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Canyon Swinging and a game of rugby
Dunedin, New Zealand
Saturday, Jun 12, 2004


Well it was an early start for our canyon swing and my poor head wasn't exactly happy at the prospect. We got picked up in Queenstown, along with Josh from Oz, and we were driven out to the Shotover Canyon. We had to walk out through the bush for a bit until we came to the jump platform. Both myself and Claire had been terriefied at the thought of doing a bungy jump but for some inexplicable reason the thought of jumping off a platform 109m above the canyon floor was a really exciting prospect.

We all got weighed and kitted out in our harnesses. When asked who wanted to go first I was immediately volunteered which was probably no bad thing given my track record with jumping off things. I was linked up to to all the ropes etc and I was ready to go. The two guys assisting me were great. They were chatting to me and trying to keep me calm. They asked if I had done any other extreme sports since arriving in New Zealand, so I told them all about my white water sledging experience. They thought this was hysterically funny and proceeded to tell me that I wasn't actually in New Zealand, I was actually in Australia and for a split second....

Anyway, the canyon swing - the worlds highest swing - 109m (360ft). After jumping you freefall into the canyon until the ropes smoothly pendulum you in a giant arc at 150kph. No problem I thought I was ready to go - I went to jump and chickened out. The second time I was ready and just leapt and SCREAMED the whole way down (check out the video clip attached). Once I reached the bottom I realised that I was actually enjoying myself and I didn't actually need to scream any more, woo-hoo seemed more appropriate. Claire went next and let out a pathetic yelp and a couple of woo-hoos! Once I got back up the guys told me it was one of the most spectacular screams they'd ever heard!

We then began our long journey back to Dunedin which passed relatively quickly as we sang and ate ice creams!

Back in Dunedin we just had enough time to grab some dinner before we headed out to Carisbrook. I wanted to see a rugby game in New Zealand before I left and what better game than England vs New Zealand. We reached Carisbrook and made our way into the terraces. The game started off not too badly, but it became very apparent, very quickly, that England were no match for New Zealand. The game degenerated rather quickly, if you could even call it a game. It got to the stage where a mexican wave was started as the game was so bad (we later found out that they always do mexican waves), which was quite an experience in the terraces. As we were already standing we couldn't obviously take part in the wave, instead anything that could be thrown in the air, was thrown in the air, mainly beer cans, it was quite a sight watching the wave coming towards us. Luckily we survived unscathed. Unfortunately for us we were standing in front of a guy who thought it would be hysterically funny to pee into a bottle and spray it all over us - ha ha! Dead funny! Anyway after half time (for those of you who missed the game the score at this point was 33 - 3), we were entertained once again by a streaker painted blue. He'd obviously painted himself before taking off his shorts as he was unpainted under his shorts. He ran around the pitch for quite a while before diving into the crowds and being caught! We got a text from Nic at the end of the game to say "Tell Claire England sucks". Claire knew this and was beginning to regret her support of England (she is actually Welsh - she went on to support New Zealand at the following match but more about that later). We bumped into Helen (who we'd first met in the Catlins) and she had reverted back to her welsh accent! Mmmmmm.

Anyway we headed into town preparing for a big night out - my last in Dunedin :-( Unfortunately it was to turn out to be a rather disappointing night as nobody came out and we were so tired from the previous night that we ended up going home, albeit at one o'clock in the morning.