Off Ma Bucket List: Skydive
Day 4: 27 May 2014 Status: …. Restless on a finally beautiful day. I was slowly losing track of time, date and day. All I did was keeping track of the destination and activities and tasks Bridget announced, then write my name on sheet after sheet for accommodation and activities. Oh and pay after, of course. I put my name down for Skydive Taupo (Toe-paw) Piece of advice: Don’t pick where or when to skydive, pray for the weather. Skydiving could be affected by the weather, and on a beautiful day anywhere in New Zealand will be beautiful. If you are visiting a couple of other places, just sign up for each as you go. Whichever beautiful day you’ve got, grab it – because weather here changes faster than a woman on her PMS mood swings. Turned out that I have to do the tandem skydive in the afternoon, right after I checked in to the hostel. It was literally fight in a line to fill in the form, pay, move your stuff into the assigned room, and run downstairs. A few of us rode to the airport base in style, with Skydive Taupo free limousine transfers. My heart was skipping beats, my blood pumping hard and my breathing was becoming irregular. Pretty sure if I had had the time to look into a mirror, I’d looked like a cooked lobster. I had only planned to do the 12,000ft dive. But when everyone else in the group is going for 15,000ft, I felt like I have to do it too. What the heck! It is just an additional 3,000ft – should be okay. Deborah stop being a girl. As if I wasn’t flustered enough, I was assigned to go on the second batch. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh don’t you know anticipation makes things a lot, lot more harder than it already is?! I even went to the toilet twice while waiting, because I would hate to pee my pants while jumping out of a plane. I had to make sure I cleared it all. I talked to the staff (though it didn’t really help) and Alana the Canadian lady, about the dive her travel Australia and New Zealand everything and anything under the sun while waiting for mini people to jump down and listen to the screams that would be so terrifying that I might pull out last minute. Yes I was speaking in a speed without punctuations because I was so excited and nervous at the same time I didn’t know how to contain the fear and anticipation. I considered myself lucky to have Amos as the tandem partner. He was from Brisbane too, and we were joking about some of the stuff back home and what got him move to New Zealand for 5 years – which gradually ease the nerves. With all the video interviews and photo posing with the ugly hats and suits and all, by the time we were halfway up in the air I was only feeling stunned. By the beauty of the place, the feeling of how tiny everything is beneath my feet (plane, to be exact), and how much higher I could go. Yes, I loooooove heights.
The first pair took off in front of my eyes – and that got me nervous again for awhile. Not panic attack, just nervous. The good thing is: I am glad I’m petite and light (compared to the huge Kiwis, and Australian in this case) that I don’t feel my own weight while strapped against Amos. And I guess when you feel so light-weighted, nothing fears you anymore.
“Are you ready?” Amos yelled into my ears.
“Yessssss…..” with hesitation, excitement and yelling back real hard.
Photographer’s tip of the day: if you smile, your facial muscles are tensed and hence you are less likely to get those flappy face photo while free falling. Everything happened so fast that you wouldn’t have time to be afraid of anything (if you are afraid, of heights especially). The free falling actually felt amazing too, and the scenery admiration kicked in once in canapé mode. The landscape, the faraway mountains, Lake Taupo, the tiny houses, the farms, the horizon, and eventually the orange line of sun setting.
See the two mushroom-shaped smoke? Turned out there were two eruptions out at Mt Doom in the afternoon.
Earlier that morning… We visited the Te Puia – New Zealand’s most well-known thermal park with geysers, boiling mud, a Maori Arts and Crafts Centre/School (for Maori descendants) and a Kiwi bird sanctuary. Despite the foul smell, the park was quite a comfort to me. The hot steam and naturally heated rocks worked perfectly on a cold weather as such (-2 degree on that day) for a girl who do not have a PROPER winter jacket. *Brissy’s winter isn’t exactly winter per se*
As with the Kiwi bird sanctuary, they claimed to have 2 kiwi birds. However it was pitch dark as they are shy, nocturnal breeds. So I have not seen a real kiwi bird as yet 😦 …and Huka Falls thereafter. Try go kayaking and/or rafting there, I dare you 😉
And that’s another item off ma bucket list in 2014 !!! ♥
Ecstatically signing off.