Christian's Little Jaunt
Stayed the nights of 25th and 26th in Fox, next to the glacier. Walked part of it the 26th, it's a huge 14km river of ice which winds down from the mountains into the rainforest. It's kinda weird hiking up through a damp and dense undergrowth, to then put a set of crampons (heavy flow) on your boots and tramp up over solid ice. The guide Pete was dead knowledgeable and made it fascinating - 4 hours well spent. 27th - jumped out of a perfectly normal and well-functioning aeroplane which at the time happened to be flying over the Southern Alps and glaciers. Abi was strapped to big Rod and me to weathered Greg, the 4 of us wedged behind the pilot of a tiny Cessna. Abi went first (chivalry's not dead, such a gentleman aren't I?). I couldn't quite see her and Rod fall but saw them just tumble out the door like a 4-legged 4-armed sack of spuds, then it was my turn. When you sit on that doorstep, the wind howling, the ground 12,000 feet away, it's pretty surreal and you thing "what the ****!? Then it gets really strange as you just kind of flop out, turning upside down once to see the plane become a speck in the distance before settling into the classic spread-eagled maneovre. For the next 40-odd seconds it's all about the speed. 200kph. Quick eh? And the views of ocean and mountains and lakes and glaciers and fields the size of postage stamps. The ground doesn't seem to get any closer until the chute pops, and all is calm. I'd do it again in the blink of an eye - if you're reading this thinking "yeah whatever Christian, you love everything anyway so you're bound to say that" think again, it really is the ultimate.