. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: April 3, 2000

Monday, April 3, 2000
Queenstown, New Zealand
New Zealand's Flag

Map
Queenstown, New Zealand:
Latitude: 45° 2' 16" South
Longitude: 168° 40' 9" East
Altitude: 1357 feet
From Seattle: 8708 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Hotel Esplanade

Map
Today's Travel:
Country: New Zealand
Region: South Island
Start: Queenstown, New Zealand
Stop 1. Pipeline, Skippers Canyon
End:Queenstown, New Zealand
Linear:24 miles
Weather: Mostly Sunny - Cold

Available Photos:

Pipeline Bungie trip Pipeline, Shotover River, Queenstown, New Zealand

Pipeline Bungie trip Pipeline, Shotover River, Queenstown, New Zealand

Pipeline Bungie trip Pipeline, Shotover River, Queenstown, New Zealand

Pipeline Bungie trip Pipeline, Shotover River, Queenstown, New Zealand

Pipeline Bungie trip Pipeline, Shotover River, Queenstown, New Zealand

Pipeline Bungie trip Pipeline, Shotover River, Queenstown, New Zealand

Pipeline Bungie trip Pipeline, Shotover River, Queenstown, New Zealand

Pipeline Bungie trip Pipeline, Shotover River, Queenstown, New Zealand

Pipeline Bungie trip Pipeline, Shotover River, Queenstown, New Zealand

Pipeline Bungie trip Pipeline, Shotover River, Queenstown, New Zealand

Pipeline Bungie trip Pipeline, Shotover River, Queenstown, New Zealand

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

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Map
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 1089
Linear Dist: 210686
Countries Visited: 68
Regions Visited: 257
More stats...
Hotels: 349
Friends / Family: 288
Camping: 121
Hostels: 247
Transit: 70
Other Lodging: 13
Beers: 3848
Hide...

Journal Entry:
Woke up at nine with the intention of paying for my room and then going back to bed. But it was a beautfiul day and I started talking with the receptionist, then in a state of temporary insanity I signed up and paid to go bungy jumping this afternoon. Even worse I signed up for a package that includes the highes bridge jump in New Zealand (340 ft / 102 m), and a flying fox ride, and jet boating. Uh, oh...

Walked into town and took care of some errands: post office, coffee, and found an internet cafe that would let my hook up my H/PC (so I could reload some of the software I lost yesterday). And then went to check in at the bungy place in town.

The ride out was a 4WD track and was excellent. Most of it along a road built by the goldminers cut into the face of a cliff with incredible views and a 400 foot drop off - with no guard rail. At Skipper Canyon we've got a bit of a wait - just long enough to walk out on the bridge, look down, and watch a few other people jump. I did the "flying fox" first - basically just a cable across the canyon that you hang from by a pully. It wasn't teribbly scarey though it was quite spectacular. You don't go very fast, so you just sort of glide over the river 380 feet below.

Then it was time for the jump. There were five of us in the group - I went last. Frankly, I was scared. Jumping off a bridge frightens me, not the hight, not the falling, just the unnatural act of actually letting go. This is something I've wanted to try for a long while, and also something I've been putting off. Now I had to sit on the bridge and think about it as four other people got tied in and jumped off. To make things worse they have you sit in an old dentist chair as they strap your feet together and attatch to the actualy bungy. The guy tying me in did his best to distract me, but it didn't work. Then it was time to duck under the cable and step out on to this plank. It really looked a lot farther on this side of the rail. Then the guys started the countdown from five. It really wasn't until I was falling forward that I knew I was going to do it. As soon as I passed the point of no return (remembering that I can't step forward to catch myself) it was over, I had committed and there was no turning back, so in slow motion (from my perspective) I gave it my all and dove as far out as I could.

The fall itself was interesting, but to quick to really think about. The river aproaching as the bungy started to catch was awefully close, but I could really full the cord starting to pull me back. The first bounce was fun - I twisted around to watch the bridge come back. The rest of the bounces just seemed to force the blood into my head. Likewise as I hung there for a few minutes as they lowered me into the waiting jet boat. I'm glad I did it, it scared the hell out of me, not the fall, but having to step off the bridge. I'm glad I was able to force myself to let go and jump. I don't know if I'll do it again, the jump itself really wasn't that thrilling (I had none of the adrenaline rush that I got when I went skydiving), and I think that now that I know I can do it, that first step wouldn't be that exciting again. (I did later buy the video of me jumping though). Oh and I am glad that I didn't wet my pants.

After we were all on the shore at the bottom of the canyon we strapped on life vests and climbed into a big jet boat for a 16 km ride up, then down the Shotover river. It was fun, some beautiful scenery, some small rapids, and a little bit of a shower, just good fun without being scarey. The drive back was beautiful and we stopped to look at the views (the Remarkables looked great in the afternoon light).

Back in Queenstown I got a bite to eat and hit the internet cafe. I got most of the software I need re-installed, but I can't help but wonder how long until my device dies for good. Went back to the hotel and showered and dressed in warm clothing then headed out to meet the guys I jumped with. Ended up and a few different places and had a great time - there were a lot of people from the Kiwi Experience (a bus tour - one of the other jumpers is traveling with them), and a few other random people that knew people int he group from tramps or elsewhere in NZ. In bed around two - it's been a long day.


Related Sites:
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: New Zealand
CIA World Fact Book: New Zealand

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