Wanaka and sky diving

Once again we were up early to set off for wanaka. Our first stop was at lake matheson near fox glacier as you can get some great shots of mount cook in the reflection. After we grabbed some breakfast from the lovely cafe we set off again.

We stopped again for a picnic lunch where charlie nearly adopted a passing dog. He was very cute and nearly followed us onto the bus, but guy was having none of it!

As soon as we got in to wanaka charlie and I as well as our friend hits had to jump out and meet the sky diving team. We hopped into the back of there can and watched the safety video explaining how everything was going to work. Once we were there we paid and decided if we wanted videos and photos. Then it all happened relatively quickly as I think we were the last jumpers of the day as it was around 4pm. We got into our jump suits met our instructors and film guys and before we knew it we were harnessed and in the plane!

The journey up took much longer than I expected. After about 5mins I thought we were really high and nearly there but we were only about 2,000ft up!! After another 10mins my jump master handed me the oxygen mask as once you get high enough you need to put it on. Another 10mins passed and then my jump master started double checking all the straps and tightening them even more and the next thing I knew the door was open and charlie was gone!! If I’d blinked I would have missed it as you fly out so quick, then we shuffled forward and my lugs were tucked under the plane, my head was pushed back and boom we were out!! The free fall was unreal, it’s a feeling that I don’t think you can even explain!! You don’t even really take in the scenery at first as all you can think about is the fact that your falling!! The 60seconds passed super quick and soon the parachute was up and we were gliding through the air. It was an amazing feeling, you really do feel like your flying! My jump master even let me steer the parachute and we spun round left and right, it was crazy. The view was so amazing, it was possibly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen!! And then sadly we were getting closer to the ground and so it was time to land. I gave the controls back to the jump master and we landed very smoothly. It was the most amazing experience, something that I think everyone should try!!

Once we were all down we got to watch everyone’s videos and laugh at each others faces when we jumped out! As charlie an I brought some special package we got free t-shirts too so we had to pick those out before heading back to our hostel.

Once we were back it was the strangest feeling, it was almost like due to the amount of adrenalin that had been pumping we all crashed out after! We forced ourselves to have dinner an then called it a night as we were exhausted!! Plus tomorrow we would be arriving into queens town and we wanted to save our energy for then!!

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Franz Josef

After last night it’s safe to say I wa rather tired and still couldn’t quite see the funny side yet, so when we stopped at the bushman centre about 5mins after setting off I was again unimpressed! The centre was half cafe half museum in a wooden shake in a field. Aside from this you then had to pay to go into the museum and were being shouted out by some crazy woman if u decided not to go. The people that worked there were unbelievably rude and the seat put a bloody hole in my leggings. I did not enjoy this morning one bit!

Thankfully we soon set off again and our next stop was far more enjoyable/amazing!! We stopped to do a short up hill walk and when we got to the top the view was unreal, you could see right out to the start of the Franz josef glacier. Stunning is an understatement!

After everyone had taken pictures we set back off again and soon arrived into Franz josef town. This was where charlie and I had planned on doing our skydive so we had already been booked in, all we needed to do was turn up. First though, we had also decided to do the glacier hike the next day, so we rushed in and paid for that before heading to the skydive shop.
When we turned up we were bitterly disappointed to discover we couldn’t jump as there plane was being serviced and no one had bothered letting us know. So we grabbed some lunch and I tried cheering charlie up!

After that we headed back to our hostel which was really lovely. And we quickly realised that we would be re-united with some of our group that had gone ahead of us. So we went in search of Caroline, Callum, George, dustin and nick and decided we should have a nice big reunion dinner before heading out. We sent the boys to the super market and they returned with a huge Mexican feast!! Everyone helped out and in no time we had 3huge plates of nachos, chicken fajitas with all the trimmings, it was amazing!! I was actually so full I had to go have a nap before going out!!

That night guy was announcing the winner of the fancy dress competition so everyone was very excited, it was also a beach party theme at the bar we were going to so most people had there costumes on again! Eventually guy announced that I had won!! I was over the moon!! Was a great start to the night and we all ended up getting very drunk, including guy!! George even ended up being stood on a table doing the Harlem shake, it was great!

Sadly the next morning we had to say fair well to the guys again as they set off for wanaka, but we had our Franz josef glacier hike so we weren’t sad for too long! We headed straight down there and got kitted up with boots, trousers, jackets, hats, gloves, the works! After a surprisingly quick safety talk we headed to the heli pad. Our group consisted of charlie and I, helen and dan, Emma and two other couples. We left the two other couples to get the next helicopter and the 5 of us jumped in. Emma and I were sat in the front and we got the most amazing view! The journey was super quick and before we knew it we were standing on the glacier. It was so beautiful. We met our guide who was a crazy ginger kiwi and we started our hike. He showed us the different types of ice and explained that the bluer the ice was the less oxygen there was in it. We stopped at loads of different areas, he took us into ice holes and little caves that had been created. We also went through an ice crevasse that was only just wide enough for us to fit though! Our guide was actually fantastic all be it a little crazy, he knew so much about the glacier and could answer any question you put to him, which was impressive as he only look about the same age as us! We carried on going and every time he spotted something cool he would dart off, check it was safe and then start digging steps in the ice for us to climb up.

After a couple of hours we had actually finished the set route and still had an hour to go so our guide decided to take us off the beaten track and to a cave he had found earlier but hadn’t had time to check out. I was the first person behind our guide and so when we got to this cave he turned round to me and said “if I get stuck, there’s a rope in my bag, chuck it down to me.” it’s safe to say I was fairly terrified!! But he disappeared down this hole into the cave and luckily didn’t get stuck! He decided it was safe enough for everyone to go down and of course I was bloody first in line!! I slid down into this hole and it was unreal!! It dropped down god knows how far but the ice was the bluest thing I’ve ever seen. It was so amazing, a real wow moment! Once everyone who wanted to had gone down and come out safe and sound we carried on to another cave. This one was much larger and open though, very different to the pervious one that in comparison was more like an ice hole! We all went in and took it in turns to look over the edge, again it seemed like it was never ending!

Soon after it was time to head back and hopefully try and do our skydive again. We rushed back and got changed and ran straight over, only to be told again that we couldn’t do it because of the weather. We were told to try again at about 4pm to see if the weather had improved at all but we could already tell it wasn’t going to happen. We went back to the room to start looking at where else we would be able to skydive instead and found out that the next town we were going to, wanaka, we could possibly do it there. We went back at 4 anyway, already knowing what the answer would be as the weather had got even worse. We headed up to the bakery to see if some treats would cheer us up, and then remembered that included in our glacier hike was free access to the hot pools all day, so we headed over there.

There were 3 different man made pools, all different temperatures. It was really nice to chill out there and warm up but we didn’t stay for too long as we were both super hungry! So we went back, had dinner and crashed out after our busy day!

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