Monday, 5 November 2012

Queenstown Weekend

Finally! Most of my friends had spent at least one weekend in Queenstown (the adventure sport capital of the South Island) by half-way through the semester, but I just made it this past weekend. Although I stopped in the town twice before for a short time, I never really experienced it until this weekend.

scenic lookout point on the way to Queentown
I drove up with my friends Daniel and Anna, and met up with Audrey and Thomas once we got there. We quickly stopped in at Fergburger for a late lunch before walking down to the lake for a bit. We then checked in at Nomads Hostel, which is very nice - it has a sauna, which the girls and I quickly took advantage of, and serves free dinner every night for the guests! We hung out at the hostel during the evening, played cards, and even got into a political discussion with one of the kiwi employees!

beautiful mountains surrounding the town
That night we went out to several bars - we started at an Irish bar that had some live music, then headed over to Winnie's (a gourmet pizza restaurant by day), and finally stopped at a cowboy bar (complete with saddle seats and a mechanical bull). Our last stop of the night was, of course, Fergburger! I had the best onion rings (plus aioli) I've ever had in my life!

The next morning was the highlight of the trip. Daniel, Thomas and I signed up to go bungy jumping at Nevis, New Zealand's highest bungy (at a height of 134 meters!). After an anxiety-filled bus ride, we finally made it up to the mountain, where we were fitted for harnesses and sent in a cable cart out to the bungy site. One at a time, we put on ankle cuffs, got strapped into the bungy equipment, and waddled out onto the ledge before jumping. Standing on that ledge in the few seconds before the jump was the most terrifying experience of my life. There was a moment of doubt that my mind would be able to overcome its survival instincts and hurl me off of a cliff attached only to a small cord, but when the time came, I leaped off with no hesitation. And let me tell you, that 8.5 second freefall was the most exciting 8.5 seconds of my life!

the cable cart on the way out to the bungy station

Thomas, me, and Daniel on the bungy station (photo courtesy of Daniel Solway)

getting strapped onto the bungy cord
I failed at pulling the cord to release my feet and had to come up upside-down. Whoops!
And finally, enjoy a (somewhat shaky, sorry!) video of my jump!
 

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