Falling From Reality

Wanaka Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 10 › view all entries

Another beautiful  day, I woke up feeling refreshed and headed off for Wanaka. Went to town and wandered around a bit. I stopped to use the internet as I was still waiting to see if my visa had gone through and luckily it had.  After the internet I grabbed a coffee and headed to the Wanaka airport. The time was 12:30 and after walking in they told me I was just in time for a 1:00 jump… my timing works out again. I watched a video and chose which jump I was going to do. I chose to jump from 12000 ft giving me a 45 second freefall. I also got my instructor to take a handycam with us to film the jump.

I hopped in the jump suit and harness and met up with the other people jumping. They all seemed so nervous but I felt no amount of nervousness. We all got in the plane and took off. It was nice to see the beautiful area from the sky. The plane was packed full and since I was the last one in the plane it meant I would be the first to jump out. After a 15 minute flight getting to altitude the plane slowed down and the door opened. Now my heart started pumping with anticipation. Again I wouldn’t call it nervousness, I was ready to do it! Since I was jumping tandem, myself and the instructor slid over to the door. I hang my feet over and tuck my head back as I was instructed.

Immediately after I realize I am falling. We were spinning around and I felt very disoriented. As soon I figured out which way was up and down my instructor tapped me on the shoulder. This was the sign to put my arms out. What a rush. I could feel my skin flapping in the wind, an odd sensation. As I fell I made sure to equalize my ears as the pressure changed.  The freefall lasted 45 seconds but it felt like a blink of the eye. My instructor pulled open the shoot and surprisingly it wasn’t as rough as I thought it would be when it slowed us down.

We then had a fun drift down. We made several fast turns that were almost as fun as the freefall. We got 50 ft or so from the ground and I was told to put up my feet for the landing. The landing was very smooth as well. WOW, I skydived! Looking up I could see the rest of our group landing one after the other. All I could think about was wanting to do it again but without being attached to someone.  After landing I waited a 10 or 15 minutes for my video. We all watched it together. It was cool but they put a bunch of lame music to it and I thought the editing wasn’t very good so I asked for the raw files also which they happily gave me.  What a great experience, I will never forget it. After this I made a promise to myself that I will get the training to do a solo jump.

After the jump I headed off towards Dunedin. I passed a place called puzzling world. They had some odd shaped buildings and the leaning tower of Wanaka. I went inside to find a bunch of cool visual illusions. The pictures should speak for themselves. They also had a labrynth that I spent a few minutes in until I decided it wasn’t that much fun so I left.

Overall my impression of Wanaka was very good. Before coming here I had thought of working at treble cone a ski resort close to the town. I think I may come back in a year or so to work on the mountain and live in Wanaka.

Back on the road to Dunedin. I stopped a couple of times for photos and video when I saw the river jetboat rides going. It looked really fun but not worth the money they wanted so I sat and filmed it. Then it was back on the road, for hours and hours. I finally arrived in Dunedin around 10:30 and it was raining. I didn’t feel like setting up the tent so for the first time this trip I found a quiet area along the beach and pulled over to sleep. I passed other campervans doing the same thing so I figured I was safe.  I did wake up the next morning and started to organized everything in the car to get back on the road when a cop drove by stopping to tell the campervans to leave. Luckily my timing worked out again, I was already packed up and hopping into the drivers seat when he drove by me. He just waved, and of course I waved back not sure if he was going to stop.

I went to Dunedin downtown and unfortunately it was still raining and I didn’t really feel like getting soaked so I turned around and headed north. I stopped in timaru where I am now and got a motel room. I was really looking forward to a warm comfortable bed and hot shower. I am going to relax here for the rest of the day. We shall see what comes my way tomorrow.

sirgerald12th says:
OMG! That must have been a thrilling experience. Just reading your blog, I think I felt the same endraneline you had. Great entry! I envy you, I haven't done this before so I guess, I'll have to experience it to know what really feels like free falling from the sky. Great photos too!
Posted on: Mar 15, 2009
shirlan says:
Pity about Dunedin. It's a great place. Timaru is a nice place but not a lot there. We stayed there with friends for a couple of nights.
Posted on: Feb 12, 2009
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