New Zealand 2006: Day 4


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New Zealand 2006: [Day 1: Auckland] [Day 2: Matamata/Waitomo] [Day 3: Waiheke Island] [Day 4: Bungy] [Day 5: Rotorua] [Day 6: Napier] [Day 7: At Sea] [Day 8: Cruising] [Day 9: Dunedin] [Day 10: Christchurch] [Day 11: Wellington] [Day 12: At Sea] [Day 13: Auckland]

Thursday, March 16, 2006: Another sunny day dawned in Auckland. This was the view from our hotel room, which is a very clever way to avoid having a view of a rooftop.
Sally and Pete picked us up bright and early to take us to our next adventure: bungy jumping! Even though the sport originated in New Zealand, we didn't meet any Kiwis who had ever actually done it.
At the AJ Hackett Bungy Centre, we got strapped into our bungy harnesses.
Next, we crossed the street to the Auckland Harbour Bridge, where we were let into the locked walkway that leads to the bungy pod.
The walkway seems level, but very gradually ascends as you walk toward the center of the bridge.
Pete and Sally joined us as spectators. All four of us were wearing harnesses that attached to a cable on the walkway for maximum safety. Sally demonstrated the safety features of the harness for our photographer.
At this point, we were really starting to get out there. Photo by Pete, who was at the back of the pack.
The walkway changed to a stairway and Tom ascended the stairs to the bungy pod. "Pod" is a fun word, wouldn't you agree?
The pod features windows on all sides and even in the floor. Once we were all in the pod, the opposite wall came up so it was open to the water below.
Tom volunteered to go first. He sat in a chair designed to attach ankle harnesses to the jumpers.
Sally and Pete were quite happy to be on the non-jumping side of the pod.
Tom was fully strapped in as the crew prepared the bungy.
It's time! Tom waddled to the edge (his ankles were strapped together) and smiled bravely for the camera.
The next three photos were taken by the AJ Hackett bungy equipment.
This is Tom's jump as viewed from the side ...
... and as viewed from the top.
Here's Tom upside down ...
... and here's Tom right side up ...
... and here's Tom nearly back on solid ground.
Next, it was Debbie's turn.
What seemed like a good idea that morning was now looking more like a huge, terrifying error. Still, she, too, managed to waddle to the edge with a heavy foam bell-shaped thing hanging from the bungy attached to her ankles.
She wasn't very happy about it, as shown in this AJ Hackett photo.
This is Debbie's jump as viewed from the side ...
... and as viewed from the top.
While Sally manned the camera in the pod, Pete did the honors from the stairwell below. It's a bungy miracle that he got this action shot of Debbie's jump. She's the tiny figure in black and denim pretending that she's skydiving and that the ground is 10,000 feet below instead of 141 feet (43 meters). Her freefall ended after about 1 second.
Here's Debbie upside down ...
... and here's Debbie right side up (Hi, Pete! I didn't die!) ...
... and here's Debbie getting hoisted back into the pod.
The Auckland skyline looks even better when one is jacked up on adrenaline.
Our adventure over and our hearts pumping a little faster than normal, we made the happy trip back into town.
Ladies and gentleman, I give you the Auckland Harbour Bridge! She's a beauty, is she not?
We headed to Pete and Sally's turf, St. Heliers, for an early lunch.
The staff at Kahve took our orders, but they already knew what Sally would be ordering. It seems that Sally has a fondness for delicious food served in the sun with beautiful views. We do, too, but it's not a daily option for us. That's Tamaki Drive behind Pete and Sally.
Food always tastes better when it's sunny out, but add complimentary orange juice and it's sunny in our bellies too.
Just down the street is Pete's office, where he turns out fabulous 4D software applications.
Pete's office has a casual dress code.
It also has a spectacular view. We are very envious.
Pete knows it.
Since Pete decided it was time to get some work done, Sally drove us back into downtown Auckland so we could catch our transfer to our cruise ship, MV Discovery of Discovery World Cruises (or Voyages of Discovery if you're British). She's tiny by modern standards, but she was one of the original Love Boat models.
Step back into the '70's with us, won't you? Our room was on deck five (of nine total), which is the deck just above the one with the gangway in this photo.
After seeing our room, we dropped by the Lido deck for a light snack.
The Lido deck offered a nice view of the port ...
... and the city. Check further down this page for the spooky nighttime versions of these shots.
With five more hours before leaving port, we went ashore to explore Princes Wharf. Here's a bar called Lenin, complete with Russian letters.

Next door is the Minus 5 bar, which is an ice bar similar to the Ice Museum in Stockholm and the bar in the Ice Hotel in Sweden. We didn't go in, though, because ice bars are just so 2002.

We had dinner on the ship, then went out on deck to admire the city lights.
Being the port geeks that we are, we watched a container ship being unloaded for nearly an hour. Lots of Maersk sightings, of course.
At 9:00 PM, we left port. Goodbye, Auckland! We'll be back in nine days!

Day 5 >


New Zealand 2006: [Day 1: Auckland] [Day 2: Matamata/Waitomo] [Day 3: Waiheke Island] [Day 4: Bungy] [Day 5: Rotorua] [Day 6: Napier] [Day 7: At Sea] [Day 8: Cruising] [Day 9: Dunedin] [Day 10: Christchurch] [Day 11: Wellington] [Day 12: At Sea] [Day 13: Auckland]

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