Now, I know I said on the last blog that the next stop was Rotorua and now I am in Taupo. Well, we did stop in Rotorua for 1 night (in the skankiest hostel yet visited, called Hot Rocks, don't go there, it's not nice) and then decided to head to Taupo the next day because the weather report said it was due to be a fine day and we needed good weather for what we planned to do.
So, we were up early to catch the bus to Taupo. We had a nice group of people on our bus, some that we'd met before, others that had just joined.
On the way down to Taupo we stopped of at the Lody Knox geyser which is a, er, geyser and they put soap down it and then you wait a bit and then all the water shoots up about 20 feet into the air. Not the most exciting spectacle but worth a look.
We also stopped off at Tuapo Rock and Ropes centre and a few people did a little bungy swing, but not Laura and I, we had other things on our minds.
Next stop was the SKY DIVE centre. Yes, that's right my friends, black water rafting and abseiling just wasn't enough for us so we signed up to do the 12,000 feet sky dive (is this exciting enough for you Griff?!).
There were 12 of us on our bus that had decided to do it and 2 of those had done it before!
We were picked up by Dave, a brummie, and driven over to the centre. On the way we stopped to watch a goup of jumpers in the distance. They seemed to be very high up. This made me a little nervous.
And then we were there signing in and getting weighed. There was then a good hour of waiting around for our turn because the weather was soo good they were having a really busy day, everybody in Taupo wanted to jump out of a plane it seemed. Laura and I were put in a group with Leanne, a lovely English girl on our bus whose friend Hannah had decided not to do it (sensible girl), a Japanese girl who I don't think realised what she'd signed up for!! And 2 American guys who were jumping from 15,000 feet.
We got all dressed up in the lovely jump suits and harnesses and gloves and hats and goggles - we looked hot. And then waited for our jump masters. Mine was called Benny and I had Liam as my camera man (yes, I wanted moving picture proof that I had done this!). And then we were off.
I was 3rd into the plane which was good as it meant that I wasn't going to be first to jump. Laura was last on. Unlucky!
We were all crammed into the tiniest of planes and we set off up straight away doing quite a steep climb. After about 10 minutes Leanne said to me that this looked like a good height to jump but we were kindly informed that we were only at 5000 feet! Another 7000 still to go. I was slightly nervous but not as much as I thought I would be. It was so nice and clear you could see for miles so it was nice to enjoy the view!
And then it happened all sooooo quickly. All of a sudden, the plane door went up and Laura wasn't there anymore. Oh my god!
We climbed forward and there I was, hanging out of a plane at 12,000 feet with my jump master telling me to turn round and smile for the camera!! Which I did.
And then we jumped! It was such a weird feeling that it's really hard to describe. I'd taken a deep breath as someone had told me to keep my mouth shut otherwise you get winded. But after the first few seconds I felt fine and was screaming like a banshee!!!
I didn't even really get the stomach lurch that you usually get when you drop out of a plane or on a bungy jump. Almost as soon as we were out of the plan it felt like we were just floating.
The camera guy was there and at first I wondered what he was doing coming up so close and grabbing me and then I realised I was being filmed so did my best to smile whilst falling at 200kph!! It seemed to last forever and at the same time it was over in seconds. Well, quite literally as we were only allowed to free fall for 45 seconds!!
When he pulled the parachute we flew up sharply and then we were just floating again and the goggles came off and I could admire the view. Awesome! He kept pulling the parachute cords so that we cirlced round and round one way then the other and then we landed.
All over so quickly but what a buzz! The best thrill ever and I would totally recommend it. I'll definitely do it again if the opportunity comes up. If you come to Taupo you have to do it!!!! Not one of us was disappointed. We were all on a total high!!
Celebrations were in order that evening and all 12 of us went out in our Sky Dive tee-shirts!!!
So glad I did it but still can't believe I have!!!
I've downloaded some photos onto my site:
Laura's story:- mmmmm yes, as soon as I realised I was the last to get on the plane I asked possibly the most rhetorical question ever posed: "Am I 1st then?" - "Yep". This meant that I was sat on the floor by possibly the thinist piece of clear plastic I ever seen been called a door, complete with slight crack!
I was so lucky as I had the nicest Tandum Master (is it me or does that sound rude) ever, called Brad who just kept chatting to me all the way up & told me loads of Essex jokes? (didn't realise they'd made it this far).
The door went up & I had to swing my legs round out of the plane & my camera man stepped beside me. Brad informed me that we had to wait until the light went green... WAIT! WAIT! oh yeah right ok, I can WAIT here, legs dangling 12000 feet above the ground!!
I don't know what Brad said to me after that but I remember informimg him that the light had gone green & as he thanked me for this advice I was tilted forwarded out of the plane. I don't remember screaming but apparently, I found out later, J9 had done this for me anyway. The free fall was possibly the longest 5 seconds I have ever encountered but god what a buzz, there's no time for wondering if you're feeling scared or not, it's just amazing. I seem to remember screaming AWESOME! at the cameraman (all extreme sports peeps say stuff like that you see).
The chute went up & you go from horizontal to verticle instantly & the next part of the trip follows. I was asked how I felt & I couldn't quite put a sentence together but I made noises assuring I had enjoyed it & so I was introduced to some mad spinning moves on the descent. Plus somehow he managed to release the tension in the chute so you just feel like you're dropping which makes your stomach lurch & then the tension takes hold again. I said I wasn't sure if I liked that so much so Brad happily did it another two times so I could decide for sure mmmm. So that was that, needless to say I proposed to Brad immediately after I got my feet on the floor.
Not sure we can top that really but we'll see. Next stop Rotorua.