The limo turned up on time to pick me up at 10am and before I knew it I was on my way to Taupo airport. Only this time it was a little different, sure I was going to get on a plain but this time I was making my own way down from 15,000 feet! Me and 7 others where about to board a tiny propeller plain and skydive back to earth.
I wasn't really nervous as this is something that I'd been looking forward to all my life and before long I was in my jump suit and being talked through the jump with my instructor - a guy from Dublin called Ronan. I had already made sure that I made several visits to the toilet and so we were ready to go.
As we boarded the plain it was obvious that it wasn't built for luxury and the term sardines has never been more appropriate. As this wasn't a normal commercial plain the cabin wasn't pressurised and thus the take off and ride was a little bumpy. By the time we had climbed to 12,000 feet I had already psyched myself up and was rearing to go when suddenly the shutters went up. But this wasn't our turn and a Dutch girl went hurtling out. We had another 3,000 feet to go and it seemed like an eternity when we got there.
When the shutters went up again, the few people in front of us jumped and then it was my turn! If I'm honest I wasn't really nervous but rather really excited. I was just concentrating on my instructions, head back, body shaped like a banana, hand on harness - and as we sat with our legs hanging off the edge, my instructor simply said "ready?" and then we were gone!
I can't describe the feeling of free-falling, it's completely different to what I expected. For one you don't actually feel like you are falling, because you're so high up it just feels like you are standing against a strong wind. And because you travelling so fast (around 150mph) it is all over very quickly - believe me 60 seconds isn't long at all. When the parachute opened I just couldn't comprehend what had just happened and so we gently floated down enjoying the view.
Before long it was all over and we were on the ground. It still hasn't really sunk in and feels more like a dream than reality. I can't describe how great it feels and I think everyone should try it once. I can't wait to get back up there, but if I never do it again I will never forget the feeling of jumping out of a plane at 15,000 feet.