Published: February 1st 2011January 22nd 2011
Franz Josef only has 140 permanent residents. It's tiny.
When we arrived I chilled out in the afternoon where some others went to go kayaking. The weather was glorious so we were all crossing fingers for sunshine the following day for our glacier hike.
That was quite exciting for me as I've never even been skiing or anything, so a walking on thick ice on a mountain was quite a highlight! It was a brilliant experience... can't really describe how. The ice is quite high at points and looks really overwhelming. We had to go through some really tight crevices with high walls next to us, actually made me feel quite claustrophobic.
Before they let you on the hike they ask you if you have heart disease, asthma, diabetes, previous dislocations etc etc. I was wondering why they didn't ask you if your waist line is wider than average due to excessive beer or pie consumption, as a slightly bigger person would definitely have got stuck in those crevices! ;)
When we started it was quite warm and we thought that we wouldn't need the water proof gear as well as hats and gloves that we were provided with. Going up
higher and higher, it did get really cold though. Obviously, you might think. That wasn't because it's generally freezing on the glacier though, air temperature was still fairly high I'd say. It was just cos the weather turned bad on us and it started raining a bit and the wind picked up. It was still bearable though, and I really enjoyed the whole experience!
The next day we went down to Wanaka where I did my SKYDIVE!!! We had to get up really early in the morning and it was extremely chilly. A group of 6 of us were picked up and brought to the airport. Everything went really quickly, lots of people just stick you into suits and harness and before you know it you're up in the air! I wasn't quite as scared or nervous as I thought I would be, but that's probably because of the way that it's all done so quickly.
Three people jumped from 1200ft, then I was the first one to jump out at 15000ft. My heart was beating a tad fast then ;)
The first bit was the best really - jumping out of the plane and doing a flips! Loved
The free fall is what most people obviously enjoy most about a skydive... I didn't really I have to admit. That's because I had massive pressure on my ears and couldn't release it as it's just impossible to attempt a yawn or get your hand to pinch your nose when you're falling down that quickly! My head felt like it wanted to explode and at the same time it was really hard to breathe properly too. Oh and I had to try and smile for the photos!
As bad as it may sound, I was relieved when the tandem jumper released the parachute and we were floating! I could finally breathe, release some pressure of my ears and enjoy the views! My ears were still hurting like mad, but the views were just so stunning and the fact that you're floating in the air quite overwhelming.
It was over far to quickly! Would've loved to swing around in the air a bit longer! Great experience!! :)