Saturday, 27 February 2016

Queenstown; we came, we conquered - it destroyed!

So I’ve not blogged in a while which is bad I know, but we’ve been super busy managing a hostel! So I’ll allow myself this one glitch!

So since I last blogged we visited Queenstown, adventure capital of New Zealand, also home to New Zealand’s best burger joint – FergBerger! We were pretty excited as we had our Canyon Swing booked for the 25th February. We hopped on the Stray bus from Cromwell, stopping off at the AJ Hackett Bungy, Karawau Bridge jump – which is where the Bungy Jump was first invented by a Kiwi, AJ Hackett, and we watched some people jump. I tell you though, watching people do it was the first time in my life I’ve ever wanted to do a jump. It looked so cool, but I’m still not sure I could do one, unless I did a tandem one and someone forced me to go with them, or perhaps the Queenstown ledge bungy where you can get thrown off so you don’t have to jump yourself!

The night we arrived in Queenstown we met up with Guillaume again, it’s becoming a regular occurrence now! And we had a few drinks, we also got our $25 worth of drinks vouchers from Peter Pans, but we were a bit disappointed as it was promoted as ‘free drinks’  but actually it was just $25 worth of discounts, so like 25% off or half price drinks etc. We went into one bar where the voucher looked like it offered a free meal, idiot backpackers we are, didn’t realise it was actually a burger and drink for $25 rather than a voucher worth $25! It was a bloody good burger though, and huge so it was worth spending £50 for a meal! 

The next day was our Canyon Swing, it was a pretty wet and windy day so we didn’t have high hopes for it going ahead but when we got to the check-in they told us it looked ok. It was scheduled for 1pm. Before, we went for a short walk around Queenstown city centre and went for a $10 curry and rice! On the bus on the way there, we were getting pretty nervous, but we hid it by getting to know a few people going – one girl had won a ticket to do every bungy and every swing in New Zealand – however she did chicken out of the highest one The Nevis Bungy at 134m (I think I would too!).
When we got there we were told to check-in but it was on wind-hold (as its so high, its dangerous to operate in high winds), but we only had to wait half an hour before we got to walk along the wobbly bridge of no return! Once we got to the jump platform this is when we really were bricking it! Watching other people swing was probably one of the scariest things about it, as you see them suspended over the ground at 160m, and then they just drop, full force, free-fall, in all their screaming glory towards the ground! It’s a 70m free-fall, 300m arc swing at speeds of 150kmh! We saw around 7 people swing before us – tandem definitely dropped faster than the singles as you have more weight behind you. We were doing it tandem! 

So it came to our turn and we started freaking out, we told the guy we wanted no surprises, we wanted a countdown lol. Two couples had been surprised before – one had been made to put their arms around each other and as they were moving into position he dropped them, another had been made to smile at their friends camera and then dropped – it looked terrifying! They strapped us in, and then the terrifying part came – taking our feet off the platform and being suspended above the ground, waiting to drop! 

On a count of three, after smiling at the cameras, we dropped, it was awesome but breathtaking – I’m not even sure how I even managed to find the air to scream! Pierrick screamed like a girl too (haha), but only on the swing as he was too breathless on the drop. That feeling where your stomach feels like its in your lungs? Well multiply that by 2 (it’s stomach in the head feeling), for at least 3-4 seconds, and that’s how it felt to drop, it was worse than freefalling in a skydive!

After, we had a huge rush of adrenaline and I honestly could have done it again and again! I think next time we are in Queenstown I will do the other Canyon swing where you can chose how you fall (I really want to go down a slide and fall!) That night we got a FergBurger to celebrate – amazing! They are huge and delicious. Pierrick had the Big Al – basically the biggest you can get, and I had the Steak burger – full of juicy tender sirloin steak and onions! 

Then we decided to have a night on the town, where we met up with the couple we had met at the Canyon Swing, Guillaume and also Katrin (a girl we had met on one of our stray journeys from Germany) as she is working in Queenstown. We also saw Kookie (our previous stray driver). We had waaaaay too much to drink...think 2 vodka orange, desperados, half a bottle of wine each, a litre of beer for $10 in Cowboys (best bar ever, it even has a rodeo you can ride), plus shots and other drinks...needless to say, I don’t remember much of the evening and the next day I woke up with THE WORST HANGOVER EVERRRRRRRRR! 

I kid you not, from the moment I woke up at 11am, to the moment we went to bed, I was throwing up – I couldn’t even keep water down! I blame the litre of beer! Pierrick even went to get another Fergburger thinking the grease and a coke would help – which it normally does – nope, I got 3 bites in and up it came! What a waste of a Hawaiian Fergburger! We had to go shopping that evening too, in the pissing rain, while violently hungover, which was NOT fun. As the next day we were leaving for Milford Sound and the place we were staying for 2 nights was in the middle of nowhere. 

Needless to say, Queenstown destroyed me and my liver, and when we next go back, I want to actually see the place and do the walks, rather than just see the toilet bowl! Damn you Cowboys...

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