the perspex 'cage' at bottom right. That takes you out onto the arch which is much wider and solid and feels pretty natural to be on. Mine was the last group to get to the top before an electrical storm hit and seeing as we were standing on what is probably the biggest lightening conductor in the Southern hemisphere, they hustled people off it quick smart. But before that we got a great sunset view, a display of lightening over the Blue Mountains and of course the panoramic harbor view. I'd do it all again if it didn't cost such a ridiculous amount of money. But I'd have a body double for the shots of my backside with all that equipment hanging off it.


Sue Dennis said...

Good for you Helen. I haven't done the climb yet or the one in Brisbane of the Story Bridge either.
Lovely to see you are ack with the pictures.
Merry Christmas, almost, Sue

floribunda... aka Julie said...

I just heard on the radio this morning that they're going to set up bridge-climbs on the Golden Gate Bridge! So I gues you'll need to come back to San Francisco and try it out in a year or two...