Adrenalin time

Trip Start Sep 07, 2004
Trip End Aug 15, 2005

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Monday, April 4, 2005

Well since those dearest Mums of ours and Maurice have left, our campervan is now deathly quiet. We no longer put the world to rights after umpteen glasses of red wine or have Gina destroying the campervan or having us in hysterics with torrid tales of her previous escapades. We are missing them loads and for the drive from Christchurch to Wanaka all me and Liz could do was express at how much we missed them! Our first night after they left was a little teary and we were both feeling a little homesick, so what better way to rid these blues than to book a 15,000 foot skydive overlooking the beautiful scenery around Wanaka.

We got up the next morning and Liz telephoned to book us in maybe in a day or 2 but they said as the weather was beautiful why not 2.30 that afternoon. We were getting really excited but Liz had a feeling that it was not going to happen even though the sun was shining and there was no wind. Getting even more excited and perhaps a little nervous we arrived at the airport to find the wind starting to blow into something more than a breeze and the plane load of people before us had to return to ground as it was too windy. So Liz was proved right we weren't going to do it that day and we were booked in for the next morning at 9.30.

Now I'm not saying there is a perfect way to prepare for any skydive but there is one thing for sure it is not with a raging hangover and feeling sick but this was the way we found Liz this morning. At various points whilst I was making her breakfast she asked me to cancel for her and for me to go on my own she was feeling that bad. I was having none of it though and through gentle persuasion we both found ourselves on our way to the airport, Liz during the journey kept burping and was nearly sick, this really isn't the way to prepare for a skydive but one things for certain it would sort her hangover out.

At the airport it was a glorious, still, cloudless day and we were on for sure. The plane we went up was tiny, just enough room for 4 people attached to their instructors. The views of all the surrounding area were stunning, both the lakes Wanaka and Havea were twinkling in the sun with the glacier capped mountains in the background. Mt. Cook also had a little cloud for a halo and because the scenery was so amazing you didn't have time to get really nervous as you were to busy checking out the view.

The couple who were also in our plane were jumping from 12,000 feet so they were going before us and when the door opened for the first girl that was when her fear really kicked in and I am telling you just before she jumped she was totally and absolutely shitting it. After they had both jumped we climbed to 15,000 feet and it was our turn.
I was first, and just before you jump there is a camera on the wing that takes your photo and you've got your instructor telling you to smile, not sure if either of us managed it.(you can check them out for yourselves on - we jumped on Sunday 3rd April and they're on for 2 weeks). After that we were gone, forward somersaulting out into the sky with wind rushing all around you hurtling to the ground at 240kph.

I can honestly say that with all the glorious scenery in some way your mind is taken off what you're actually doing and because my eyes were watering and I was really trying to check everything out it was not quite as scary as you may think. One thing that is definitely for sure though is that after what seemed to me to be one hell of a long minute I was one happy chappy when that parachute opened and for the first time in 20 minutes I knew I was going to get to the ground in one piece. The 5 minutes down to the ground were amazing, the most stunning scenery (as I may have mentioned but it really is worth mentioning) and a gentle turning descent to the ground even having time to look up and see Liz with her parachute open following on behind.

When we were both on the ground it was time for a quick kiss and to compare our experiences. Having recently had an amazing helicopter ride over and on the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers it was hard to choose between the 2 but somewhat surprisingly to me we both thought the helicopter ride was best. The skydive was still amazing but not quite the thrill I was expecting.

As it was a glorious day we went for a walk up one of the smaller hills surrounding Wanaka before heading off to Glenorchy. To get there you have another stunning drive along the side of Lake Wakatipu with gorgeous craggy mountains all around you. We were planning on going for a massive all day walk on our first day there but as we have just had a huge overnight storm which is still continuing now we have decided not to which is why you find me here writing all this lot.

Tomorrow Jetboating up the river.
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