Recently, the world has been hit by a few massive crises, one of these being the huge 6.3 magnitude earthquake that shook the South Island of New Zealand on February 22, 2011. In an effort to support the people of this amazing country in a time of dire need, four bloggers have joined forces to create a travel writing phenomenon called Blog4NZ (click the link to find out more). Search for#Blog4NZ hashtag on Twitter or visit the Facebook Page to find more information, then show your support by reading and sharing these stories or writing your own!
New Zealand is a place full of warm hearts and stunning experiences. A crisis such as this, rather than a reason to stay away is a reason to flock to the country and show your support. I had a chance to visit New Zealand for a short period in 2009 and this is the second of my posts on my experiences there. Read my first post here.
Most people that have traveled in New Zealand have a story to tell. There are a lot of stories that can come from that little country and many of them involve adventure sports or doing something that could quite possibly be classified as clinically insane.
For the few weeks leading up to our trip in New Zealand, the boys had been pestering me about our upcoming bungy jump. Usually, I’m not one to cower from doing something out of the ordinary and I like to equate myself to being able to do what the ‘tough’ boys can do. For some reason the idea of rocketing off a cliff did not sound appealing.
We went through the first few days of our trip without mentioning it and with my assuming that I would survive this little adventure. As we packed up for white water rafting along the Shotover, the boys couldn’t let me and Maud be.
Guys the bungy jump is next; and, don’t worry, we’ve already signed you up!
Maud and I froze. What?! What!? You can’t do that!!
The boys were of course kidding, they hadn’t signed us up against our will but that quick kick in the pants got us thinking. Maybe we could do this thing after all. I mean the rafting (apparently level 4 rapids) was pretty mild.
As we were driven up the winding rode that lead to the Nevis Bungy in the Shotover Canyon I had little time to think about what I was actually getting myself into. I was the last one into the van, which meant I took the passenger seat while our driver, Shane, was more than happy to chat my ear off and let me completely forget where I was actually heading.
After making some smart comments about the comfort of my diaper-esque harness we were loaded onto the tiny little cart which would motor its way across a tightrope to the cabin where we were set-up for the jump.
There wasn’t much time to think, well I didn’t let myself think much. I gave a big cheesy smile and a thumbs up to the camera and I knew that all I had to do was listen for that magic voice 3, 2, 1…
There I went; eyes closed, arms out. The feeling was truly indescribable, something I never felt before. Being completely unrestricted, flying through the air with no one or nothing to stop you.
I should scream now.
So, I did what I thought I should do, and the blood curdling sound that echoed through the canyon was not my intention.
As I reached the end of the bungy, the strain of my body against the elastic pulled on my shoes and made my heart race as I thought they were surely going to go flying and I’d plummet to my death in the river below. After a few more bounces I calmed down, but it took until the next day to realize that even if my feet had slipped out I was harnessed in with approximately three other straps. Live and learn, live and learn.
That night, at midnight when the pubs finally opened again, the four of us celebrated. Being together, being friends, having had the chance to know each other and the chance to be there for each other when we, literally, were out on a limb.
Have you bungy jumped in New Zealand, or anywhere else? What was your experience like and where was it?