We were gutted to be leaving Rotorua and the Maori village, and with the weather very clouded over we weren't optimistic about being able to skydive today.
Our first stop in the morning was Te Puia, a thermal park with geysers, boiling mud and a kiwi bird house. We thought paying $30 for this would be better than doing an hour walk, so we headed in with high expectations, excited to finally see a kiwi bird!
However, our enthusiasm quickly went as we had quite a lot of repeats of the Maori village encounter from last night and the 1 kiwi bird they had was asleep so we couldn't even see it!
The geysers were pretty cool but the highlight was definitely cooking a boiled egg in one of the hot pools which we got to eat for breakfast. So basically we just had a really expensive boiled egg.
Next we stopped off quickly at the Huka Falls to look at the beautiful views before David and I got whisked away by a skydive bus to take us to skydive right there and then!
As we started to fill out the forms, choose the height we were jumping from and our photo packages and get suited up, everyone started looking a lot more sheepish than they had a few hours earlier. Personally I had pumped myself up enough that the excitement overtook the fear and I didn't feel sick or scared at all for the entire thing!
Since I picked to jump from 12,000ft and was the most calm and collected out of everyone, it meant I got to jump first. So I had to sit on the floor of the plane, with everyone facing me for the entire trip.
I made the executive decision to not look down at all during the journey up which meant my nerves were completely fine and I was more concerned with what I was going to have for lunch than the fact I was about to jump out of a plane! When we got to 12,000ft I had a quick yawn (which Ryan still can't believe) before swinging my legs out of the plane and being flung out by my instructor.
The first second is the strangest part as you are so disorientated and your stomach has dropped from falling so you aren't really sure what you're doing. But then you adjust and the feeling is unreal. The only words I can use to describe it are invincible and euphoric. You can't think about anything except the feeling of falling and with the adrenalin pumping through your body, it's like nothing I've ever experienced before.
Almost too soon the free-fall was over and my instructor pulled the parachute for our beautifully scenic trip back to the ground. I even got to steer the parachute, which was one of the coolest things I've ever done.
Far too quickly for my liking, we landed, only to see that DG was already down there because even though he jumped after me, because he was heavier it meant he landed before me. So really I got more time for my money!
As more and more people landed all we could do was hug each other and beam. No one was exactly sure what to do with themselves because our adrenalin was still pumping so much!
But then we got to watch our videos, which were very entertaining. The difference between mine and DG's is hilarious. I even make a cameo appearance in DG's where the camera turns from his petrified face to my beaming one. Absolutely brilliant. It's safe to say I probably enjoyed it a lot more than him - I'm just grinning from ear to ear the entire way down.
Once we had all calmed down we got driven back to the hostel in a limo and went to check in, only to find Nat had been her usual brilliant self and gotten all of us in the same room together, so that when we got up for the walk in the morning we wouldn't wake anyone who wasn't going.
After a quick trip to McDonald's and the liquor store, we changed into bikinis and warm clothes to head for our 'booze cruise' on Lake Taupo. The yacht wasn't exactly huge so we all squished on and had a few hours of drinking, chatting and laughing whilst the sun set over the lake. Such a perfect end to the day. Nat and I even decided it would be a good idea to jump in the lake in the dark for a swim - I was obviously still delirious from the skydive!
When we got back to the hostel, the girls all sensibly went to bed early, especially as I was slowly losing my voice, but the boys went for a few drinks in the bar downstairs. Clearly forgetting the 5am start in the morning.