! One of the cheapest places in the world to skydive is NZ because it is cheaper to operate light aircraft here. I'm not a big fan of freefall and I really don't know what possessed me to sign up but I'm sure glad I did! I threw myself out of an airplane at 15,000 feet and loved every second of it (60 seconds to be exact)! Only the initial fall was scary but the rest of it was amazing! I even got a DVD with my "fall" so I'll be sending it home with Cynth in case any of you want to watch it! It may not be the last time I skydive :) After staying overnight in Taupo, we made our way to Tongariro National Park this morning. I signed up to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which is rated as one of the world's best one day walks. I couldn't NOT do it! The hike took about 8 hours and we walked all 19.4 km of it! Freakin amazing but so so tired. We got to see all the different spots where they filmed Lord of the Rings and the scenery was beyond spectacular. Definitely one of the most amazing walks I've done! Off to Wellington tomorrow. Loving NZ so far!
The last few days have been busy to say the least. I went caving in Waitomo and saw heaps of glow worms while riding an inner tube through an underground network. This is definitely not for anyone who gets claustrophobic easily! We then spent the night in Maketu for a special Maori culural experience. We got to stay in a whanau (family) marae (meeting house) and met some of the local people from the Arawa tribe. The guys learned the Haka (what the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team chant before each game) and the girls learned this lame dance which involved the poi (a ball on a long string). Good times! To top it off, we experienced communal sleeping. All 30+ of us slept in the marae on mattresses. I can't believe I even got any shuteye that night! The next morning, we stopped off in Rotorua and dropped off some people who were going to white water raft in the morning. I opted to pass since I've done it before in Costa Rica and also because I signed up to go skydiving in the afternoon in Taupo. Yes, you heard me right. Trust me, this was not on my list of things to do in New Zealand