After a stay at Rotorua learning all about the Maori culture and admiring the Geysers, we were off to Taupo. Today was finally the day that Steph and I jumped out of a plane from 15,000 feet. I think Steph was secretly hoping for bad weather so it was cancelled, but we finally had our first glorious day since arriving in New Zealand! The skydive instructors said it was the best for a month so there was no backing out now. We stepped off the bus after several hours driving and walked straight into our safety briefing, nerves going into overdrive! It all happened so quick, we signed our lives away and next thing you knows you’re being kitted up and put on a plane strapped to a man! The flight was pretty scary in itself and it was so tense it made me just want to jump and get it over with. At about 9,000 feet they gave you an oxygen mask to help you breath! What?!!!! That scared me more than anything! If I need oxygen to help me breath at this height is it really a good idea to jump?! But while I was busy worrying about that, the door opened and we piled out one after the other in pretty quick succession. You don’t have time to look down or panic, which is definitely a good thing!
Everyone normally says that the freefall is the best bit and goes so quickly. Well that was one of the longest minutes of my life, stressing about when the parachute would go up and I could confirm I was alive! It’s a pretty mad feeling to be travelling at 200km/hr and given how unnatural it is, caused my sensitive ears some serious pain. Even as I write this four days later, I can’t hear properly still. My favourite part had to be once the parachute was up and you just slowly glide down looking at the amazing lake Taupo below, I even took a turn at steering before we landed and the whole six minute experience was over! After lots of exciting cheering and chatter we took to the cinema room to watch our videos back. They shoot the footage using a GoPro attached to the guys wrist and for an extortionate $160 it captures some hilarious moments. In all the craziness of the freefall I completely forgot what to do and made some weird motions with my hands! We were in stitches!
Once all the excitement was over and to abuse the good weather, we took to the lake with the rest of our new friends on Sail Barbary for wine and pizza whilst enjoying the views and sunset.
Taupo was also the first place we got to stay more than one night so took that to mean we could go out drinking and have a lie in the next day for a change! Originally our second day in Taupo was reserved for a 19km hike of the Tongariro Crossing, but due to high winds and rain it got cancelled. Instead we did a load of nothing, just a well deserved rest and finally a chance to do some laundry!