Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wrote this a couple of days ago, but just now got dem internets. 

So I’ve been here another couple of days and I’ve done a couple more awesome things.

Dart River Jet Boat/Canoe: With another group of strangers, I hopped on a jet boat for a ride up the Dart River. Firstly it was gorgeous. The mountains, the water, everything was wonderful. However it was pretty cold. It’s almost winter here, and flying up a river isn’t the best way to keep warm. But the boat did have heated hand rails, an absurd yet wonderful invention.
Lemme tell you Jet boats are cool machines. Using a high powered inboard motor, the hydroplane on around 6 to 10 cm of water, gliding on things that not even canoes could traverse on. The engineer in me loved this. Plus they can do spins.
After we finished the jetboat ride, we blew up ‘Funyaks’ which are just inflatable canoes and floated down the river, getting stuck a couple of times on the shallow floor that the jetboat didn’t have any problem with. Solid day. 
A couple of pics:

Hauling the Canoes up to the canyon 

In the canyon

This morning I woke up, ate some brekky, and went to the gondola to ride up so I could bungee (spelled bungy in NZ). Of course the gondola was broken due to power surges. Immediately I remember the words “nontransferable and nonrefundable” so I set out to hike up the mountain. Sigh. I like hiking, just not on a time schedule. But I booked it up the mountain and then went and bungeed.
Bungee jumping was nuts. I jumped with a harness, not the ankle straps, so I got a running start and dove way out over the valley. The 3 or 4 seconds of free fall got that crazy feeling that feels something like “shoot, I’m dead” but then you are just bouncing around and it is wonderful. I went ahead and jumped a second time, this time leaning backwards and falling blindly. It was even more thrilling, and was sooo much fun. It was easily the most thrilling thing I have ever done. Here’s some pictures.
Long way from home 


Unrelated to New Zealand, Terry Pratchet is a great author. Also, C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce is an excellent book, bringing up some excellent points about nature and making some statements about heaven and hell. I still don’t know completely what I think. Finally, I am out of books to read for the last two days of my trip…

Finally, Needtobreathe has won the title of official band of my trip. Huzzah!

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