One thing I forgot to mention re yesterdays skydive is that another one of the effects of altitude is a massive expulsion of air and I am not saying burping. Anyhow in retrospect I think this is why Eduardo disappeared so quickly and the lovely Alex was shade of green by the time he hit earth. While hiking today I was going over the scenario of the dive and definitely think that Eduardo’s acceleration to earth at greater than the speed of gravity was more than likely assisted by Mul leaving a blaster with both the fright and the altitude. Anyhow you will be delighted to hear that my left ear is back to normal audible function.. It only took 7 hours but it popped back in the local “New World” Supermarket chain.. I know it was there cause I was able to hear the latest bargains on offer over the tannoy! Hence why two more x 3 litres of wine were purchased.
A little bit of advice for those thinking of doing a sky dive is to take the rest of the day off afterwards. I was on a bit of a parallel plain for several hours and it was probably not the wisest time to go to wait for it..... Puzzle World... a brill little place with a human maze. Well it was prob a not a good idea at all and I should have known I was not exactly with it when I could not find my way into the maze!!! I gave the assistants much glee as I passed through the shop for the third time trying to find the entrance...Anyhow one of the lovely girls took pity and pointed me in the right direction probably saying under their breath ... “you are welcome you gobshite”. There are 4 towers in this maze and the trick is to hit all towers in the space of 60-90 mins if you are a genius. I thought I was the dogs as I had found three of the towers in 40 mins and then Julia arrived. .. She could hear me muttering and cursing as I found the green tower 4 times in a trot was waving at me over the barriers to get my attention. We started as a team. You know the Germans and the way they operate... anyhow needless to mention she is formidable player and maze solver!!. Eventually found the 4 of them after about another 30 mins and if you add the 25 mins trying to find my way in and the extra 45 mins trying ... yes you got it... to get out of the shagging thing meant that we duly failed to beat the system. In fact 4 year olds were whizzing their way past me and were back in the shop licking ice cream by the time I got started!!! So yes it was a bad idea. With the parallel plain thing, I think I am in universe 15 today!
Great night with a good homemade meal and salads followed by large bowls of chocolate icecream.. Julia was on a high after the dive and with a glint in her eye would raise her wine glass every 5 mins and chink and guzzle after her toasting mantra of “ 15000 feet” followed by more giggling and guzzling! Between us we drank about 2 of her 3 litres of plonk. I think I have converted the others to the joys of cheap chemical alcoholic concoctions! Anyhow I was only responsible for about 0.5 litres consumption this time!
Woke again a bit spaced and this was the great clearout day. Sunday a day of rest my foot....Alice, Julia and Carmen got on the road..It took a few hours for me to get myself organised and eventually Alice and I got to the DOC office by midday to get some maps. She then said her goodbyes and headed off to Dunedin. I headed towards Mount Isthmus.... The guide said that the climb would take about 3-4 hours. I was a bit sceptical as first of all there was cloud on the mountains and in addition I knew the climb was fairly steep.. It was 1386 metres.. 300 metres higher than Carrantuohill and just about a few metres higher than Ben Nevis.
I got up in 2 hours 20 after meeting a total of 3 people and lots of rabbits, sheep and a few hawks. One thing about sheep.. I past one of the recently deceased members of their animal kingdom and the other brethren were munching close by nonchalantly while the corpse was giving off putrid odours. As I got higher I was feeling a little nauseous.. Where was hulky Alex with his oxygen mask??? Just when I thought delirium was settling in I spotted a glint in the sun in the distance..The scene was incredible and I thought that I could hear cow bells and expected to see Julie Andrews careering across the pastures and warbling “ The hills are alive.... etc” Anyhow the glint was not from some maiden’s hair but a bloody jeep with two hunters in it on the peak!! So that was the other sound I was hearing.. gunshot!!! Anyone seen a pale Paddy?? Yikes I am definitely sticking to the paths!!!!
The climb was very tough but by God was it worth it.... Incredible views with Lake Hewea on one side and Lake Wanaka on the other. I only took about 100 pics and a video clip.. I will try and upload it and see what happens.. Otherwise I think I may try putting it on You tube and adding the link to the blog..
Got down exhausted but elated again.. however it took me 1.5 hours down and added that to the 2 hours 20 up that was a total time of 3 hours 50....
Whoever put the time up as 3 hours – 4 must either have been on speed or else got a lift to the peak by the hunters!!!