I grew up on a small family-run dairy farm. On the farm, we had a “bale shed” — which is not so much a shed, but more like a very large 2 or 3-storey structure with open sides and a huge roof, to protect hay bales from being rained and snowed directly upon. My brothers and I loved playing in the bale shed. When I was about 6 or maybe 7 (?) I was playing way up high on the bales. My brother Kent was with me. He convinced me to go stand on the edge, on a really shaky bale.
“Look! It’s totally safe,” he said, confidently rocking back and forth on the unstable bale way up high.
Being the older sibling, I figured I should be bold and go try it out. I couldn’t let my younger brother be the braver one. I went over to the much-discussed bale, stood on it, rocked back and forth the same way Kent had. The bale promptly slipped off the edge and tumbled to the ground, and me with it. Plus some more bales on top.
I must have fallen at least one and a half storeys, maybe two. I broke my collar bone. This experience really sucked. I learned that I wasn’t a fan of falling. I wasn’t a fan of heights.
I still am not a fan of these things. Which made the Ngong Ping cable car ride a bit unsettling for me.
I haven’t been on all that many cable car rides in my life. But after living in Banff, I’d become accustomed to the Sulphur Mountain gondola, which I think may be about 10 minutes, probably less. It’s just a ride from the bottom of the mountain to the top. Just one straightforward trip.
This coloured my expectations for the Ngong Ping 360, which we were taking on our way to see the Big Buddha on Lantau Island in Hong Kong.
I see on the website that this cable car ride is about half an hour. Felt longer to me.
It was only later, when we were safely upon solid ground, that I realized this had been one of the most breathtaking experiences of my life.