WALIBI WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trip Start Apr 12, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Whilst out on the turps with the lads last night, Legion Dave invited me to join him, Corey and Finnish Sanna on a wild and crazy day out at one of Holland's famous roller coaster parks, and needless to say, despite rapidly decreasing funds, i accepted the offer. Count me in for roller coaster action ANYTIME. I was never big on thrill rides when i was younger. Burdened with an over-cautious mind from a very young age, even the rides at Wobbies World and Gumbuya Park used to give me the heebies. But i learned to embrace the fear and the thrill. But man, it had been a small eon since i last squeezed my teenage ring into the latch of a rollercoastin' caboose, the 'Corkscrew' of Sea World i believe it was, or perhaps the 'Lethal Weapon' ride at WB Movie World on the Gold Coast. Ahhh the fond memories of getting hurtled up down and every which way along a speedy track, the wind whipping back your hair, the adrenaline dripping through your shaking body, and the last meal you ate sheepishly assessing its options inside your tossed-about gut. Good times. With excited anticipation, i awaited the return to good old fashioned roller coastery fun and the chance to act like a complete child once again.

Truth be told, i failed to rise at the designated hour of 8am this morning, getting shaken awake by Sanna who sternly informed me that i needed to get my bum out of bed quick smart for a day of wild action. At this point, i was actually i little hesitant at the concept of riding all day on a bevy of roller coasters, not so much fearful, just a little apprehensive at the very real possibility that i may vomit all over the shop come the first upside down bend. Nonetheless, i threw down some eggs courtesy of Legion Dave, farted around with the other clowns momentarily, then hit the train station with the crew, leaping on the first train to Hardewijk, some 45 minutes north east in the direction of Amsterdam. Via another connecting bus, we arrived at around 11 am at our would-be destination - WALIBI WORLD! On first impression, 'Walibi World' triggered a few too many memories of 'Wobbies World' for my liking, and the giant gawking head of the parks' wallaby mascot did nothing to suggest that the park might offer anything to budding thrillseekers such as ourselves. However, after moseying through the gates along the uber-1950's Americana themed entry area, complete with old chevvies and 'Promenade' font signage, the thrills were certainly there to be had.

Found a seemingly tame rollercoaster which appeared to be a decent intro to the day of adrenaline. Not so. This beast slowly pulled us up the track, imbuing us with a false sense of security, then pumped us down like bits of squeezed meat along the windiest, loopiest bastard of a track, sending my eyeballs into the edge of my temporal lobe and generating a great deal of profanity which was totally out of my rational control. It was awesome! I'd once again tasted the adrenaline of rollercoastering and i wanted more! Getting acquainted with the layout of the park, we lined up for far too long at the next ride, a rollercoaster similar to Lethal Weapon where your legs dangle out the bottom of the chair. It was good, but not worth the hour long wait, especially when the rest of the park was more or less people-scant due to the ambiguously inclement weather. Freqeunted the 'Pacific Express' pretty much straight after this, and again got hurtled to and fro like no ones business, lapping up the maiden voyage along a track that would become extremely familiar come days' end. Cautiously threw down some food at this point, had a coffee and all that, then got prepped for another seven hours of wild adrenaline filled madness.

No matter how old you are, rollercoaster theme parks always give you the license to act like a total kid again. After every ride, Legion Dave, an arguably mature 32 year old man regressed at least 25 years by running ahead like a fool with a wide, shiteating grin asking 'Can we go on this, Can we go on this?!'. Sanna and i were greatly amused at Dave's antics, though we too felt the pangs of childhood excitement return in great force. Corey seemed a bit put off by the force of the rides on his wellbeing, so with regret, he opted out of the rides for the rest of the day, becoming crew baglady and sipping coffee at the cafeteria as if he was our mother. But as it turned out, the rides we'd frequented up until this point were nothing. The monster of all rides was yet to be experience. Enter GOLIATH.
With a 100 metre drop from the outset, Goliath was the wildest, longest, most stomach-ravaging, teeth eroding ride i'v ever been on, and it rocked big time! A photo taken at the last few stretches of track attested to how balltearing Goliath was on our collective wellbeing, a fine portrait of three completely shellshocked and adrenaline drunk muppets with eyes wide and mouths wider. Goliath rocked my jocks (Just a saying. I didn't lose my bowels).

SO, with adrenaline coarsing through my veins, we continued on through the park, taking on each and every ride we came across, including the ultra-queasy 'G-Force', 'Excalibur', 'Merlins Castle' a water ride where you get saturated by outsiders armed with water guns, and an array of other rides where you generally just get tossed about like a human salad with the relentless sensation of the 'willies'(see post #20, May 2 - Barcelona for clarification on 'the willies'). Thinking the Mad Mouse type rollercoaster would be a walk in the park after Goliath, the sensation that you might actually tip off the edge on this one caused the three of us to scream boisterously in unison each time the caboose turned a bend. Definitely not for the faint-hearted. Anyway, ride after ride, my body was starting to feel totally whacked, overdosed on adrenaline and kinda hazy. My head felt shady, my legs seemed detached from my torso and working totally on their own accord, and yet, there was so much more riding to be done. A few more Expresses, a few more Goliaths, and come 8.15, we decided to call it a day, and head wearily back onto the bus and onto the train station. To our advantage, the bus managed to pass by a bloke snapping professional shots of a stark naked Dutch woman straddling a signpole along the way, a nice closure to the afternoon of thrills galore.

Indeed, it was a fine day, the perfect way to close the Utrecht experience, close the Holland leg, the last pitstop before London, and subsequently, back home to Melbourne town. Arriving back at the hostel at roughly 10pm, i caught up with my hombres Martin and Bjorn, and hung out in the back corner of the full lounge room and looked on at the familiar scene around me. In an ultra reflective, sentimental mood, i felt a distinctly warm wibe at the scene before me, this group of people who suddenly felt like a second family going about their normal business in a place that felt like my second home. Sitting up the back near the piano with Martin and Bart i felt like i was watching a memory in the making, an animated scene from this time in my life that one day i'll look back on with a warm grin, and feeling in my heart. Of all the places on my trip, it's here that i'll probably miss the most.

(I should add, on a slightly lighter note, that the strange Michael Jackson mask dude that rocked up yesterday was booted out by Bart and Bjorn today, after engaging in a lenghtly discussion with the bathroom door, and kicking the life out of the porcelain toilet. Evelyn was later seen laughing manically with her sister about the incident. At least he didn't burnt the place down).
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