Hello awesome peoples,
This may or may not be the final blog entry for now, but don't worry, it'll be good, since it was the day of THE SKY TOWEEEEEEERRR.
|In the bus looking forward to what is about to come...|
So, yesterday (the 2nd) started off with an AMAZING brekkie at Hollywood Café in the centre of Northcote. CC had Eggs Hollandaise and I had a mushroom omelette, note TWO extra hash browns instead of one, and BROWN BREAD!! OM NOM.
|Empty central Northcote|
Also very happy that it started being summery and sunny again :) Oh and that Hollywood Café had its own Hollywood Café sugars!!
A few hours later we got to the bus to central Auckland, where I bored CC with my final souvenir/present-shopping. (And yet still so much I meant to get (myself) but haven't... Like a hoodie, and a magnet, the hopping kiwi, the paua-shell kiwi, the paua-shell heart earrings, a T-shirt, a kiwi in a bag, a shot glass, the plate with a kiwi and a sheep and a pukeko in a boat sailing, a kiwi necklace, etc etc etc...) I could die in a souvenir shop just because I get so overwhelmed by all the amazingness and physically not be able to leave. It is ridiculous.
Then, off to Sky Tower (after walking up and down Queens St coz CC kept on remembering wrong where he'd seen that bank...).
|Some cool thing in the Sky Tower|
We were booked in for a 4.30pm Sky Walk. What is a Sky Walk? It is the wimpier option for people who don't have the guts to do the Sky Jump. No, wrong. That's what I first thought (but very happy that we weren't doing the Sky Jump... Though it's not really a Jump. More like a controlled levetation downwards. But still.). But, in the end, I think Sky Walk requires more guts (to a certain extent) than Sky Jump. Sky Jump requires one wave of craziness – you jump, and it's over. But Sky Walking you have to keep that craziness up for a whole half hour.
Sky Walk is a walk around the rim of the Sky Tower. “Inch along a narrow walkway around the Sky Tower, high above Auckland. No handrail, nothing but thin air and the city 192 metres below, SkyWalk is an exhilarating challenge you’ll never forget. Our guides point out attractions, tell you stories and challenge you to daredevil tricks. For a big New Zealand adventure, 360° panoramic views of Auckland and extraordinary memories, SkyWalk the ledge.” (ta http://skywalk.co.nz/ )
I wasn't really nervous about it till an hour before it, when I actually, for the first time, thought about what it ACTUALLY was. Walking on a ledge a million metres off the ground. I'm generally fine with heights, but I turned out to be way more afraid than CC, the proudly acrophobic (yeah had to google that lol) guy.
|The area where Sky Walkers and Sky Jumpers (suits shown here) got ready|
We sat around waiting at the bottom reception of Sky Tower after filling in a pleasant little form acknowledging the risk of things like “damage to clothing” and “death by falling” (I'm so glad my clothes didn't get damaged!!) , watching other Sky Walkers and Sky Jumpers get into their sexy suits and be told what they're about to do.
Our group consisted of me and CC and a group of three Americans (though I swear the guy had Swedish heritage, his name was 100% Swedish). We got told stuff, taken into the changing room to pull on our convict/astronaut orange gowns, and bye bye camera got locked up in the locker :'( (No loose objects allowed, they had multiple body checks to make sure of that.)
Up the lift to the top, where Peta, our guide (female) attached ropes to our harnesses which were then attached to a rail at the top. (“Like trams,” I told her. She was confused – not sure there are trams in this country...)
The following three photos are courtesy of google, not us. :P
We watched a few Sky Jumpers, then headed off on our trip ON THE EDGE. ('The Edge is also a kiwi radio station we've been listening lots to. Or well, it could be 'The Idge' too...)
When we stopped for the first time just metres after we left the safety of the handrailed area and Peta told us to lean back off the ledge, I was hoping I wouldn't burst into tears of just pure, not scaredness, but, adrenaline? I dunno. No, I was terrified. But I didn't cry, and after maybe 5-10 minutes of clutching onto my rope or CC's hand with all my might, I decided I won't be scared anymore. I was overreacting indeed, and after that I was relatively fine.
Views were amazing. We saw Devonport and Rangitoto and Mount Eden and all of Auckland and Harbour Bridge and Northcote and everything. Obviously though some of that appreciating-the-views went into being-terrified-of-the-views, especially when there were tiny gusts of wind or when the departing cruise ship decided to toot (that's not the word... BOOM) its horn just as I was doing one of the mirriad leaning off the edge-practises...
Peta had us do many, um, dodgy things, like the leaning off, and staring up at the rail walking backwards just for the sake of video and pictures. Not complaining though.
The walk ended quickly, then we went down to get (=buy :S) our photos.
Then, quick change into nicer clothes and back upstairs to the Orbit restaurant for dinner! A revolving restaurant at the top of the Sky Tower. 2 h dining time (1½ for us since we were half an hour late), minimum spend of 40 dollars per person... But it was awesome.
|I understood it to be tuna... but it doesn't like tunaey. Nice though, and my first ever caviar btw!|
|CC's fave: his main, lamb|
|Salmon and mashed potato with random green veggy on top om nom|
|My dessert: apple tart OM NOM (my fave)|
|Up top you can see the ledge we were walking on an hour earlier|
OM NOM. :)
Views from the observation deck...
Such a great last day. This holiday has been perfect.
|Awesome sky on way back|
Hopefully this will not be the last entry – I still have plans on other random stuff I wanna write about NZ and its quirks, as well as a load of pics that I had to cut from the final set of going onto my blog... But we'll see. Today (the 3rd) is the day I leave New Zealand, 30h planes + 7h trains before I get to my next bed in Aber, hoping to beat the jet-lag in two nights before my 9.30am exam on the 7th.
And I will be devastated. And very depressed. An amazing, AMAZING three and a half weeks, and then dropping into the well of dreary weathery university work. Hopefully I can numb myself out and consider this all to be a dream.
Because it has definitely felt like one. You know, those amazing dreams where you are flying and just SO HAPPY.
Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has read, commented, or even just looked at the pictures. Every time someone has told me that they read my blog is a moment of such joy for me, THANK YOU. Thank you thank you thank you.
Now, to enjoy my last morning and early afternoon in the lovely sunny country which is New Zealand.
Mountains and valleys of love to all of you,
|With the beloved Sky Tower on the horizon...|