The bus from Rotorua to Taupo was just 1 hour so that was great. Arrived in Taupo Mon 19th around 2.30pm and by 3.30pm I was being picked up from my hostel to go sky diving?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had thought about doing a sky dive...and there is no where better to do one than here in N.Zealand, but I had just enquired with my hostel about prices etc and the next thing I was booked onto one! Crazy! Basically the girl at the hostel said that with the weather there have been lots cancelled recently and as today was a stunning and clear day she advised me to just go and do it, as if I waited until tomorrow it could end up being cancelled or something! So the sky dive company came and picked me up, I had to sign some things and give my next of kin details (was REALLY hoping my mum wouldnt be getting that call!!) and then it all just kind of happenned! Due to the time difference home I didnt even get to tell anyone that I was doing it...but that was probably a good thing...think my mum was glad in a way!!
You get very little safety advice before the jump, you go in tandem and so really the tandem master does everything for you, you have very little to remember! I decided to jump from 15,000 feet rather than 12,000 to get more of a freefall etc. My tandem master was an absolute legend; Freddy from Austria! I was first into the plane and last out and so i got to see every one jump which was pretty cool!! There wer 4 of us jumping (plus all the tandwm masters and camera men etc)...nice bunch of people, a lovely german couple and then an irish guy David from Dublin who currently lives and works in Bristol. Strangely, as it all happenned so quickly I didnt really have time to get nervous and just genuinely felt excited and amazed to be able to be doing such an amzing thing in such a beautiful place. The photos and DVD of the jump are really cool and the scenery over the georgeous Lake Taupo and the mountains was just unbelievable. The free fall bit is all a bit of a blur, I free fell from 15,000 feet down to 10,00 feet at about 200kn per hour, and then he pulled the shute. I found it quite hard to breathe on the free fall part so it was actually really helpful to have the camera guy in front of my face waving and making me smile and wave for the dvd! Gave me something to focus on! When the parachute was pulled, it went completely silent, amazing and Freddy said 'welcome to my office' - AMAZING! The parachute down was fab, able to really take in all the scenery and beauty...was fantastic. The landing was so smooth and slow...not what I was expecting really. After the dive the 4 of us who had done it all went for a well needed drink in a bar!! And had a good laugh and chat about what we had just done haha!!
My hostel here in Taupo is one the best Iv stayed in I think, called 'Blackcurrent backpackers' and really lovely and big, modern and clean, no bunks horray!! Just 4 beds (very comfy) in a en suite dorm. Really nice break from bunks...enjoying it!
Tuesday 20th was a much less crazy day...no jumping out of planes for a start!! Had a fantastic day though, sun was beaming all day long and so I spent literally all day out walking and exploring and enjoying the much awaited good weather!! Started the day skyping home and filling them in on my sky dive y'day which was fun!! I took a lovely long walk to see the 'Taupo Bungy' place, watched some people bungy jumping etc, pretty cool. Then I spent hours walking through 'Spa Thermal Park' to Huka Falls which was just the most lovely walk. Met a lovely family from scotland, angus beef farmers, so spent the walk with them which was lovely. The water in the river along the walk,leading to Huka Falls was crystal blue and so so clear, really stunning. Along the walk there were some 'hot thermal springs' and the water was scorching! Amazing. After seeing the huka falls I did a massive 3 hour walk around part of Lake Taupo, along '2 mile bay' and 'the lions walk'. The apartments for holidayers were amazing along the lake, such a beautiful spot. Lots of black swans on the water and people paragliding and sky diving over the kale - great to see them coming down in the parachute knowing that was me y'day!! Along the lake there were areas of really hot water again, much like hot water beach on Hahei, but less busy.
Tomorrow I move onto the east coast, to Napier which I am looking forward to as its supposed to be beautiful.