After the joys of caving we headed to our next destination which was Taupo the sky diving capital of the world. We got up that morning after having a great night's sleep from an exhausting 5 hours in the caves and boarded the bus. It was the day to decide if we were skydiving or not, the day had came around so quick, i thought i had more time. Louise was already set in stone, she was doing it for tyke!! It came to the point where the clip board got passed around and me and Hayley had to decide, we just stared at the board for ages and eventually joined Louise's name on the board.
Uhh Ohh!! The deed had been done! I just pushed the thought to the back of my mind and didn't really think about it until the time came. It didn't really help when i had a hyper / possessed Louise by my side haha I don't know if she was nervous excited or just mental but it was making us nervous of how unscared she was! We were getting closer to the destination and i started to think OH MY GOD were going to be jumping out a plane in about an hour, then i soon started regretting my decision of putting my name down.
We arrived in Taupo and got scooted straight off to the skydiving centre and watched some more skydiving videos as we signed our lives away, which read sky diving could result in death so we eagerly signed up!!! NOT!! At this point when we were deciding on what height to jump from Hayley's face was just white all the colour had drained from her face then she turned around and said "I don't know if I'mgoing to do this"..................oh you mean the 15,000? Well......... just do the 12,000 jump...." NOOO..... i mean i don't think I'm going to jump at all" haha i think this was the worst moment for Hayley and it was the turning point and I'm glad to say she didn't turn away and was determined to do it!! We all got kitted out and met our instructors then headed up in this bright pink plane. Louise was right at the back of the plane and was still possessed; laughing and giggling and somewhere along the way she had managed to pick up this weird crazed tongue wiggling thing haha i swear it's from the Maori tribe!! I was packed in next and Hayley was last because she was the first out to take the leap of death...............i mean faith!!
We got to 12,000 feet and we looked out the window and let's just put it this way it was MEGA high!! We all exchanged a nervous smile and a nod as the side door opened, the cold outside air circulated in the plane as Hayley edged her way forward to the door; legs hanging off the edge and her eyes closed as if unconscious however Hayley prefers to say she was zoned out concentrating, 1-2-3.............................GONE, she just fell as if she got sucked out, i just took one gulp and thought it's me next!! At this point we had to don oxygen masks because the aeroplane wasn't pressurised and we climbed a further 3,000 ft to 15,000. It was a total surreal feeling, knowing that in 1 minute were going to be jumping out of a plane; i looked back at Louise to give a final wave only to get a crazed WOOOOOP WOOOOP in return haha The door opened and i shuffled forward, my first feeling was this air is cold on my ankles.........i should of wore socks. My second feeling as i just stared at the clouds and lake beneath me then i heard the count ONE..............TWO.......i took one last deep breath..........THREE!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHH!! That feeling of free falling lasted all of 5 seconds and your brain automatically tries to grab something to stop you falling only to find that there's nothing and i mean NOTHING!!! That is the feeling i remember when you realise that it's just a vast expanse of the earth beneath and around you............and there's nothing to stop you falling apart from this little thing in your back pack.............amazing!!!All that i've just described happens within 5 seconds of falling from the plane and the other minute of free falling is just spent taking in everything below you. It doesn't feel like free falling its more floating than anything else because the ground is that far away from you and you don't really have any real perspective of things. That's just my experience and the best way I can explain it, we all explain it differently.On the way down, you have time to take in the amazing scenery below and even have a chance to play up to the camera man for some good shots. We were falling over the largest volcanic lake in the WORLD which means it's a volcano but it's just inverted and it's so big you can even fit Singapore inside. (Amazing fact for you) The lake was created by the biggest volcano explosion ever known in the universe. On the way down you don't even think about your parachute opening but when it does you soon realise how fast you were going because one minute the camera man is in your face and next he is plummeting to earth soo fast you think he's going to hit the deck! Once the parachute was open I even got the chance to fly it making it spiral which was pretty cool, and I eventually saw Hayley safe and sound as I was coming in for landing and then Lou followed. High fives all round, and we deserved a big drink HOWEVER even though it was St Paddy's day and we had just completed a skydive we couldn't let our hair down since we had to be up the next morning at 5am for a mammoth mountain trek to see the volcano; Mount doom, so we just stopped in and reminisced all night about the skydive
This walk was hands down the hardest walk i have ever done and I think I speak on behalf of everyone. We didn't know what we were getting ourselves in for. We started the hike at 7.30am and had a 20km walk ahead of us and to make it worse the terrain was gravelly, uneven and we were on a time limit. Our back pack was full of water, food supplies, and jackets. Our first problem hit one hour into the hike......................i needed a poo!!! We had no toilet roll and there was only a portaloo which was a hole in the ground. I had 7 hours of hiking to go so I'm guessing holding it in was not an option and i couldn't go behind a bush because it's all volcanic landscape and there wasn't a bush in sight. Lucky for me I had brought a bandage in case anybody got a blister but it turned out i brought the wrong thing; it was a sling which was about 5m long and yup you guessed it...................I USED IT and it wasn't to wrap my arm in either.
The views were amazing; as we trekked higher we had a view of the volcano Mt doom (off lord of the rings) which disappeared up into the clouds and we were overlooking the valley were we had just walked. We were struck again by disaster, and this time it was Lou. We were told you needed at least 2 litres of water each to last the day but Lou's water bottle had leaked in her bag, which meant we only had 1 litre each and to make things worse all Louise's extra layers and jacket were soaked and it was near the point where we needed them because the altitude was getting high and it was beginning to get really cold. So i had to share some layers and leave Louise's bag and clothes out to dry behind a rock; walk up a volcano then come back for them. Hayley carried on doing the main track and we would meet up later on. Big mistake doing the extra volcano, it was so tiring and we continued down to the emerald lakes which were amazing, we were at the peak of this mountain looking down on these lakes and had a mammoth task of climbing down the steepest part of the walk and was less climbing and more slipping but eventually made it down safe and sound. The lakes were only half way and we had seen all the best stuff already and the next 4 hours were just trying to get off this mountain and it was a killer, never in my life have I felt that I can't physically do something until now and what a time to get it, my legs were giving up, I was hungry and I physically shattered. To cut this story short................... we eventually made it back only to find Hayley beat us home and made loads of friends on the way but looking back now at the pictures we all thought it was amazing and such an achievement. That night we all ended up comatose in our room ready for an early departure in the morning heading for river valley.
Love Adam, Louise and Hayley