Thought write the rest of the blog whilst Price is still asleep and i've had some coffee. Went for a pretty good night out in Wellington so just catching up on some sleep. Well he, Richard's coffee is pretty good. Anyway!
Day 27 was an incredibly early start as i was still awake from Day 26 and in a club called Holy Cow. Price had gone back as he was doing the crossing but was still woken at 3 when we got back because some Public school muppets sat outside our room and talked stupidly loudly. Anyway, Price got himself up at 5.30 to go out for a walk whilst i stayed in bed till about 10. After breakfast with Vicky and Lucy, we were picked up to go skydiving. Arrived at the airport and were basically stuck on the plane straight away. Climbing up to 15,000 ft takes a while and when you have oxygen after a couple of people have already jumped, you know you're doing something stupid! We were skydiving over Lake Taupo which is where Mount Doom is from Lord Of The Rings so obviously the joke, "wouldn't it have been a short film if Frodo had just done this", was made to calm some nerves. When we reached 15,000, the door was opened, i shuffled forward with Teddy (my tandem jumper not a bear) and we dangled our legs out a plane and then threw ourselves out. For the first 10 seconds the thought of I've just thrown myself out a plane with nothing more than a piece of cloth to save me, entered my mind but after the initial shock, it was incredible. Freefalling for about a minute and then the ultimate wedgie from the parachute opening. After the skydive we went and found ourselves a stiff drink to celebrate living before watching a couple of films.........Erin Brokovich, what a movie! When the others returned (and Price had done his skydive) the group rejoined and after a brilliant supper, went back out on the town till 3 again. Hard life really!
Day 28 saw the journey to River Valley in Taihape. River Valley Lodge is basically in the middle of Butt F**k Nowhere as they liked to point out. To help this image, the dorm rooms were massive with no separate beds and the toilets were outside, in a shed. Not to worry, i went to sleep for 3 hours to get some more energy before the group settled down to watch the NZ France match. Pretty dire game to be honest but still a laugh. After watching the Wales OZ match (they got destroyed, but we don't mention that......) we all went to bed as the next day we were white water rafting quite early.
After breakfast on the sunday we made our way down to the changing rooms to get into some very fetching wetsuits. 20 minute journey up river and we were ready to rock. Was in a boat with James, Ellie and Steve (two friends) Darryn (the experience rafter guy) and Jono (our mental driver) After about an hour of small grade 2 rapids and looking at the scenery (with Price and Ellie falling in on one of the first rapids) we reached the grade 5 section, which was mental but such good fun. None of us managed to throw ourselves out of the boat which was good because the water was quite cold. Steve managed to fall out after Darryn hit a rock for a laugh so Jono and i remained relatively dry until the end, where he tried to throw me out of the boat. Although i managed to twist round and kick him out he took me with him and the hot showers afterwards did not help! After finally packing up and driving the six hours to Wellington, we made it to the cultural capital of NZ and Price and I split from the group to meet Richard, a very old friend of the family, who has a house, and showers and a warm comfortable bed. After getting an incredible dinner from Richard we made our way back to Wellington for a night out in Rain and Establishment that lasted till the very early hours of the morning.
Waking up 4 hours later to speak to my parents was great, go time difference but still lovely to talk to the rents! Richard decided to help the mini hangovers by taking us wine tasting for 6 and a half hours which was nothing short of brilliant as we think we sunk about 3 bottles each, thanks to a 3 hour lunch and sitting in a wine cafe for another 1 and a half. Getting back into Wellington we had another brilliant meal (whilst Price watched Prucilla, Queen of the desert.......) and then back into the town for another night out (although not as late as the day before)
Well there we go, so far so good. This week in Wellington we are just going to take it easy, enjoy living in a house again and move on around the 11th to the south island. On Saturday, Richard has secured us tickets to the NZ France match at Westpac stadium which should be brilliant so will try and get some photos! Will upload the skydiving, white water rafting photos soonish but Price has just woken up and we need to figure out what we're doing today. I bid you all good morning and speak to you all soon!
P.S. Just a little after message from me, James. Just adding a little something of my own perspective into the blog as I tend to let Lamming get on and write it. Firstly, the blog from yesterday said that I jumped in to the river and I would just like to add that I was the only person to jump into it... so I was quite proud of myself. The skydive was amazing!!!!!! take a look at the pics. A little news about myself is that I currently have a cold. I believe this is prob due to not getting enough sleep as going out every night and also then having to get up early and do activities such as a mammoth walk across a couple of mountains does tend to take it out of you. So yes it is self inflicted so no I do not need sympathy but that is just about the only bit of news that Lamming has not managed to cover. The house is amazing just because it has proper working showers and just a nice warm bed to climb into every night. We are having a great time at the minute but unfortunately everybody that we have met on the Kiwi are leaving in the next couple of days which is quite annoying as we may catch up with them on the south Island but we may well not. O well..... I'm sure we'll meet some new people. We have done soooo much stuff already and I'm sure we still have lots more to do. The skydiving was def one of the best things but also so was the Tongariro crossing (passed mount doom!). Was quite a tough walk but if you look at the pics I think you will agree that it was well worth it. Supposed to be one of the best walks in the world. I think it prob is. Right thats about it to be honest. I'm sure I'll speak to you soon and maybe one of these days I may be forced to do a blog- we'll see.
Lots of Love to you all, anyway