I can sum up my weekend with a couple of words, uneventful would be one of them. I stayed in for the majority of the weekend so that I could work on my essay and study for my test. That being said, I don’t have much to talk about other than completing the unfinished story of New Zealand.
Day 7: Boarding.
As you saw a couple posts earlier, I clearly went snowboarding in a country that was NOT Canada or Australia; clearly it was done in New Zealand. Luckily we had received Monster energy drinks the evening before by running into one of the trucks, so that worked well with meat pies to get us up to the mountain by 9 am. We got our rentals figured out for the day and hit the slopes.
Sunny is not the greatest snowboarder, but his skill level increased noticeably throughout the day with some tips here and there. The boarding was really odd, there were no trees on the mountain. In order for there to be snow you need to go pretty high into the mountain range, above the level where there are any trees, so the runs were hard to distinguish from each other. The mountain itself was relatively decent in size, nothing spectacular, excluding the view of course! After five hours of boarding and recording Sunny gave in to the pains that had started to kick in. Given that I was now on my own and there was about an hour until the mountain closed, I knew what I had to do. I bolted down the mountain to the chair lift and went to face the hardest runs they had. There were lots of rocks and rough patches but I had a blast, the mountain was much more challenging than some of the ones found back in Canada.
I eventually decided to give the snow park, my sworn enemy, a go. The park was massive, it was larger than the majority of the ones back at home and some of the boarders were unreal. I managed to hit three boxes and one rail until I screwed up on a really long rail. After falling on a wrist that you previously fractured snowboarding, you typically call it a day, and that’s what I did.
Although this had happened the night before, I forgot to post it in my previous blog. Sunny and I splurged one night on food, treating ourselves to a delicious seafood meal. Along with blue cod and fresh scallops, we had mussels that were easily 3 times (if not more) the size of the biggest mussel I’ve ever seen.
Day 8: Leap Of Faith
I won’t lie, that day was probably the closest I’ve ever come to soiling myself. The morning was really tough on Sunny because his legs were incredibly sore from the boarding. We both had our fair share of complaints to say due to the extensive physical activity that we condensed into a week. Regardless, the day we were so nervous and excited for had arrived. The only physical thing we had to do that day is take a simple jump… off a platform that was suspended over a river in a canyon. The Nevis Bungee is the third highest bungee jump in the world, and we had booked it. The problem was that Sunny felt so sick and sore that he was virtually giving up on the jump before confirming our position. He offered his jump to me, which was reasonable for me; but still I wanted to do it with him, so I could have someone to share the moment with. After a lot of whining he still didn’t want to jump until I asked the lady if I could take the jump that he already paid for. Essentially she said they wre non refundable nor transferrable so I forced him to sign up and I told him that if he needs to give up, he needs to give up once we’re up on the platform. Sunny still insisting that he wasn’t going to jump, agreed to that proposal.
Unfortunately for us, we had a really windy day, which wasn’t helping my cause with Sunny. We harnessed up and head out to the platform, where I asked Sunny if he was going to jump. He said the three letter word that makes most peoples day, and I would say it made mine, but I bungee jumped that day so it would be a lie.
The moment of truth; I got called to get attached to the rope. I had seen a few people bungee and was pretty confident that all would be good, until the wind kicked in. I wish Sunny had uploaded my bungee video by now so that I could link to it, I was told to wait because the wind was too strong, the suspended cabin was moving too much. When you’re about to jump 134 meters, that’s the last thing you want to hear, so you could see me getting more and more nervous in the video. I eventually got told it was alright and didn’t hesitate to jump after the 3 second countdown.
No words can describe the experience that followed.
Later that night we head out to a bar for the “Big Night Out” event, a pub crawl through Queenstowns best bars. We managed to catch the end of the rugby game of NZ vs AU in which the All Blacks won. The night out was awesome, but nothing compared to how happy Sunny and I were, knowing that we jumped that jump and could never explain the rush we experienced.
Day 9: Goodbye Sunny, Pun!
Unfortunately for the travel bug within me, I had a life in Australia to attend and two Sunny’s (the car was called sunny incase you forgot) to say bye to. We still had some gas in the car so we took our last drive to a little reserve to get some shots, one which you see of me jumping over The Remarkables. After that we said our goodbyes, which was pretty hard after having spent so much time and experiences with someone. I drove to the airport to grab my flight.. to Christchurch.
My flight back to Melbourne had a fourteen hour connection in between, making me fend for myself in Christchurch. First thing I did was get as many panphlets I could to see what’s going on. Too bad they were all outdated. For those of you who don’t know, Christchurch is, for lack of a better word, destroyed. Several really crazy earthquakes destroyed the city, closing off most attractions, the downtown area and forcing them to demolish 50% of the buildings that DIDN’T fall, due to severe damage. Out of the airport I walked a little to find an interesting museum about Antartica, so I checked it out for an hour or 2. I saw some live penguin feeding and was exposed to what’s supposed to be an Antartic Snowstorm.
After that I started walking to the downtown area because I had so much time and so little money for transit. I had a great idea to hitchhike and it worked very well, the second car that saw me gave me a ride. The woman gave me a lift straight to the legal boundary of the city that the public can access. I walked around in amazement, but not the good kind of amazement, it was aweful. There were destroyed buildings everywhere, the area around the city seemed so dead, arguably abandonned. Walking around the boundary of the city was devastating to see, it was an eye opening experience because I’ve never visited any sort of post-destruction sites. I travelled with some haste, jogging at intervals, in order to see as much as I could before the sun was gone. I managed to get a lot of “great” shots before the sun went down. I found a grocery store to buy some bread, cold cuts and veggies for my dinner and breakfast for the morning to follow. I went to the only building that was open, unfortunately it is the worst kind of place, where just as many lives can be lost, the Casino. I only had 20 dollars and several hours to kill, so I did what I could at blackjack and wheel of fortune to make my 20 dollars last. Eventually I lost it but I had a good time for the little money I spent. The rest of the night was spent walking / jogging about 10k to the airport, where I slept and flew home in the morning.
Sorry for the lengthy blog, New Zealand was awesome so I had to describe it extensively. Here are some pictures of the days described.
I also apologize for the late-ness of the blog and warn you that I may not blog until next week because I will be travelling around Sydney from Thursday until Tuesday.