Champagne Sunrise Helicopter Breakfast

For Sara’s last day (today), four of us were treated to an incredible breakfast.

At 5 a.m. Butch, Swanie, Sara and I climbed into Butch’s tiny helicopter (flying with all the doors off) and rode in pre-dawn darkness to a secret overlook on a remote sandstone escarpment, where a dry waterfall cascaded hundreds of feet to a palm-covered valley, accessible only by chopper. As the sun exploded over the horizon, we were admiring the view, just finishing a bottle of champagne (three flutes each – tipsy by 6 a.m.!), and Swanie already had a good fire going for breakfast.

While it burned down to ashes, and a fresh morning breeze kept us cool, he pulled out all the stops, as if we were VIP donors: fresh pancakes, eggs, toast, coffee, and ginger tea – and we sat perched atop the cliff face, talking over the season and just feeling the best part of life, lost in an immense and empty landscape. The depth of relaxation, intensity of being – it defies description. Especially with good friends – something no tourist experience could ever capture! After a couple magic hours, we loaded back into the chopper and meandered back to the station in time for another day of field work. Just a quick morning breakfast flight!

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