Rotten eggs, bubbling pools & nervous stomachs!
09.11.2007 - 12.11.2007 -17 °C
We spent just one day in Rotorua, too touristy for us. The smell of sulphur in the air around Rotorua is also really bad in places, rotten eggs!
However the Thermal springs at Wai-o-tapu were mindblowing. The colours were great. These were created by the mineral content within the water coming into contact with the air.
So after enjoying this for a few hours we decided to move on, and head to Taupo to see what this had to offer.
It is a really picturesque area, centred around the volcanic Lake Taupo. After settling into the YHA hostel, we headed to book the skydive Mark has been so keen to do. Somehow I ended up putting my name down as well!
So, soon after breakfast the next day we were picked up to go to Freefall Skydive, at Taupo airport. I was getting pretty nervous at this point and ready to back out. However, Mark convinced me to keep my nerve and after a short time waiting for the first "drop" (not a reassuring term) it was our turn. It was during the waiting I wished for a bar to appear with a selection of shots to calm the nerves!
We got dressed in our delightful jumpsuits, harnesses (which had Mark singing a few notes higher!), lovely biggles hat and goggles. I was most pleased that I had a hunky Swedish Tandem Master to attach myself onto. Unlucky for Mark, his was also a man!
Next we had to climb into the place and sit in rows of order to jump. Some crazy people wanted to go to 15000ft, I was more than content with 12000ft. It was a great view on the way up, over the Lake. I was unaware, but Mark was at this time getting really nervous.
All too soon the plane was at the correct height and the first person did their jump. Mark was second and sent the air blue with many bad words! All he could think about was if his chute was going to open.
I was next! You are shuffled to the edge of the plane, your cameraman is outside pointing at you getting your nervous face! For a second or two you hang outside the plane, then you are off. Oh my god. All those people out there who can only find the words awesome did not help us to prepare for this. The speed you fall at first (150 mile/hour), the cold on your face and hands, & the ground rush are overwhelming.
I was pretty relieved when that chute opened. Then it goes quiet, and you can really take in the view. WOW!
It was at the same time both the scariest, and most exhilarating thing I have ever done.
Mark still hasn't quite recovered. Everyone else was relieved to be back on terra firma, he was still in shock.
Don't worry we have full evidence we did actually do it. Just in case you don't believe us. You'll enjoy my hysterical mid air acrobatics!
That evening we treated ourselves to a few beers/glasses of wine. We needed it. Despite this, we would both recommend everyone give it a go, its "amazing".
The next day we headed out to Tongariro National Park, so see the mountain they used as Mount Doom, and Mordor in Lord of the Rings, before heading on a long drive to Wellington.