Going to keep this one relatively short in the interest of finals this upcoming week, but what an awesome break! Erin, Thomas, and his friend Alex showed up with Katie in tow which was a total surprise. We hung out in Dunedin and checked out Tunnel Beach, Sandfly Bay (plenty of cute seals + sea lions), a Rugby game (go highlanders), and made some delicious meals. On Sunday we headed out for a 3.5 hour drive to Queenstown. What a luxury the rental car was compared to Peggy! We had a GPS, roomy seats, and plenty of storage space. This was the first time all semester that I didn’t need to dread playing tetris with the different bags in the trunk. After completing the Ben Lomond track in Queenstown (7 hour round trip!) we feasted on Fergberger yet again. We camped out near Moke lake for two nights, and stayed in a hostel in town for the next two. We spent a lot of time on the marina, doing a cruise around Lake Wakapitu and eating way too much good food.
We hadn’t originally anticipated on spending so much time in Queenstown, but we were having such a blast that we weren’t quite ready to leave. Thomas and I went bungee jumping (440 feet!) which was BY FAR the coolest thing I’ve ever done. At least top three. Here’s a video of the jump. Sorry for the excessive amount of chins + childish giggles but free-falling makes people do weird things.
The next morning, all five of us (Shea sibs + Alex) went skydiving. After being strapped onto our respective “sky gurus” or some other funky title implying a skydiving professional, we were ready to go. Of course, not without our full green jumpsuits, gloves, and strange padded hats. Katie, Erin, and I were the second group to go. After about 5 minutes of flying and epic mountain ranges later, I was sure we’d reached the right altitude, but my guide pointed at his altitude watch (yeah, those exist) and said that we weren’t even a third of the way there. We could already see both coasts of the island, both the Tasman Sea and the South Pacific. Once we finally reached 15,000 feet and a couple dozen degrees cooler, we were quite literally, thrown out of the plane. The coolest part of the whole experience was the three or four seconds when you and the guide are spinning around, before you get a chance to get your hands and legs reached out. There was a 65 second free-fall until the parachute, at which point if your breath wasn’t already taken away by the lack of oxygen, the views will do it.
Next weekend we’re planning on doing a hike with our packs, all full of food + our sleeping gear. We’re staying in huts, apparently one that has natural hot springs on the premise! In the meantime, I’ll be studying like crazy and compensating for the complete lack of academic motivation all break. Hope everyone’s doing well at home!