Taupo - Near Death Experience

Trip Start Sep 06, 2004
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Trip End May 22, 2005


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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

We left Rotorua at about 11am, we stopped a few times along the way and arrived at lake Taupo early afternoon and it was beautiful.
One of the activities you can do in Taupo is a tamden sky dive. There had been a lot of discussion on the bus about this and who was going to do it. I had flatly refused the whole way, but as we pulled into our hostel for the night (urban retreat) I change my mind. I have know idea why; obviously a total moment of utter madness, but I felt so good about everything. The sun was shining Lake Taupo was so stunningly beautiful and everything seemed good in the world.
I had absolutely no chance to change my mind, as we only had hour to book in to the hostel and get back to the bus and with lots of people there thats hard to do and of course everybody was telling me how great it would be HA BLOODY HA!
All 14 of us headed back to the bus and left for the air field. Once I got there I really started to shit myself-sorry dad that's the politest way I can put it.
We lined up at the counter and were handed some forms to fill out, next of kin details, DOB, weight Etc, at the bottom of the page was a deceleration that you had to sign saying that you were of sound mind.HAHAHAHA!!
We were then given a list of songs and we had to pick out three to go on our DVD's. I think that these could also be used for the funeral as well.
The staff were very kind and helpful. They don't even take your money until you land. One lady told me just encase it all goes wrong- OK NOT GOOD. After she she saw the look of complete fear on my face she said that she was only joking and that you don't get charged until you land as some people change their minds about getting photos and stuff and it's just easier to do it all at the same time.
We were then put into our groups and introduced to our partners, the guy I was jumping with was called Ian, you are then suited up, slightly embarrassing moment as it took Ian and another guy to zip my jump suit up over my chest, well at least it took my mind off of the jump for a while.
I was then strapped into my harness, it really is very tight and uncomfortable.
I had asked for the whole merchandise package, well if I'm going to throw myself out of a perfectly good plane at 1500 feet, I want the photo's, DVD and T shirt as well.
Ian had a small video camera strapped to his wrist and did a mini interview with me on the way to the plane. He asked very stupid questions in my opinion, things like how are you feeling? How did he think I was feeling I had already told in that I had a total fear of heights and flying. I thought my answer was very subdued , I kept thinking that at some point my dad would be watching this DVD. So my answer was "numb" what I wanted to say was "I have lost my mind and I'm shitting myself".
We posed for a few photo's by the plane and then got on. There were 12 of us in the plane and Ian and I were in the middle. You all had to sit in between each others legs-very uncomfortable
We then took off and I think that I left my stomach on the ground. The Ascent is very step and my ears popped several times. Ian had the camera running for the whole flight and kept asking me questions. I really wasn't enjoying this whole adrenalin dare devil thing. We goto 1200 feet and the two people in front jumped out. The door was now left open-well I say door; more like a bloody great big gapping whole in the side of the plane. I was freezing, my feet were numb and my nose felt like it would snap off at any time.Again Ian came with the stupid questions and comments, "thumbs up for the Camera " Yeah Right! Ian then started to give me instructions, NOW with the instructions, why not on the ground, when I wasn't trying to keep my internal organs inside. I tried my best to listen and keep the information stored in my brain, but it really wasn't happening and all I remember was not to put my arms put until he gave me the thumbs up. I wanted to ask questions but before I had a chance we were shuffling along on our bums to the whole in the side of the plane. Before I knew what the hell was happening I was plummeting towards the earth. I have NEVER felt so sick in the whole of my life. It felt like forever but in fact you only free fall for 1 minute ;this is at about 200 MPH. The shoot opened and everything slowed down-THANK GOD. For one Minuit moment I looked around and it was stunning, then I looked down and started to shit myself again and feel violently sick.
Ian was talking and I managed to understand what he was saying. Again with the question for the DVD, my replies were skillfully edited out of the DVD.
As we were coming down Ian started to turn the shoot and we started to spin-VERY BAD.
I asked him what was going on and he said he was trying to get some shots for the camera,my reply was "fuck the camera stop it".
We landed back on earth with a bump and I promptly collapsed on top of Ian, Who said I had really done well and would I do it again- NO NEVER EVER.
I hated every minute of it and I haven't concord my fear of heights just reinforced them. The best part of the jump was getting a beer and a ride home in the stretched limo. We all headed to the pub and swapped stories.
On the road again tomorrow, plowing through as I have planned to me Esther in Wellington in a few days.
Next stop is the National park ,the Tongariro Crossing and Mt. Doom.
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