Skydives and Goodbyes

Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
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Friday, February 4, 2005

What is this fate thing all about?

After all the things I was thinking about the other night regarding getting out in to the open, off the beaten track and in to the heart and soul of this beautiful country, I woke up yesterday with my foot in agony - my right foot this time, right on the outside edge. What the hells that all about? I've done absolutely nothing, no fall, no twist, no bang, no break, no accident, no strain, nothing. All I've done is had a good nights sleep. I think I've pulled a tendon or something. I can hardly move it and certainly can't put any weight on it. Chicken laughed when she first saw me hobble again, thought I was taking the piss. I can't believe it. Fate? I was only thinking about treks the other night. Am I not ready for anything yet?

So yeah, I was a little cheesed off yesterday and sat around by the van mostly reading a new book (thanks Aunty Ann) - a factual one this time, sort of biography by a chap called Monty Roberts entitled 'The Man Who Listens to Horses', which is great so far.

After a lot of discussion, Jen had decided to do the wild thing and had booked herself in for a Skydive over Lake Wanaka this morning, weather permitting. After breakfast, she made the confirmation call which told us she was jumping just after lunch.

It's difficult to say if my foot was any better this morning as I'd deliberately put no weight on it since yesterday morning and decided not to this morning either. All I know is that the rest and sleep must have done some good as it was no longer throbbing like it was last night. Still cheesed off about it and still can't for the life of me work out how its happened. I'll continue to keep the weight off it and see how it goes, it's all I can do for now.

Anyway, the weather was absolutely superb today and just perfect for a skydive. We stopped off on the way to Wanaka airport to buy everyone a Fruju before joining the others in the hangar where it turned out that Chicken and Traoine had also decided to jump. I was immediately tempted then remembered the annoying reality that I didn't really need to be dropping from the sky with my full weight on my foot - great. So I spectated and offered to take some photographs for Chicken and Jen with their camera.

The jumps were a huge success (Jen absolutely loved it) and we headed back in to Wanaka for a celebration lunch on the waterfront. The celebration lunch also became a farewell lunch, a temporary one for me, a final one for Sinead. We've been talking a lot recently about Jen's adventure and how much she is going to love seeing and experiencing the South Island. It wasn't long before it became apparent that Sineads part of the adventure would soon have to come to an end the more we ventured further and further afield. I had told Sinead from day one of the trip that whatever happened or wherever we all ended up I was more than happy to drive her back to the airport. It wasn't going to be long before that time came, especially as the next stop was likely to be Queenstown and then further in to the deep South. She had also mentioned that she had lots of things to do before she left which needed private/quiet time before finally leaving New Zealand and starting her adventure in Oz. For her, to spend a few days updating her journal in a peaceful place that meant something to her, where she could get totally up to date and finish the chapter of New Zealand on a spiritual high would be the way to go. As much as I'm a travel companion/chauffer in all of this, I too needed serious travelogue time so was more than happy to take the sensible option. Akaroa and Okains Bay it was. What could be better?

So after another emotional goodbye after lunch in Wanaka, we started the long, long journey back to the Banks Peninsula. In the early evening we decided to settle for an overnight pit-stop in Fairlie checking in to the 'Top 10' there. As it was quite a significant emotional day which was already getting quite late and as we had no supplies, we decided to eat out. The receptionist at the Top 10 had recommended a place a few doors up called 'The Old Library' which oddly enough used to be an old library. She wasn't wrong. We had a nice meal and a good chance to reflect on things as her time in New Zealand was rapidly coming to an end. I guess it was quite difficult for her leaving the girls behind. They'd grown very close over the last few months and if I'd have been in her shoes it would have killed me too, though in reality I'll be catching up with them afterwards so it was a hell of a lot easier for me. What would be a lot worse though would be knowing that in just a few more days I'd be leaving New Zealand for good. That one doesn't bear thinking about.

We returned to the holiday park and set up camp in a peaceful spot under the shade of a tree right next to the stream and set up the chairs outside to just chill for a while with a couple of beers. It was really quiet on the site and completely peaceful next to the stream. Don't know why but I actually remembered the date today and decided to play the guitar in honour of 'Crack's' birthday.
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