Published: March 29th 2008March 16th 2008
shaky hands and faces before our skydive
We left Waitomo at lunch time and headed towards the Tongariro National Park and Taupo which is known as the adventure capital of the North. Along the way we took in the amazing view of the Tongariro and the cone shaped mountain Ngauruhoe which was filmed in the Lord Of The Rings films, recognised as Mount Doom.
When we arrived in Taupo we were overwhelmed by Lake Taupo. At 616 square kilometres, it is the largest lake in Australasia; it is big enough to fit the island of Singapore in! Some say the lake was formed by a giant called Tia; others say it was the scene of the largest volcanic explosions, back around 186 AD, that mankind has recorded. Ancient Chinese and Romans recorded red skies that brought climatic changes to the area.
Today lake Taupo is well known for trout fishing and a lot of people were keen for us to try the locally caught trout. I decided not to overcome my fish fear yet, though.
I did, however, find the lake and area very beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that I decided I needed to see it from a greater height. From about 15,000 feet higher up, to
waiting in fear
be specific. That's when I decided that today was a good day to jump out of a plane. And that I did.
So myself and four of my new friends booked into skydive. At 15,000 feet it is the highest jump you can do in tandem (with someone attached to you). From this height you get one whole minute of freefall, which is the most indredible feeling in the world (and is over far too quickly in my eyes. I would say never do less that 15,000 feet because you lose out on the full freefall experience).
The thing I found most amazing about skydiving was how incredible unscary it is. I desperately wanted to do it and there was no chance that I would have missed out but I did expect to be completely terrified during the plane journey up. Perhaps it was the 'oxygen' they fed you through tubes on the way up... Or most likely it is the decision that you make in your head. You get to a point where you just have to tell yourself you can either completely freak out and question why the hell you would willfully through yourself out of a plane;
or you can remember why you wanted to do it in the first place, how exciting it is and how much adrenaline will be pumping through your body once you've done it. In my opinion it was essential to make this decision early becaue no matter what the adrenaline will come but if you decided to freak out and close your eyes or in anyway take away from an experience that is over too quickly you will regret it.
I decided to rile myself up. I didn't close my eyes for a second, and although the DVD might show a look of absolute terror while about to jump, the rest of it was just pure adrenaline! The best thing about is that you don't even feel like your falling. There isn't that awful sick feeling that you get in your stomach on rollercoasters. It feels much more like floating, as if your flying (very fast, and towards the ground!)
Once the parachute went up, and I'd stopped screaming(!), it was amazingly serene. You really got to take in the view in such an incredible way.
And of course I had Jonny Troll attached to my body!
As soon as I
landed, the first thing we all said to each other was "I want to do it again!"
Experience of a lifetime, everyone should do it!
That evening we celebrated with a toga party... pictures included.
There are more photos below