Day 12: Queenstown (Skydive)

Trip Start Aug 04, 2012
Trip End Aug 20, 2012

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Thursday, August 16, 2012

Today, I had to try to leave quietly in the morning again, because I had to be up at 7, while Jessie and Kay-Marie didn't. I had breakfast around 7:30, and then we left for our skydive at 8:10. It was Gilbert (Irish), Nicole R., Tom (Australian couple), Lori, Leighton (another Australian couple), and I who were going. When we got there, I ended up getting split up from the rest of the group and had to wait and go with strangers instead.

The photographer for my jump was a woman named Terry. She interviewed me while we waited for it to be time to take off. She seemed to be having issues with the video camera, though. She kept turning it off and on and waving her hand in front of it. She was still messing with the settings even once we were on the plane, so I could definitely tell something was wrong.

The tandem dude I jumped with was named Sasa. He did all the work, and I just kind of went along for the ride. He got in the plane first, and I sat in front of him. On the way up, he attached his harness to mine. Then, when it was time to go, he scooted forward so that he was on the edge of the plane (holding onto a bar) and I was off the edge. Terry was already out of the plane and was holding onto the side while she took pictures of us. In addition to the handheld video camera, she had another camera on her head, and a little thing that went in her mouth to control when she took pictures.

Whenever I told people I was going skydiving, they asked if I was scared or nervous, and I kept saying "Nah, I'm just trying not to think about it yet." I thought once I got up in the plane, I would finally be scared, but I actually didn't feel scared at all, the whole time. It was just fun! The freefall part was really cool. It didn't feel like I was even falling--it actually felt like I was being blown upward. And being surrounded by mountains and lakes made it even cooler.

Once the parachute opened, we were sitting up rather than facing downward. The harness was digging into my upper thighs, so it was hard to enjoy it. I just wanted to land at that point, haha. We came down into a field right outside the building where we started. It's amazing how they can control it so well.

When I got back in the building, I found out that all the Contiki people had already gone back into town, so I was stranded all alone and had to wait forever for the next bus. In the meantime, I paid for my photo/DVD package, only to find out that my DVD apparently came out blurry and they had to refund me the money. They didn't even let me see it or anything. I had actually considered going with just the pictures in the beginning, and I really only upgraded because it wasn't that much more expensive to add the DVD. So, even though it was disappointing, it definitely wasn't the end of the world.

When I got back into town, I could see a ton of Contiki people over at Fergburger, so I walked over and talked to them for a while. My skydiving pictures wouldn't be ready until 2pm, and it wasn't even noon yet at this point. So, I caught a bus back to the hotel and finally did some laundry.

When I was done doing laundry, I went back into town to pick up my pictures and finally buy some souvenirs. I saw Kay-Marie on her way back to the hotel, and she said she was going to try to take a nap before dinner, so I tried to stay out as long as I could. I bought a t-shirt for myself and one for my mom. I also bought keychains and postcards for people at work. Being on a Contiki tour means veryyy little downtime, so I definitely needed to take advantage of this chance to finally buy souvenirs.

When I got back to the hotel, it still wasn't time for dinner yet, so I killed time in the lobby before going up to the room (so that Kay-Marie could sleep). Dinner was at a place called Winnie's, where we had pizza. The first pizza they brought out had tons of stuff on it that I didn't like, and I was worried that would be our only option. But they did eventually bring out a pepperoni one, and I was happy with a slice of that. The pepperoni disappeared quickly, so I wanted to steal one of the slices of margarita pizza, but I was worried that the vegetarians wouldn't get enough to eat, so I didn't end up eating any. I definitely wasn't full, but it's not like I was starving or anything.

Jessie really wanted to take Chris and Mark out for drinks after dinner because they helped pay for her Skyline dinner, but Chris wasn't feeling great, and Mark and Robin totally disappeared after dinner, so Jessie, Mo, and I ended up being some of the last people to leave the restaurant, and we had no idea where anyone was. We found the bar where the pub crawl started, but there weren't many Contiki people there yet. We found out later that most of them went back to the hotel first so they could shower and get all pretty.

So, we hung out for a little while and then decided to try walking back to the hotel. Most of the time, we took the bus or a taxi because the hotel was at the top of a pretty steep hill. But the walk wasn't actually THAT bad, so I guess it was worth saving the $4 or whatever it would have cost to take the bus. We hung out in the hotel lobby/restaurant area for a while, and I showed my skydiving pictures to Mo, Kay-Marie, and Ketan. Then we went to Morgan and Kerri's room to watch Kerri and Mo's canyon swing videos. The hallway was flooded, and Kay-Marie only had socks on, so Mo carried her across. How come he isn't that chivalrous toward me? Hmmph. I don't remember what time we ended up going to bed, but it was probably still pretty early.
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