Lake Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand
30.10.2010 - 02.11.2010 20 °C
This is the place! I knew as soon as I got here that this is where I would do something crazy, jump out of a plane or something stupid like that. We left Franz Josef with a new driver, yes again at some ridiculous hour, and the morning drive to Lake Wanaka was one of the most stunning drives of my life. I remember Alberto sat the opposite side of the bus across the aisle from me, both of us taking photo after photo, occasionally looking at each other in amazement and sharing our appreciation of this incredible place. Our breakfast stroll was around Lake Matheson and you will hopefully see what I mean here from my photos but on this absolutely perfect sunny spring day, ‘Mirror Lake’ more than lived up to its name. Early morning reflection of the Southern Alps, including Mt Cook, simply breathtaking.
I started to see what people meant by experiencing all four seasons in one day here in NZ. Just yesterday we were surrounded by pillars of ice and now here it seemed to be summer. ‘Dress like an onion’ people will tell you ‘layes and layers’. Sound advice. The scenery just seemed to get better and better. Lake Hawea on one side, Lake Wanaka on the other. A perfect time of year to stay at Lake Wanaka, warm temperatures and flowers in bloom but snow still on the peaks of Mt Aspiring national park that surround this peaceful lake. I checked into my hostel, with an incredible view directly over the lake, and immediately picked up the phone. ‘I would like to book in for a skydive please tomorrow morning yes, 15,000 feet YES!’ OMG!!!!! I have always quite fancied taking the challenge and jumping out of a plane over some kind of extreme scenery, but wasn’t totally convinced that i would ever actually go through with it!
Well, the best thing to do is JUST DO IT, JFDI, don’t think about it for too long or you will think yourself out of it, just pick up the phone, make the booking, get on the bus, get suited up in a fetching orange jump suit, get on the plane, and and and JUST FALL....OUT OF A REAL PLANE, YES ONE AT 15,000 FEET, Oh what the hell am I doing? I tell you exactly what I am doing, having the bloody time of my life that is what! I didn’t even feel particularly nervous, most of the time in the plane I was admiring the scenery. That was until around 12,000 feet when someone jumped out the plane! A guy from Kuala Lumpur, literally one second he was sat right there in front of me, the next he was GONE, falling to the ground at a terrifying and what looked like a dangerous speed. This is when the panic really set in!!
I was strapped to Ingerman, a funny guy from Sweden, who got me to sit on his lap while he strapped himself to me. He then joked that it wasn’t actually necessary for me to sit on his lap! Hehehe nervous laughter! When we reached 15,000 feet he pushed me towards the open door, I didn’t seem to have much say in matters at this point. I did have to giggle as there, clinging onto the side of the plane waiting for me to jump, ‘having a cup of tea and a slice of cake’ was my cameraman Eugen...LOL . Anyway, Ingerman shouts at me ‘ARE YOU READY?’ and I JUMPED OUT OF THA PLANE AND FELL FAST.. I hadn’t felt this kind of terror since my car accident 7 months ago, sheer instinctful terror. Then literally just a few seconds later, I am in PURE BLISS, I AM FLYING!!!! The exhilaration or air rushing towards me, the mountains and lakes welcoming me, PURE FREEDOM WOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAHHHHH!!!!!! When the parachute goes up, I am much more disappointed that the whole thing is over rather than any feelings of relief that the parachute actually opened. A nice and relaxing glide towards land where all I have to do is put my legs up when I am told to so that Ingerman could land underneath me and i could collapse on top of him! Can we go again? Can we? Can we? If I had more money I probably would have done.
I met Alberto next to the lake to watch sunset with a bottle of wine and to tell him about my jump! He had been mountain biking and skinny dipping in the lake that day so I let him know that I could see everything during my jump!! Nice evening and helped me come down from planet adrenaline!! I didn’t really want to leave Wanaka, felt good here, but after a morning chilling by the lake and spending some time with two lovely ladies from England, Becky and Netta, the magic bus was there to take us to the Adventure Capital of the World, oh yes where else, Queenstown...