After a much rough night and sleeping at 4am. I had to wake up at 6am to get ready for what would be one of the most adrenaline pumping days you can imagine. On the circuit for today was:
1. World's highest Cliff Jump and Canjyon Swings (x2)
2. Australasia's Highest Bunjy Jump
3. World's Highest Swing
As I looked out the window I couldn't ahve asked for a better day. The sun was finally shining, clouds were scarce in teh sky, only a few stratus clouds. And it was HOT!!!
Running off 2 hours of sleep I was doing surprisingly well this morning. I reckon it was probably because I was so excited about the heaps of things I was going to be doing. After my normal morning toast with jam I headed back to my room and packed for the trip. I then met up with some of the other contiki-ers and took the 25 minute walk downhill along the lake to the city of Queenstown and the Cliff Jump/Canyon Swing office.
At the office they showed us some of the different ways you could jump
-The Chair - where you are strapped to a plastic chair
- The elvis cutaway - where you hang with your back to the bottom off the ledge and then they just pull a pin and you drop
- Backwards - where you jump off backwards
- Run and Jump off the ledge however you wish
- Bin Laden - Where you get a garbage bin put on your head and you're thrown off
- Gimp Boy Goes to Hollywood - where you have an odd teddy bear and you hang upside down off the ledge, staring down into the abyss and are at the mercy of the jumpmasters as to when they will pull the pin.
There were sevearl more ones, equally as crazy.
To get to the canyon swing we had to take this small van like car and drove on some dodgy dirt roads along the edge of the mountains to get to this small dirt parking lot in the middle of all these cliffs where there was a single shack. That shack was the restroom that had a sign that said "P with Mr. T." We then had to trek along the mountainside to the jump platform located further in. Looking over the edge you could see a flowing river below and just a sheer cliff drop.
I had gone with a group of 4 of us jumping so we all geared up and got harnessed. We all went out on to the platform and were asked what positions we were going to do. The first guy did the chair. And the jumpmaster recommended I do backward if I've never done it before. The best thing about this place is that the jumpmasters just f*ck with your head the whole time. As they strap you in they are going.. "oo shit is that right," "I think something's wrong," "hey Joe come over here and check this out what am I doing wrong?" And then they hook you up and you are standing at the edge and they push you out to hang off the ledge to take some pictures. And then they proceed to just talk to you about the randomest things. I had a discussion with them about MDMA and fantasy and how cool it would be if we put those in an inhaler (since I work for an inhaler company) vs using tablets. They were talking about how easy it would be. (Now at this point i have seen a video of them previously where as they were talking to a bloke one of the jumpmasters just kicked the guy right off the platform!!) So as we're talking one of the guys is holding my harness and everytime he lets go of it I can feel my legs trembling waiting for a kick or shove or something to happen. Finally he's like see ya GO and then i just jump backwards.
The feeling of jumping backwards and seeing the platform fall away from you is AMAZING! I loved the feeling way more than facing down where you see the floor coming at you. It's almost like a ooo shit I fell off feeling. Versus a "I jumped off feeling." If that makes any sense. The free wall into the swing was awesome. And then after you are just hanging out there in the middle of this canyon looking at the river flowing and all the trees. Back on top I realized that my fingers were tingling. All the blood had left my hands and my legs were trembling. The guy on top was laughing and said it was because when you get shit scared like that off dying all the blood rushes to your vital organs. And thats exactly what happened, I was shit scared on that drop haha. One of the best feelings ever!
After that amazing jump I couldn't say no to a second jump, since we were given the option to be able to do a second jump for only $40 more. This time i did the Gimp Boy Goes to Hollywood. I choose the Butthole Bob teddy bear, which looked like it had electrical tape to simulate a SnM outfit and at the bum was a giant sticked open butthole. I got strapped in an again they were messing with me. I was finally hooked in and they made me sit down and pushed me off the ledge. At this point I am lying with my back facing down the cliff. (Again they do mess with you as they can pull the pin at any moment) So here I am with my back to the bottom, one of the jumpmasters has his hand on the pin and the other is telling me to kick my legs up to get into position. I throw my legs up and wrap them around the rope above my head. They then throw the teddy bear, which is strapped to my harness as well, between my legs, and tell me to let go of the rope and reach down. I do all this pretty slowly waiting for that pin to be pulled. As i get into position the guy tells me thrust your hips, bring them up, come on get straight. Just as I get the full position I take a look down and know that I am ready for this. The jump master goes ok. FIVE! Four! Three! ------AHHHHHHHHHHHH!! And off I go. So much for two and one. When he started counting I figured ok they are going to be nice to me as they did to the guy before me. They counted down to 1 and then pulled it. So i was starting to relax ok , 5, 4, 3,-- oo shit! wth! Again AMAZING. Although the backwards jump was still by far the scarriest and more epic.
I bought both the videos and pictures so you guys can all take a look at them when I get back home. After the canyon swings we headed back up to the shotty van and back into town. I grabbed another Fergburger with one of the guys from the tour who was going to be doign the bunjy as well. We had a couple hours to kill before our bunjy jump. I grabbed the Bambi Burger (which was deer meat. yea right who would have guessed a burger called Bambi was made of deer?)
After lunch we met up with a bunch of other people on the tour and just took a seat at a random corner of the city on the sidewalk as we talked about our morning adventures and what we had next. We were all heading out to the Nervis to do the Bunjy and Swing later that afternoon. And most of us had either done the canyon swing that morning, or gone skydiving that morning. After sitting oln this curb for a good hour we headed over to the bunjy office and signed in for the next segment of adrenaline rushes.
At the office we had some downtime and they had computers so I put in a blog entry for the Day trip to milford sound and then made sure to empty my bodily fluids and such before hopping on the bus just to be safe. The bus ride to the Nervis Bunjy and Swing site was about 40 mintues away. Again we had to take a dirt road up a very steep cliff and it looked like we weren't going to make it. But finally after many a turns and steep inclines we pulled up to office and could see the Nervis Bunjy and the World's Highest Swing.
We checked in again, got reweighed and then got geared and harnessed up again. Now the Nervis Bunjy is this little box that is hanging between wires sitting in the middle of this giant canyon. To get to this jump box you have to take an open gondola like thing where you stand. You can only fit 5 people in this carriage and we had 7 so there were 2 waves of transferring over to the jump box. I was on the first wave. e get to the box and some of the floor is see through. Looking down you can just see the river flowing below which looks just Oh so far away! We had to sit on this seat, which was also glass and seethrough while they put on our ankle harnesses. Remember this jump box is suspended by wirres hanging in the middle of this canyon and with wind and movement in the box the jump box would sway or move. Little unnerving. In fact I was pretty intimidated. Slowly, slowly we all jumped to our fates. One of the mates, Tom was looking real pale and scared. He got strapped in and was standing on the edge. We all cheered him on giving him some good confidence. As he jumped, we all looked through the glass and could see him fall, and fall, and keep falling! finally he rebounded and on the bounce up you could see his face light up like a little kid getting ice cream on a hot sunny day, as he clenched his fists and thrusted his arms in the air over and over screaming in utter ecstasy.
Then I was up. I got strapped in and hopped to the edge. But before I got up from the strapping chair they told me that once I get to the bottom on the second bounce I have to pull some red cord located near my feet to release the bunjy from my ankles and get pulled up from the harness attached to my chest. Basically so I won't get pulled up upside down the entire time with all the blood rushing to my face.
As you are standing at the edge they throw the inital part of the bunjy off the edge at which moment you feel a small tug on your feet. That tug signals you are ready to jump. And then the countdown. Now this one is different than the cliff jump/canyon swing, because tehy count you down and you have to jump. So here they go 5, 4, 3, 2, and I just went! Didn't even wait for 1, didn't want to think about it. No hesitation and OFF! What an awesome feeling. Number 3 adrenaline rush of the day COMPLETE!
After the jumps we all headed back via the small carriage and then checked in againf or the swing and walked over the to the swing platform. The swing platform was hanging off the edge of the cliff and there was a suspension bridge you had to walk across to get to the platform. Once at the platform there was music blaring and people getting ready for the swing. We were all so hyped on adrenaline we were dancing on the platform and on teh stairs of the platform which had a viewing deck to watch people going on the swing. We then harnessed up AGAIN. I spent a lot of this day in a harness. These guys joked a little more than the Nervis Bunjy Jump but not as much as the conyon swing guys. He asked me which way i wanted to do the swing and I said backwards. He then proceeded to prod me saying backwards and upside down? (Now i did the canyon swing both ways and the backwards feeling was much better in my mind than the upside down one) So I said no just backwards, I like it better. He then decided to antagonize me saying "Chicken" and subsequently I heard loud what I assumed were attemped chicken noises from all the guys and gals in my group. I laughed at their attempts of chicken noises and stuck to my guts.
I got hooked in and I was standing on the platform and all of a sudden the guy just shoves me off! and BOOM I fell into a seated position but not off the ledge. Definitely caught me off gaurd and everyone laughed, as I'm sure my face showed a little bit of WHAT! OO CRAP! There are hydrolics that lift you up and lock you into a locking device suspended above the canyon just hanging. The workers than told me, OK if you are doing it backwards you cannot hold the swing at all! Hands OUT!! Don't be a p*ssy! Sure enough I through them out, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. Looked over at the first camera, made my face, second camera... smile. Looked back over at my group of friends. They were cheering me on taking pictures. Again the guy said, Remember don't grab the swing AT ALL! We are watching you. Of which I replied. No problem. I looked over at the group again and gave them a goodbye kiss and just as I was finishing that motion... CLICK! And off I was. I was definitely caught off gaurd and by the pictures, it is pretty obvious that I wasn't expecting that.
As I threw my hands back I also ended up throwing my head back and sure enough as I fell I flipped around on the swing and after a few seconds of freefalling backwards was not falling upside down. After the swing again you are just hanging out in the middle of this canyon with all the beautiful scenery. Definitely an awesome feeling. After all our swings we headed back across the bridge and into teh shop to pick up our pics and vids. And then hopped back onto the bus back into town.
When we got back into town we flagged a cab, went back to the hotel and had a little time to change and get ready for a group dinner. After getting ready we all hopped into teh Conitiki bus and headed down to grab some pizza. The pizza was really good surprisingly.
After dinner several people went back to the rooms to freshen up for the night, while a small group of us say 7 of us headed to a bar nearby called Cowboys.
I have to hand it to them Cowboys did a pretty awesome job of sticking to their theme. The bar stools were actually horse saddles, revolvers indicated the beer taps, and the bartenders were wearing cowboy/cowgirl hats. And in the corner they had a mechanical bull. We all grabbed a few drinks (beers were $3 a pop) and just started drinking. We found a game called shuffleboard and commandeered the game with our group and had a good amount of fun. A few of us took up the mechanical bull. With my back issues I opted out and reckoned it would be better. At some point the $3 beers hour got over and when I went back to the bar I ended up ordered a liter of beer somehow. Coming back to the shuffleboard table, everyones eyes were popping out saying WHAT in the WORLD that is HUGE! (yea I know that's whay she said). After several beers most of the gruop headed out to a different bar called "Altitude." Tom, Mark, and Myself stayed to finish up our brews.
After our brews we decied to make a quick stop at The World Bar, which was known for these teapots. Basically the fill these teapots with drinks like AMF, or Long Island ice tea, and you just down them (granted these teapots are bigger than a single drink). So we left Cowboys and headed to The World Bar. An Aussie, a Canadian, and an American walk into World Bar and within 4 minutes walk back out finishing a teapot each. We then lets say walked over to Altitude, where we were greeting by the horrible screams of drunk people trying to sing Karaoke. The trhee of us weren't really feeling like karaoke, so after a quick drink with the group we decided to head out and go back to a bar we went to previously the night before "Buffalos." We had these wristbands for Buffalos from being on Contiki which gave us two drinks for the price of one. And so we decided to take advantage of that and downed a few there, grabbing some nachos to fill the bellys.
After Buffalos we figrued we'd go back to the World Bar since they had a live band there. As we pulled up the bouncer asked for IDs. Mark and I got stamped and were about to head in when the bouncer asked Tom where we came from. Now being in Queenstown for all of only 2 nights so far we all had to really think of which bar we came from especially since we had been hoping around. Mark looked down at his wrist and said oo Buffalos after a few seconds of silence and uhhms. Tom then quickly repeated yea Buffalos. And just like that we were told we can't come in. So in disgust we decided to go find another bar and on the way found a casino.
Now usually a casino at this stage of the night can be quite dangerous but after some dirnks and some blackjack we came out on top! Oo yea! With our beer funds replenished we headed back to the World Bar and this time no questions asked were let in. And instantly headed to the bar for another Teapot Debauchery. Soon after we found ourselves with the rest of our group, who had happened to also make their way to The World bar. We were all just enjoying the good music.
Throughout the night, Mark had mentinoed that we could just walk back to the hotel after the night was over, which Tom and I were vehemently against. The walk was a good 35 minute walk up a steep hill! After a little while at The World Bar, Tom and I realized that Mark had disappeared. And figured oo man this bloke decided to walk it back. Even though a few other blokes had told us everyone was moving to another drum n base bar, since the live band at the World bar was not done, we decided to opt out and try and find a taxi to pick up Mark on the way up. Tom and I headed out grabbed a cab and like hawks we scanned the sidewalks on the way up to the hotel. However, there was no luck and when we got back Tom went a banging on Mark's door. (Mark's fiance was also in the room). I don't think we ever got a response and then decided he'd be ok before hitting the sack. Tomorrow was an early morning 7am start on the bus. ughhhh.
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