Scared of heights? Me? Pah! : The Sequel

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We were up early and raring to go. First stop was the airport to try to haggle down some prices as today we would hopefully be taking a leap of faith out of a plane at 15,000 feet – well, Taupo is hailed as the Skydiving capital of the world so when in Rome and all that.  Only one operator was actually open, luckily for us the cheapest so we wandered in with our discount vouchers for a free exit photo and booked on for 11.20am we were told to ring at 10.50am to check that the weather conditions were still OK as the 10am jump had already been cancelled.  While we waited, it was only 9am by this stage, we decided to go and explore the 'Craters of the Moon' an almost free lunar like geothermal area full of mud pools, fumaroles and bubbling craters.  It didn’t take too long to get around but it was strange to walk around such an ‘other worldly’ terrain.

Ten fifty came and we rang through to Taupo Tandem Skydiving to find that our jump had been cancelled, to be fair it was really windy even on the high street so god only knows what was going on another 14,994 feet above us.  Our slot was moved to 1.30pm so we had time to visit the Aratiatia rapids for their 12.00 dam opening when the full force of the Waikato River, New Zealand’s longest river, is released.  It was a fantastic spectacle to behold and there was quite a crowd formed to view it.  We stood at the lower vantage point and got a great up close view of the water crashing over the huge boulders in to the depths beyond.

We got back to the campsite and made our 1pm call not feeling very hopeful as the wind was clearly still raging.  Again we were disappointed and were moved to 4.10pm.  We had wanted to do the Huka Falls, apparently New Zealand’s most popular natural attraction, walk but as we didn’t have time to do the walk and get to a phone (there are times when having a mobile phone would be extremely useful) we plumped for just driving there instead.  The falls were great, water thundering 10metres in to a surging pool, but neither of us could see why someone would pay a fortune to get to see them up close on a jet boat we watched the boat and it was all very unimpressing.  On the way back we stopped by a glass factory, boring for some but I just love glass and have a small collection at home so much so that it rubs off on Andrew.  One Christmas we were playing Family Fortunes at home with my family, boys against girls, and the question asked was ‘Name a type of glass’ – instead of answering ‘pint’ or ‘wine’ Andrew came out with ‘Murano’ – for a man that is surely embarrassing?  I stuck my head round the door in to the workshop and got to see the artist at work.  Some of the pieces were beautiful but well out of our price range.

 We made our call for the third time only to get the same information – and we were running out of places to go!  We went to the tinterweb shop to kill some time, it was happy hour between 5pm and 7pm but the girl let us off despite it being only 4.15pm.  Our final call at 5.00pm meant that it was definitely off for the day and Andrew breathed a huge sigh of relief but I was gutted.  We decided to try our luck in Abel Tasman on the South Island instead as tomorrow didn’t look promising weather wise either.

We made dinner in the camp kitchen and watched Tom Daly and his partner win gold (yeah!) while we ate and got chatting to another English couple Emma and Stuart, Emma was only from Bury and her dad had a business in Swinton!  Small world.  Everyone had a bottle of wine on the table, embarrassingly ours was a box, no surprises there then.  Emma and Stuart had a taxi booked to go in to town for the night so we decided to tag along and ended up in Mulligan’s Irish bar doing a very hard quiz, not like the Neighbours one.  Needless to say we didn’t win this one, but part of the quiz involved pants and bra’s I think Stuart revealed a little bit more than we did.  Great sport! Alas there was no outing of the cape tonight.  Still it was a great night and a very drunken one thank god we don’t have a sky dive to contend with in the morning.
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