Southbound, Auckland to Taupo.
T minus 3.5 hours. Loads of time. The beautiful New Zealand forests and sheep pastures put on a leisure show for us. The Kiwi peeps are major friendly, but their cars are sydlecix. The white fluffs of wool are floating by my passenger window on the left side. Ya, those sheep are super cute and chill, just munching on grass and napping. I’m chill, too, even though my hands have an ever so slight clamminess.
T minus 3 hours. Kind of a long drive, but it sure is lovely. We’ve linked our Crosby, Stills and Nash tunes via Bluetooth to our rental Toyota Prado (I know, what?), and we’re chilloungin’, like the lambs. Trying my best to keep my brainwaves on the sheep and not what’s about to happen in a few hours.
T minus 2.5 hours. More sheep. Why am I perspiring? I’m not saying much (anything) to Todd. He asks, “Are you sure you want to do this?” Very sweetly I shriek, “Yes, I f-ing want to do this!”
T minus 2 hours. Sheep farms for days. Pretty sure NZ has like 9,877,678,987,759,837,926,864,382,775,853 sheep. This drive is going by more quickly than I thought it would. Don’t these Kiwis have speed limits? WTF’s the hurry, Todd???
T minus 1.5 hours. I’m really getting f-ing tired of these stupid sheep and the sweat slick marinating my bod. Perhaps we should just go straight to the lodge, relax and get settled in for a civilized afternoon ~ maybe saunter into the bar for some nibbles and a glass of NZ pinot? Just a thought.
T minus 1 hour. My little voice bellows, “You will NOT go straight to the lodge, you pussy! You’ll regret it forever if you don’t do this! So, you’ll bring on a migraine, and maybe dislocate an ankle and fracture some vertebrae. No big and SO worth it!” I’ll just gear up for the fun of it, walk out on the platform, then decide.
T minus half an hour. Here’s our turn off. This is going to be really great! … Or we could still just go straight to the lodge. That could also be really great.
The parking lot is empty. Bummers – they must be closed. Oh wait, there’s a nice couple over there intently watching something. Todd and I approach. They’re Aussies on vacay, and their 16-year-old daughter is up there on the platform. The mom’s eyes are watering and her lip trembles. It looks higher than in the YouTube videos. Is that the little boat that unhooks you post-jump, then takes you to shore? I thought there were supposed to be two guys in there – it looks like only one from here, but it’s so far down, I can’t really tell. OH! – a screaming blur! Wow! That was kinda rad. She just fell off the cliff. Headfirst. Ha Ha. “So, you guys next?” I ask the jumper’s mom and dad. I get the ‘are you f-ing insane?’ look.
My brain has gone to soggy Lucky Charms. My legs can barely hold me as I walk to the office. I’m speaking, but I can’t really hear what’s coming out of my mouth, as if I have my Beats blasting my eardrums. I’m signing up for the Taupo Bungy, but it’s an out of body experience. I’m not actually going to throw myself off the ledge. I’ve conjured my moment on the platform over and over for the past week as my head rests on my pillow each night. This is different. I don’t remember the shaking and the sweating. OK, I’ll just put on the leg strap things, but I’m not really gonna actually do thi”Right this way, young lady!” Who, me? But I’m not sure if…
Sit down right here, and we’ll get you attached.
Ummm okaaaaay. But I’m not sure if…
Now, come over here to the edge.
I can’t. My ankles are tied together, so… and I’m not sure if…
That’s it, just shuffle your feet. OK, now put your arms up over your head. Good. Now just lean forward and
YYYEEEEOOOOOWWWW!!! HOLY F! I’M FALLING! I’M FALLING! I’M FALLING! WATER IN MY FACE! -and- now I’m falling up -and- now I’m falling -and- this is fun! now I’m falling up -and- this is really fun! now I’m falling -and- I wanna do this again! now I’m falling up -and- I love this! now I’m falling -and- now there’s a stick I’m supposed to grab -and- now I’m lowered into a little boat -and- now these two cute Kiwis untie me and tell me I screamed really loud. I screamed? Now I’m floating. I’m out of my mind. I’m running up the switchbacks on the side of the cliff. I’m laughing. I’m jacked. I did it! I’m sure!
My new friend and fellow Shulman’s Syndrome/Aplastic Anemia patient, Peggy, is gearing up for her transplant on August 11. She is facing enormous medical bills and is in need of help. If you are able and willing, she would greatly appreciate any amount you could donate to her survival fund. Click here for Peggy’s Go Fund Me Page.