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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...


NEW ZEALAND | Thursday, 19 January 2006 | Views [798]

            I had another exciting and fantastic day on my holiday. It was perhaps the most adventurous day of my life! It was the day of my big leap! So, I woke up very nervous at 7 AM. I was worried about skydiving, but I knew I had to do it. I didn’t even eat breakfast because I was worried about getting sick in the air, so I just had one sip of tea before the NZone van showed up. Lisa, Kris and I were part of our group. It was about a 30 minute drive to the airfield and on the way, I opted to get a DVD of my jump. It was expensive, but very worth it. When we got there, I felt the chills, but I kept saying to myself “I’m going to do it!” The guy I was jumping with; his name was also Chris. I put my camera, hat and money in a locker and then was handed my equipment to put on. I dressed really warm or my jump. The instructor gave us a briefing on how to jump out of the plane and after that, we walked on over to the plane and got in! As the plane went up and up, I saw more fields of sheep and I just gazed nervously. I was set to jump out first! It took about ten minutes to climb to 9,000 feet. There were clouds below and the skydiving facility was just a little speck on the ground. The door was opened, my hat was on, my goggles were down, and Chris said “ready, set, go” and I jumped out without hesitation! The freefall was amazing, even though it was very difficult to breathe. I also shook the photographer’s hand in midair. After about 20 seconds of falling through open air toward the New Zealand landscape, the parachute was opened. What an incredible view it was! Hey, I never knew I could fly! It was the most amazing feeling being up in the sky floating down slowly. I could see the snow-capped mountains even more clearly than from an airplane! While up there, Chris spun me around and after about five minutes of floating time, we did a safe touchdown. My photographer and Chris congratulated me for embracing the fear. I will totally skydive again. Next time I’ll do the 15,000 foot jump! When I was little, I told Mom I wanted to go skydiving someday. Well, now I have! And I have proof of it to show to all of my friends! I then watched Kris and Claire come down. I’m happy we all got down safely. I then paid for my jump and got an NZone t-shirt and filled out a survey and put down excellent for everything! Skydiving was a huge chunk of change, but it was so worth it! There’s no fear! Afterward, we drove some of the other skydivers to the Queenstown Airport before we were taken back to the NZone shop. We had to take the taxi back to the lodge, so that’s what we did. I had to pick up my DVD at 2 PM. I hung around for a few minutes at the room and then took the shuttle down to central Queenstown. I called Mom and then Dad and told them about my big accomplishment. I then called Ralph’s and talked to Larry, Wendy, Merle, Stephanie, and Joe. Larry couldn’t believe that I actually skydived. I emailed all of my friends as well. Nora replied with a great big, enthusiastic “Good on Ya.” I hung around in town and relaxed while enjoying the wondrous scenery. I got some pictures of these magnificent white birds, in flight, that look similar to seagulls. I’ve never seen them before! I stopped in at the NZone shop, but my DVD had been misplaced, so they had to make me a new one. I had to come back later. I got McDonald’s for lunch and then took the shuttle back to the lodge at 3 PM. I booked a massage for 4:30 and went and changed and just waited. I had really needed a good massage for a long, long time. Nikki, the therapist, met me at 4:30 and got me prepared. She was amazing and beautiful! Her hands had a magic touch to them. I wanted it to never end. Nikki was 26 and was from the United Kingdom. She said she had travelled to New Zealand and had fallen in love with the country. I can totally understand why! She really loosened up my back! I have so many knots in my back from all the hours I work. It was over after a half hour and I felt so much better afterward. I wanted to go get my DVD tonight, so that was next on my agenda. I walked for about 20 minutes to downtown and picked up my DVD, which included a skydiving certificate. I then got some pears and a Red Bull at the grocery store. I noticed that some of the produce codes here are the same as back home. I did a quick email check before catching the lodge shuttle. When I got back, I sat in the spa for awhile. That combined with the massage helped me to relieve all that built up tension in my muscles. Dinner was slated for 8:00 tonight, so I got ready. I changed into something nice for our group photo, which also was tonight. Then, it was onto dinner, which was complimentary. For dinner I had pasta with spaghetti sauce, roast beef, and rolls. Jemma pointed out that I always take a lot of one thing. Tonight I had a lot of pasta and the other morning for breakfast I had a lot of peaches. For dessert I had chocolate mousse, which I also love. I was full afterward, and then I just took pictures of the landscape, and chatted. I also got a picture with Holly and some of the other girls. At 10 PM it was time to head down to the ice bar that Mike told us about. I wasn’t sure what this place was, but I was willing to go. So, we took taxis down into town. We got there at 9:45 and our turn wasn’t until 10:30. I peered into the window and was amazed at what I saw! First, we hung out at the Irish pub for a half hour and I got a Red Bull while in there. At 10:30, it was our turn. The bar is called Minus 5, but the temperature was actually like minus 6.8. That’s close enough! We dressed up in a parka and gloves and we made our way in! Everything was made of ice: the benches, the walls, the sculptures, even the drinking glasses were made of ice. There’s a hotel in Sweden which is entirely made of ice. I’d love to go there someday! Our $25 ticket included a cocktail called a “summer breeze.” It was OK. There was a coupon for $5 off a second drink, but I wasn’t interested. Inside, I got some pictures of the sculptures. They’ll be great to show everyone back home. I also got a very sexy picture with Marny and Louise; what beautiful girls they are! After a half hour, our turn was up, and then it was time for the next group. What an experience that was! After I returned my parka, I got a picture with a girl who was wearing the same New Zealand jacket as me. We just spent our time at the Irish pub afterward. I shot a few rounds of pool. I was kicking butt in one game but I then lost after the guy came from behind to beat me. It’s just a little payback for what happened with Andy in Wellington. I then met this really beautiful girl named Rachel, who was from Christchurch. She was very sweet! I stayed with her for awhile and I met her boyfriend. He was very cool too! She kissed me before she left and then I sat with Lisa. She congratulated me for my skydive and bought me a Diet Coke. Earlier on the trip I felt like I didn’t fit in. However, Lisa told me that I do fit in! I’m happy to be with Contiki. I’ve had loads of fun here and I’ve learned a great deal here as well. I mean, I’ve learned things that I wouldn’t learn from any book. Lisa has been a great friend to me on my adventure. I also hung out with Louise, another very nice young lady on the tour. At about 1:30 AM, some of the girls decided to call it a night, and I joined them. I said goodnight to Louise and she gave me a kiss, and we hopped a taxi home. It was late and I tried to sleep, but the girls down the hall were making a lot of noise, so I went to see what was up. They had been drinking too much and were going all crazy. I hung out with them for awhile and let out a few laughs. So, today was perhaps the best day of my life. I’ll remember it as my first skydive and another goal I’ve accomplished. Tomorrow, I have my river boarding trip. I feel like I can conquer the world now! If I can skydive, I can do anything! Well, it’s now 3 AM, and I’ve been up for over 20 hours and I have to get up at 7:30, so I’m counting sheep now. See you tomorrow after another awesome adventure!

Tags: Adrenaline

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