Home > Uncategorized > Day 4: Bungy Jumping! (…ish)

Day 4: Bungy Jumping! (…ish)

Although we went to bed sleeping in the tent overnight, we didn’t stay there the whole night. The wind, which is notoriously bad in New Zealand to begin with, was particularly bad in Kinloch. We were right on the lake, in between two sets of mountains, with only a few small trees to block wind. Basically, no blockage at all.

So with the wind whipping like crazy, and only getting worse as the night went on, Lena was having trouble sleeping. (I, of course, slept like a baby and barely heard anything; I’m a pretty solid sleeper once I fall asleep.) In any case, we ended up moving to the car, where we slept pretty solid the rest of the night.

Got up decently early, but were still mostly in the dark since the mountains blocked most of the light. It’s pretty funny–throughout the rest of New Zealand, the sun rises around 7:00am and sets at 8:30pm. Here, though, the sun didn’t make it over the mountains until 9:00am and was back behind them around 6:30pm, a good two hours off your day in either direction. (I mean, the sky would still be light, but you didn’t actually get to feel the sun until much later.)

We picked up breakfast at the little lodge near our campsite (just an English muffin egg sandwich and coffee) and drove back the hour-ish to Queenstown. We wandered around for a little bit, spending a little time in the Internet cafe and just wasting time until our 12:00 appointment at the Sky Swing.

We took the gondola up the mountain the 450m to the top. There were lookouts, bungy jumping, sky swinging, a luge track, and more. We walked around and took some pictures, just wasting more time. It was finally just about noon, and we went to go get set up.

The Sky Swing isn’t quite bungy jumping, but it’s not quite just a swing, either. You get hooked into a harness and lowered down a line so you’re dangling in mid-air. Then, when, you’re ready, you pull a pin and WHOOSH! down you fly. It’s a freefall for a second or two, and then you arc out just like a swing, but on a huge radius. You swing for a few seconds before getting pulled back up. It was lots of fun. I will admit, I did scream my head off, though I didn’t expect to at all. Judging from my smile in the pictures, though, I had an absolute blast.

Walking back from the Sky Swing, we looked up and saw Ben, John, and Ritu, three of our friends from back at VUW who also came from Penn State. We had no idea that they were even on the South Island, let alone in Queenstown. It was absolutely mind-blowing to run into them there. (I forgot to mention it earlier, but we also ran into a British couple on the ferry that we had sat next to on the plane over here.) Small world. Or country. Whatever.

We spent a few more hours wandering around Queenstown, getting some food and taking pictures. I really liked the area. Had that small town feel (since it was a small town, population of only 20,000 or less). I spent about 30 minutes listening to a guitar player near the harbor while eating ice cream. He cause my attention playing “Wonderwall” by Oasis and continued his trend of 90s music. Breaking from this, he finished off with Don Henley’s “American Pie,” took a bow, and walked away.

Around 4:00pm, we hopped in the car and drove off towards Mt. Cook, the biggest mountain in New Zealand. The land around here was much flatter than what we were used to before, and also a lot drier. Instead of the green vegetation we were used to, we even passed through some desert-like areas, almost entirely rock and sand.

Anyway, we got to Mount Cook, which is absolutely spectacular. We parked our car in the campsite and went off on a short hike before it got dark. The hike consisted of me jumping between boulders, both of us walking across a one-person sided bridge that felt as though it would fall into the river at any second, and fighting torrential wind that was stronger than any other wind I’ve ever felt. (And that includes the wind on the whale watching boat in Boston, which Dave Chen would agree was quite strong.) Sadly, I didn’t really get any pictures because it was getting dark and I didn’t feel like carrying my camera.

We got back, set up our car to sleep in (being smart enough to cover the windows with towels, etc. so bugs didn’t get in), ate a quick dinner, and went to sleep.

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