Saturday, 23 May 2009

Adrenalin Rush

So I decided to jump out of an aeroplane. It seems obligatory in NZ. And if you're going to do it, do it properly, so I went for the maximum 15,000 feet, 1 minute of freefall option. Then had a sleepless night, then the Taupo Tandem company maximised my nerves. Long delay before they got the plane organised; a German instructor with poor English, which meant pre-jump nerve-calming banter was out; then it turned out everyone else on the plane was leaping out at 12000 feet, so myself and instructor had it to ourselves for the last 5 minutes before the door opened again, and we took the big leap into the void. It's an out-of-body experience, I still can't quite compute that I did it, it feels like something that happened to someone else. And it went incredibly fast, can't believe the whole thing took a minute, never mind the freefall bit. I'm sure there were some fantastic views (like the one above of Mt Ruapehu, only higher), but I don't remember them, I'm sure I had some sort of conversation with my German after the chute opened, but the only thing I can remember saying is "Woooaaahhh". To misquote Steve Redgrave "If I ever strap one of those things [a German attached to a parachute] on my back again, shoot me". Of course, he did, and I secretly hope that on some subsequent big birthday I feel mad enough to sign up again.

Felt for one other chap who planned to do it the same day. He didn't know until he got there that they have a 100KG limit, he was 104KG, so had to sit in the aerodrome and watch his friends come back sporting the same sort of insane grins I was probably wearing myself an hour later.

Tried to recapture the magic the following day by trying to recapture the magic of childhood. The most exciting thing I did in NZ when I was 12 was the Shotover Jet Boat in Queenstown. In fact, it was better than any roller-coaster, a thumping twisting cascade through rapids, near death collisions with rocks, overhanging trees etc. Taupo has a similar run through several sets of rapids, and - well - ok, so I'm 41 now, it's not quite the same. but still fantastic fun.

But I still draw the line at bungy jumping.

1 comment:

  1. Skydiving's for Wimps - bungy's for real men!