Monday, December 1, 2008

Taupo SkyDiving

I finally pulled myself away from Rotorua, ready, now, to venture onwards. I decided that I wanted to do something that's been on my mind for a long long time.

I've always been jealous of birds and the view they had of the world. That unique perspective. I wanted to fly like them, if only for a moment. Understand that world.

So I went to Taupo, the skydiving capital of New Zealand. Taupo sits around the largest lake in New Zealand and it's absolutely beautiful there. It's about a 2 hour bus ride south of Rotorua.

I paid top price in order to have all the perks necessary. I wanted the handicam video (which is a video that is attached to the wrist of your skydiving instructor), the DVD (filmed by a separate jumper), and pictures. Unfortunately, I was not able to upload the video because it didn't work and I know nothing about computers so you'll have to settle for pictures! ( but the video is so much cooler!)

I jumped 15,000 feet, which was about 60 seconds of free falling before the parachute opens.

I didn't feel like I was falling. I felt like I was flying really fast! It was awesome.

You know when you go on a rollercoaster and on the way down, your heart goes into your throat? Well, I didn't feel that at all. I was so excited and only had a split second feeling of anxiety before I was grinning like a fool.
My arms were pulled out that way, the pressure from the fall was so great that I could barely move them!As you can see, I couldn't stop smiling
I look like a duck here with the pressure of the wind pulling my skin back. Or maybe The Joker, from Batman...
Here I managed to put my hand out and hold the photographer's hand. It was hard work!
Yee-hah!It's number one man!
Awesome view of the lake as we're coasting/crashing downwards
Here the parachute is being opened after a minute of freefall.
You can see how we're being pulled upwards.
It pulls you pretty hard man!I couldn't control any of my body parts. But I didn't try either. I was just enjoying being a puppet and just letting things happen.

Here we are landing.
I kept grinning for another couple hours after reaching the ground, completely floored by the experience and understanding why people do this for a living. At first I thought they were adrenaline junkies. And yes, I guess to a certain extent you could say that, but there is a sense of freedom, of being part of the universe that is indescribable and so precious.

Some divers dive up to 20 times in one day and it never gets old. It's pure joy when you're up there.

I don't know if I'll ever have the money to do this again, but if I ever do get a chance, I'll definitely do it again. Don't be afraid, there are so many other things we do on a daily basis that are more dangerous. This is pure freedom.


Tijana said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I kind of liked your connection between not being in control of any part of your body (and not trying to control it either), and "pure freedom." I often experience something similar when I'm just floating (on my back) in the pool: you stop "feeling" your body (of the weight of it), and somehow, you turn into this long exhalation, setting you free. Cool! You seem to be having the time of your life, and I'm envious! (and very happy for you, naturally).

L said...

I'm so happy to hear from you! You've been pretty quiet in your corner though I absolutely love the last two poems you've put up. The one for your birthday and the newest one. You're "real" life must be keeping you busy!

I am having a great time here and soon you will get to see what work I've been up to. It's certainly interesting and different!

p.s. Happy late birthday. I still never remember. I'm terrible...

Tijana said...

Hey, thanks! After a while of writing mostly proselike texts, it seems I'm revisiting my poetry-mode. And yes, I'm a bit busy (end-of-term stuff etc) but the sparsed-out writing comes mostly from the fact that I get most of my inspiration when I'm travelling, soooo... I need to go somewhere soon! (I'm sure you know what I mean; even the smallest change of scenery is so eye-opening!).

By the way, about those Gypsies à la Kiwi... I really like those vans of theirs -- they look like modern-day equivalents of typical Gypsy caravans. But... I'm quite disappointed by the "Gypsies'" "Gypsy" music: it sounds suspiciously like American country music :-)

L said...

I totally agree with the music sounding like country music, but to be honest, I didn't have many expectations about them. After all they are Kiwi gypsies! What could you possibly expect?! When I think of gypsies I think of Romanian gypsies so anything else is just different, you know? I'm just interpreting the word gypsy here for living a freer lifestyle, not bogged down with the pressures of mortgages and steady jobs that most of us seek (as crazy as that sounds). Take that definition and add the cute drum hitting and guitar twanging and there's the Kiwi Gypsy! I think it's cute!

rita said...

Hi have finally gotten my head out of the work I'm having to make up to read your blog and am stunned with pleasure ... you looked so fantastically happy up there drifitng through the sky. I don't know if I would have the nerve to try it but I sort of felt that I was doing it with you. Cherry picking, asparagus picking and then skydiving for dessert... New Zealand seems to be doing it for you. I am so happy. with love Mom

L said...

Thanks mom.

It has been pretty exciting. The past couple of weeks have been quiet, but I'm off on adventure again soon enough!