This blog is a story of fear, survival, getting high, spending a lot of money and most of all awesomeness!
The morning after we arrived in Queenstown we had a slow start and went to the information desk to enquire whether we could do sky diving. One phone call later and we were told yes, in two hours! We had a quick bite to eat then went to the sky dive office to check in and were driven 20mins to the skydive centre. After a wait of about half an hour and quite a few trips to the loo we were called into the hanger and told to suit up! 5minutes of training later we were bundled into a small plane and took off on a runway that I can only describe as a field. After about 15minutes of climbing and being strapped to our tandem instructors we reached 9,000ft, the green light came on, the door opened and... 3 people in front of Jess jumped. The door closed and we had to wait a bit longer as we were jumping from 12,000ft. After a few more minutes of climbing the green light came on, the door opened again and Jess was out first, but she'll write about that a bit further down. I was next and the only way I can describe the feeling of sitting with your legs out the door of an aircraft at 12,000ft is that it's brown trousers time! That first second of falling was like nothing I've ever experienced in my life. It literally took my breath away and it felt so unnatural, awesome but unnatural. All I could think was you idiot, why are you doing this haha! After 45 seconds of spinning, flipping and free-falling the parachute opened to my immense relief and we were gliding in a clear blue sky between the mountains and over lakes and fields. Although this sounds great I was having a situation with my harness which was getting tighter and tighter like a belt being pulled around my legs and eventually I was in a lot pain :( I was determined to enjoy the view and make the most of it despite the pain but it was a big relief once we landed back on the ground on our bums! I got that damn harness off and gave Jess the highest of high fives, got back to the campervan and had a celebratory bacon sandwich.
That same morning we booked something else... bungy jumping. So the next day after staying at a free campsite next to a lake for the night we drove to the original aj Hackett bungy bridge at Kawarau. We checked in and 5 minutes later I was having a towel wrapped around my legs and the bungee harness wrapped around that! Once you're attached they walk you to the edge like a pirate walking the plank with his legs tied together. They count 5..4..3..2..1.. And you jump... Wow! What a rush. That feeling of falling and bouncing up and down in mid air is incredible and I would say better than sky diving. And the fact that the Beatles - Let it be was blasting out from the speakers made it even more awesome. Jess was next and she'll write about it below but all I will say is that her screams could be heard for miles around! We have now driven to Te Anau and tomorrow we will catch a coach to Milford sound for a day trip kayaking around the lake and after that no more fun! There will be no more fun! In a few days we are heading back up north to Wellington to stay with Jess' aunt and hopefully we'll take things a bit slower and let our heart rates come down.
Sorry to ramble on so much, miss you all, Chris xxx
So I will just jump right into it... As we were flying higher and higher I felt at ease and just embraced the situation. Quite contrary to how I thought I would feel as I'm scared of heights! My instructor Nicky, a woman half my height asked for me to sit on her lap so she could buckle me to her harness; we were the first to jump so we wriggled our way to the ledge and I quickly turned to Chris gave him a thumbs up and shut my eyes! I pressed my head onto Nickys shoulder and we fell out into a cloud; we did multiple 360s until she double tapped me on the shoulder to let me know I could stick my arms out. As we fell through the sky, plummeting to earth, looking like a starfish, I marvelled at the world around me. I could see for miles, snow covered mountains, clouds, lakes, fields, houses and then I thought 'my goodness Its freezing up here!' I kept loosing my breath but realised that I wasn't scared, surprisingly I felt totally secure. My heart rate was slow and before I knew it the parachute had shot out and we were gliding through the air; at one point my instructor let me fly near to Chris but all we said to each other was Aaah! She let me take control of the steering but I had no upper strength so she just did loads of twists and turns. I remember saying how proud of myself I was to Nicky but for her it's a walk in the park or a fall in the sky :) I landed on my bum, ran to Chris gave him a high five and a huge hug! I thanked Nicky for keeping me alive and off we went.
So the bungy...we're in the queue and again I felt totally fine. I simply admired the views watched the instructors as they prepared the next person to jump. Chris was up next and he seemed slightly nervous but once he jumped oh how I laughed! When he was bouncing up and down at the bottom he had this little school boy laugh which comes out very rarely - don't worry I've got it all on camera! So after a few more people it was me, I got prepped and they tried to distract me with questions like 'so what do you do?'. At this point I'm calm and collected, they then tell me I'm ready and help me hobble out onto the platform. I look down and over to Chris whose recording me and for a moment I think 'my goodness it's high'. I loose all sense of sensibleness (if that is a word) and jump, i swear my heart stopped beating. All that's racing through my mind is that I'm falling, I'm falling, I'm falling! I can't see anything but the blue river below me; once I start bouncing I couldn't stop laughing! The men in the yellow boat came and saved me, what a rush.
I can't say which one I prefer - both were equally terrifying. But I feel so proud of myself and more to the point grateful that all were doing tomorrow is kayaking! May I wish everyone a safe day, take care everyone!
Love to all, Love Jess xxx