10th Sept 2007:
Seeing as it was my last day in the area, I decided it was time to do that crazy activity which the area is renowned for: Bungy Jumping!
I spent last night doing my homework and investigated which of the three available bungy jumps would be the best to do.
The first and original bungy jump is from a bridge over a river. Its 34 metres high and you jump into a canyon down to the water below. This is the most popular of the three.
Next up is the "Nevis" jump which is from a cable car which is suspended between two mountains. This is 120 metres high and requires nerves of steel to perform.
Last up is "The Ledge" which is located in Queenstown itself. You jump from a height of 400 metres down to a platform 57 metres below. This is the most convenient of the three to get to as you can walk there from the main street of the town.
So, which to do? I had my eye on Nevis. I thought I'd check with my fellow travellers though and fortunately some had recently done the Nevis jump. Unfortunately, the comments weren't very inspiring: "Too high to be enjoyable" was the consensus and when asked would they do another bungy jump, most answered that they had been put off the experience by being so scared the first time. Hmmm....
In light of that, I went with option 1, the Bridge. Feeling a little nervous with what I about to commit to, I entered the bungy company's office and gingerly approached the ticket desk. Composing myself, I asked the girl at the desk: "When's the next available time slot today for the Bridge jump?". Once I had asked the question I felt much better: the decision had been made and I was committed.
I was not expecting her answer: "Never!". All I could blurt out in surprise was "Huh?". It turned out that the bridge jump was closed today for "promotional reasons" whatever that entails. All that psyching up was for nought: major bummer. :(
The Ledge jump only occurs in the afternoons so at 8:30 in the morning
I found myself wandering around the streets of Queenstown a little bit lost. Every other shop was closed and none of the other activities jumped out at me: Canyon Swinging, Paragliding, Parasailing and canyon power boating all sounded ok, but they weren't the bridge jump. The nearby Skylift Gondola was open though so I took a ride up the near vertical cable car system upto the viewing complex nearly half a kilometer above Quuenstown.
The skylift complex is also where you can "Luge" down the mountainside. Each Luge cart is a little four wheel push cart and it travels down a concrete track: all you have to do is steer, brake when necessary and hang on(!) Unfortunately, the track was temporarily closed due to icy conditions :( "At least there will be a view", I thought to myself. Sadly, it was cloudy. And then it started snowing.
Shortly afterward I decided I'd leave the adventure activities behind and go back to having fun! The next available ski bus to Coronet Peak left in 10 minutes so I jumped on and went back to showing the beginners how its done on the slopes. I even went back to face my nemeses, the Blue slope where I fell two days ago and went at it again: not a bother this time around and the extra speed/risk with the faster slope made it all even more exciting.
I felt quite sad coming down the blue slope for the last time today as I wasn't ready for it to end. I'll be popping back to Europe for Christmas: Methinks I'll have to look at stopping somewhere on the way (mmm... Whistler in Canada maybe?) for my next ski fix.