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

Bungee jumping and fjord dipping

NEW ZEALAND | Saturday, 21 January 2006 | Views [2450]

This looks like Norway!

This looks like Norway!

It was my 15th day in Aotearoa, and my trip is winding down. I’m going to miss New Zealand so much when I go, but I still have three days left and plenty more to see! I woke up at 7:00 this morning and took my bags to the coach straight away. I went in for brekkie, which I hadn’t eaten in two days. I enjoy the big breakfasts here. Today is my turn to bungee jump off the Kawarau Bridge. After breakfast, we were on the road to Milford Sound. I’m so going to miss Queenstown. We were all going to the bungee jump site together. This way, everyone could see me take a big leap. About a half hour into our drive, we were there! I went in first with the rest of the jumpers. I walked down, and got weighed. I weigh 65 kilos. Then, I watched Kelly jump. It looked cool! I gave Rose my camera to take some pictures. Holly and Jacki jumped, and then it was my turn! Holly had to be pushed off because she didn’t jump right away. I put on the harness and my legs were tied at the ankles, the cord was hooked in, the instructor counted to five, and I gave it a VERY BIG LEAP! It was reminiscent of skydiving! I came close to the river and I bounced up and back down again. I hung there for a few seconds with my eyes on the mighty Kawarau! Then, I was lowered into the raft and I heard the cheers from my mates. I walked up to the bridge and Tom and Josh high-fived me for my effort. I will bungee jump again for sure! I got the photos and a DVD to show off to everyone back home. I also got my free t-shirt and bungee jump certificate. I got a Red Bull and we hopped back on the coach and hit the road. That was awesome going bungee jumping today! Or first stop on the long drive was Te Anau. We got there at 12:30 and had 45 minutes. It’s a beautiful town situated on Lake Te Anau. While there, I got three postcards and a key chain with New Zealand and a kiwi. It’s fitting for me since my MySpace name is “Kiwi NZ.” I got fish and chips with a Diet Coke for lunch. That’s another thing I will miss when I get home: New Zealand fish & chips! At 1:15 it was time to go, and we headed for Milford Road. Mike told us that 40,000 tourists make the drive every year and that it is considered one of the Top 10 drives in the world. We did a couple of lookout stops. First we stopped at a lake, and it was so still. I got several great pictures of the mountains. About five minutes up the road, we did a comfort stop. After that, we drove through Homer’s tunnel. It is a tunnel that is like a mile and a half long and the red light to go in has a 15 minute interval. After getting out, I saw glaciers. What a spectacular sight! On the way, I saw the 45ºS latitude sign. That meant we were half way between the Equator and the South Pole. What a cool milestone! I tried to get a picture of the sign because I wanted to show everyone back home, but I missed it! Our third stop was perhaps the best: the Chasm! When I got out, I got some pictures of the kea. There were three of them this time. Then, I walked down to…The Chasm! It was a thundering waterfall! The rock formations were even more extraordinary. I wouldn’t want to take a tumble down in there though! You will not come out! After 15 minutes it was time to go, as we had to be at the boat by 4:00 sharp. The drive was only ten minutes to Milford Sound. We got to the station and had to wait a few minutes before getting to go to the boat, which is called the Milford Wanderer. The skipper took our pictures before we got on. I took my backpack down to the cabin I was staying in. It was very compact. After that, I went upstairs for our safety briefing. Then, there was tomato soup. It wasn’t as good as the tomato soup up at Waitomo Caves, but it was still good. Then, we set sail! I was so amazed at all the beautiful scenery around me. I had never seen a fjord. I even wonder how many of my friends have seen a fjord. It’s amazing how many of the fjords are deeper than they are tall. The skipper pointed out Mitre Peak, which I’ve heard is a very famous mountain here. We were staying with a few groups on the boat, and I was talking to one traveller who has been to several places in Africa. After sailing for awhile, we moored out in the middle of the Sound. We had the option to go kayaking on Milford Sound. It was either that or a boat trip around the sound. I wanted to go kayaking. I only had long pants, but I wanted to go and didn’t really care if my pants got wet. So, I hopped in a kayak and started paddling. I kayaked last year at Manly Beach in Australia. I paddled away until I saw a seal on a rock. I got up very close, only like three feet away and got some close-up pictures. I also got some pictures of the glaciers. For awhile, I just sat back in my kayak and enjoyed the beauty and fresh air of Milford Sound. This is scenery that you won’t find anywhere else! I mean, there are waterfalls, glaciers, fjords, and forests, all in one sight! What more can you ask for! After about ten minutes of sitting peacefully, I started paddling my way back. I caught up with the other kayakers and then we got back on our boat. What a fun trip that was. When I got back, I saw some of the guys jumping into the water. Josh wanted me to take a dunk. I told him I had no shorts, but he told me I could borrow his. I changed into the shorts and I jumped in wholeheartedly. The water was colder than anything I’ve ever felt! As a result, I immediately swam to the ladder (which had to be lowered) and Josh got several pictures. I can even say that I jumped into Milford Sound let alone going here. Darren gave me my towel to dry off and I went back in and changed. I felt really warm after jumping into that freezing water. Dinner was at 8 PM, and it was that time. I sat with Hugo and Jacki and ate roasted lamb, roasted potatoes and gravy, roasted pumpkin, corn, and for dessert I had peach and apricot cobbler. After dinner, we played board games. Toru, a young man from Japan who did all three bungy jumps, beat me 4 games to 3 in a best of seven series in Connect Four. It was very misty out and it began to rain. I wanted to see the stars tonight, but there were too many clouds. There were no lights except for the boat moored about a hundred meters from us. I hung out, talked and had a few Diet Cokes. By 10:00 it was really raining hard. I talked with Sonia for awhile. It’s so nice out here in Milford Sound. It would be the stargazing grandeur tonight if it were clear. Next up, in the morning we leave for Lake Ohau. Only two days left! This trip has left a lasting impression on me. I’ll never forget a moment of it. I then went down to my bunk. I have to go to sleep, as it is my first overnight cruise ever. See you tomorrow evening.

Tags: adrenaline

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