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NEW ZEALAND | Wednesday, 20 May 2009 | Views [868] | Comments [3]

Last night (actually only 6 p.m. over here on Wednesday ~ 1 a.m. Houston) in Taupo but it's pitch black outside already.  Tomorrow I am heading on the bus to Wellington - NZ's capital - and staying at Nomad's Capital.  I'll only be there a night, and then I'll head off on the ferry to the South Island the next day.  When I told the hostess at the hostel that I was in New Zealand for 2 weeks, her eyes widened and she said, "I hope you get to see the South Island too."  =P

Today has been face-numbingly cold outside with occasional rain.  But there was enough sunshine this morning for skydiving, so I gave it a go.  I'm not going to lie though, when I booked it yesterday, part of me was hoping that it'd be raining today and therefore be cancelled.

There are 3 operators in town, and the prices and packages are all so similar that I based it on the most important factor - whoever had the prettiest brochure.  So I chose Freefall!  The shuttle picked up a few other girls, but they all jumped first since they chose to go from 15,000 feet.  The worker there tried to persuade us all to go for 15,000 since she said that human depth perception only goes to 5,000 feet so it's going to look the same either way, and that the first 5-20 seconds of freefall are the scariest anyway so really if you pick 12,000 then you're just giving up your "fun" time since the freefall is shorter.  That argument would have worked for me if the prices were the same for both, but since 12,000 was cheaper, I picked 12,000.  =)

Since everyone else went for 15,000, I had to wait for the 2nd plane, and so I wound up going all by myself, which meant my own plane, pilot, tandem master, and cameraman.  Not a bad bargain!  There was also another instructor who was doing his own solo jump.  I started getting the "what am I doing?" feeling when the plane started ascending.  And then about halfway up Rhys - my tandem master - started attaching and harnessing everything.  I remembered what one of my roommates in Sydney had said about her skydiving experience in NZ and how she found it awkward because she basically had to sit on the instructor's lap and I remember her exact hilarious quote: "I've never been that close to a guy that I wasn't getting intimate with."

No worries though.  I got more nervous after they slid open the door and the first instructor jumped out.  Then the cameraman waited outside the door.  Me and Rhys slid out against the doorway, I had a brief thought of "OMG!", and then WHOOSH!  The adjustment for me only took about 3 seconds, and then it was more fun than scary, but it was definitely very cold.  I tried to do some gestures with my arms, but it was pretty windy to manage something that didn't look completely dorky.  Then soon enough Rhys pulled the chute and we began our slow descent down.  Great views from up top - everyone looked like ants!  But I will say the descent once the chute was opened was the most uncomfortable part for me, since we were spinning around in circles and it got a bit dizzy.  Good thing for the New Zealand wind freezing my face!

So hopefully thist will be the most expensive thing I wind up doing here!  I'm going to be chilling for the rest of the night.  I think I'm going to reward myself with a burger at Burger Fuel (www.burgerfuel.com).  =)  And I have a tv in my room at the hostel, and it has 3 channels - it's fantastic!  I watched this kiwi medical drama called Shortland Street (which was on the last time I was in NZ too), and one of the big storylines last night dealt with one of the characters needing to get her timesheet right... I think watching that made me more uncomfortable than skydiving!

Comments

1

blackwater rafting and skydiving? freakin awesome! i'd love to do both. yeah, now i'm getting really jealous.

  rosemary May 21, 2009 12:45 AM

2

There is no way in the world that I would ever do that. However, I like it that the instructor was in charge of opening the chute. I'm happy that you are having so much fun!

  mimi May 21, 2009 3:10 AM

3

Wow, that's a cool picture (but better you than me!)

  Brad May 22, 2009 8:53 AM

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