Richard's Travels

Tales from the Southern hemisphere

Friday, March 03, 2006


The rest of Wednesday was a quiet day - I'd already done most of what I wanted to do in Queenstown, and it was raining. So I just went to the cinema, then met up with a few friends in the bar.

Thursday: Jumping off very high things!

The time had come - after having a bit of a lie in, I made my way down to the AJ Hackett centre and met up with Nicky (who I'd met on the bottom bus) who was also jumping with me. After checking in and being weighed, we were both surprised when they got us to sign our certificates saying we'd jumped, without even leaving downtown Queenstown! We didn't take up the opportunity to collect the certificate and just tell people we'd jumped. To be honest, I wasn't really nervous... yet. When we eventually got out to the bungy site (quite a long drive away!) this began to change.

The Nevis bungy is the tallest fixed jump in NZ, from a pod suspended over a canyon by wires. You reach this by going over in a small gondola. Once I got into the pod, I started to get a bit nervous. This changed to a lot when my name was called (fortunately rather early on!). I was attached to the bungy ropes and shown what to do. Didn't quite manage the whole smiling for the camera bit, but hobbled over to the edge of the platform. We'd been told that we have to do a swan dive to ensure that we clear the other bungy ropes hanging down, so there was no question this time of how I should be jumping. You get told to look at a tree in front of you (a long way away) and to jump for it. On the count of 3, I did this without hesitation (mainly because I didn't really get the chance to think about it!) A couple of seconds of scary falling before this changed into being great - I was quite surprised at how difficult it was to tell my orientation, or when one bounce was ending and another beginning! At the top of the second bounce I managed to pull the cord which unclips from your feet, turning you from a hanging upside down position to one sitting in the harness, at which point I got winched back up. Once standing on solid ground again, I was buzzing with adrenaline, and shaking like anything! It was really good, and I'm glad I did it. I pitied Nicky, who had to wait around until almost last to jump (as she was nearly the lightest one there).

After looking at the videos when we got back, I decided to buy the DVD. So at some point, I'll get around to putting a version up here, but don't hold your breath!

By the time we got back, most of the day was over, so we just grabbed a bite to eat then went back to the hostel. I went out to the normal bars in the evening to try and find the rest of my groups, but everywhere was strangely dead. I found one person and went out for a drink, and was just about to head off for an early night when a load of other people came out and joined us, making it a good night in the end.

Friday - Queenstown to Christchurch

This morning I had to catch a 7:55 bus, which I didn't really appreciate, only having got back 4 hours earlier! A long bus journey today, with nothing particularly interesting on the way apart from views of Mount Cook over Lake Pukake (which is a very strange blue colour!). Christchurch will probably be my last stop in New Zealand, as I am flying to Australia on Monday.


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