Freeeeeeee Freefalling.

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Freeeeeeee Freefalling.

Updated 8 years, 6 months ago

We scrambled to the airport to head to NZ... Luca managed not to throw his passport in the bin this time... and we jumped on our plane... then we had to watch the worst film in the history of the world... 'Last Holiday' with Queen Latifah... Honestly, if you're ever given the chance to watch it, politely decline with the comment that you'd rather castrate yourself with rusting cheese wire...

Then we were in New Zealand! Had a few nights in Auckland where we met up with Jo, Luca's ex, and she showed us what the nightlife had to offer... battered... Drinking some shitty girl's shot of Midori and Baileys... then out came the flaming Sambucas... As Luca mentioned, they don't do it over here, so it's like we're celebrities...

After this we moved down to Taupo, and this happened...

I awoke this morning on a beautiful, crisp New Zealand day. The sky was blue, the sun was shining and the brids were singing in the shadows of the hills that surround my hostel...

A mini-van pulled up outside my hostel and I jumped in the back, ready to take on the world...

I arrived at a large field just outside the town where I'm staying and a little bit of poo proceeded to freefall down my trouser leg... Bugger, I really hadn't thought this through at all...

A big foreigner introduces himself to me, and informs me that I'll be throwing myself out of a perfectly good aeroplane with him strapped to my back this morning... Good.

Before I can protest I'm bundled into a jumpsuit and harnessed up by hundreds of little straps, each determined to crunch my testicles that little bit further into the base of my spine... Then I'm informed that it's time to go...

"What?? No safety briefing? No video? No crash-test-dummy demonstration??"... Bugger.

Suddenly I'm in a plane, soaring upwards with the huge foreigner muttering something about arm signals in my ear... Fuck your arm signals, sunshine... put me back on the ground...

The door opens and two off my fellow passengers are hurled unceremoneously from the plane... Shit, I'm next... Bugger, Bugger, Bugger... Then the door closes...

"That was 12000ft... You are going to 15000..."... Oh, Good...

The plane lurches into a gravity-defying climb as we reach the 3 mile-above-the-earth mark... Shit, this is high... I'm in a place where even birds don't dare to come, and you want me to jump..??

The door opens once again, and I suddenly realise that I'm the first one there... That's right, it's down to me to lead my fellow travellers with a display of pure courage, valour, and leadership... I would have pulled it off too if it wasn't for the tell-tale sounds emanating from my trousers...

Suddenly it's all happening, I'm peering out of the door down towards my impending death... it's the only time I've ever been grateful to feel a man's warm breath on the back of my neck.... and then...

The wind is whipping my cheeks so hard that I look like Harold Bishop on a power-walk... the world is spinning below me... some crazy camera woman is sticking her camera in my face... I'm telling her exactly where I'm going to insert it when we land.. and the bloody foreigner strapped to my back is laughing...

Everything is tumbling and rolling and I have no clue where I am... and then we stabilise... and things actually get quite cool... Don't get me wrong, I'm still plummeting at 200kph towards the earth... but there's so much to see... It's such an experience, a whole minute of falling like a stone... free as a bird until...

The parachute is pulled... I'm wrenched to a halt... By my balls... that harness might have been keeping me attached, but I'm sure they could find a better way of slowing someone from 200kph to next to nothing than by indirect castration...

But look at that view... The curvature of the earth is on the horizon, everything is silent... There's a huge lake below me, rolling out into the horizon... I can see Mount Doom (yes, the real thing) off to my left... This is possibly the most serene experience in my lifeeeee... whaaaaat are you doing?!!

"We haf fun now"... my crazy foreign friend informs me, as he puts us into a spin, rolling round and round like some dog chasing its tail... except the only thing I'm going to be chasing is my breakfast...

Then we're gliding again... Floating towards the ground again until I'm told to lift up my legs for "entry to ground"... Now usually I wouldn't be overly enthused about lifting my legs for any kind of entry from some huge foreign bloke, but in this case I made an exception and we touched down...

It was official... I'd jumped out of a plane and survived! I was back on the ground... pumping with adrenaline and elation after falling over two miles in a single minute, and then being dragged through the other mile by a glorified bedsheet... But I was alive... and damn it felt good!

Now, where was that bloody camera-woman?...

After this bizarre experience we rented ourselves a car, and off we've travelled across the vast expanses of New Zealand...

We arrived in Rotorua, the quietest of quiet towns since Quietville last won the annual 'Silent Town' awards... Yeah, that's right, THAT quiet...

Anyway, we had a job to do here... A job that would strike fear into the hearts of most men... We had to negotiate our way through some grade 4+ rapids... "Rafting?!" I hear you cry... "how gay"... and you'd be right... except we had to go down the slippery bastard on a sledge!

Zipping over rocks and crashing into cliff faces, I was hurled down some seriously strong rapids on what was ultimately a kids swimming float... I got very wet, very cold and very hit by rocks, but I took it like a man! What made matters worse was that our very cute instructor girl was zipping along, steering the bloody thing! Now how can anyone steer a bit of plastic through grade 4 rapids?? It was beyond me but it was a tremendous amount of fun anyway! Even when we were being screamed at to turn our sledges... which culminated with me screaming back something alongs the lines of "you f**king turn it... I'm off this way"... before crashing spectacularly into a rock... I started to turn it after that...

Since then, we made our way down to Wellington.. where me and Fella, both fantastic chefs, made our way to the 'Good Food Show New Zealand'...This was great, until I realised that every winery in NZ was also there... That's right, after around 150 little swigs of decent Pinot, I was utterly shitfaced, talking utter bollocks with quite knowledgeable vinters about how Baron Romero isn't as bad as some wines... (those of you who haven't ever experienced this wonder wine, i suggest you give it a go before they ban it)...

The next day with a wonder hangover, we were due to make our way to the ferry to head to the South island... I jumped in the car... turned the key... and... nothing. Bugger.

We made our ferry with literally seconds to spare after getting a jump start, and now we're on the South island! We stayed at two places on the west coast... one called Greymouth, the other was Westport... They made Rotarua look lively... They were the kind of places you hear about on the news... "he grew up in a quiet town; no-one would have ever known he would turn out to be a monster..." ... one question.. How?? These people were so inbred I actually felt that I couldn't make jokes about it... real sickening stuff! "She be my mother and my wifey" kind of town...

Anyway, we moved on to Franz Josef and yesterday I climbed a glacier using two hand-held pick axes, and some spikey shoes! I tell you, when you're twenty meters above the ice, up a wall of ice, surrounded by ice, about to climb upside-down over an ice overhang... You start to question why you do these things...

Otherthan that, I´ve been horse riding through the Misty Mountains and Isengard... on a horse that was actually used in Lord of the Rings... Just call me Strider!

Went on a luge down a concrete track... although when I think of the luge, I think ´the only sport you can still do when you´re dead´... this was slightly different, it was more of a go kart, and you actually had to steer it... but still pretty good fun!

Then we met up with the Essex girls once again (there´s now five of them) and we headed up to the Bay of Islands after a big night out in Auckland... Our driver was officially the worst driver in the world, ever. It was the new addition to the group, Emma, who drove, and unfortunately she is incapable of talking to other people in the car and watching the road... hence nearly dying at least once ever ten minutes for the duration of the trip...

We did have a massive karaoke session to Westlife´s Greatest Hits though, so it wasn´t all bad!

Arrived in the Bay of Islands and rented an apartment from some woman who really wasn´t happy about letting it to backpackers, but we convinced her with stories of just how nice and respectable we are and not at all like those drunken, culturally unaware backpackers...

So we settled down to a nice, cultural evening and after numerous bottles of wine and beers, the house was suitably decimated...Luca was setting fire to his beard, the girls were heartily singing Disney songs at 4am, and I was in a dress having my nails painted black... our clothes were everwhere... I swear we´ve all got little tags on our bags that make them explode the second we enter wherever we´re staying... Good.

Spent most of our time in the islands with Becky (the leper) and Emma (´sings Westlife into a hairbrush whilst staring in the rear-view mirror and wonders why nearly get hit by trucks´) and when we arrived back in Auckland after six days we realised that me and Fella had spent a grand total of 45minutes apart from them the whole time we were there... and most of that 45 mins was spent sat on the toilet shouting to each other... An amusing few days to say the least!

Well, that brings us back to Auckland, our last night ended up with seven people in a twin room, and then we headed to the airport...


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