Sunday, 29 April 2012
White Water Rafting And UFO Sightings
So we arrive in Queenstown – New Zealand the adrenalin junkie’s paradise. The whole place is picture perfect, an awesomely cool town with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. I don’t know why but the whole town reminded me of something from a Tony Hawk game, it just had some sort of cool Americana skater town vibe.
Whilst we were there to make it even more perfect - it was snowing, the town just looked amazing. The snow however, was not ideal for our activity of choice – white water rafting on the shoot over river. It is a grade 4 river apparently there is only 5 grades so it is fairly intense (it is also the river from The Lord Of The Rings) so as you can imagine the scenery is pretty spectacular.
So to get to the river we go on this rickety little bus and drive around this rickety little path in the mountains for an hour.
This road was built by the gold miners in like – the Edwardian times; and it was snowing and icy, sooo you can probably imagine that – I was shitting my pants on this car journey.
When we arrive we change into our wetsuits and get a safety prep about white water rafting. There are 3 rules:
1. Do not pee in your wetsuit.
2. If you fall out – lay on your back.
3. Listen to the instructor.
All pretty straight forward – but apparently a lot of people were planning on breaking rule 1 as there was a rush of people (mainly guys) rushing to the bushes.
So we get into the raft and set of down the river, it is slow to begin with a couple of bumps but nothing major. The water is freezing – I mean literally fucking freezing. I remember hoping that I didn’t fall in as my hands were red and extremely painful from being in the water.
After about 20 mins we reach the proper rapids. They are like mini waterfalls and it is crazy; so cool. Then towards the end we reach the big one, the drop is big and the gap is small it’s a squeeze between some rocks and you have to get it right. I thought we were going to tip it was immense – but we got through and it was ok. After this I was absolutely buzzing with adrenalin; but ended up winding down with a well-deserved sauna.
We then had to get a move-on as we had to be in Franz Joseph to go glacier walking at 9am and it was a 6 hour journey. We set of at about 8pm. It was a long journey in the dark on deserted country roads. We were advised not to travel – but we were on a deadline.
This was a particularly eerie journey. I don’t recall passing anyone on the way – though we must have. There were no other towns or villages just a petrol station and a couple of random houses. I think we took some sort of alternative root. Anyway – about 2 hours into the journey we notice something odd in the sky. There had been a star in the sky brighter than the rest; we had figured it must be the southern equivalent of the northern star. It started to move getting higher and lower. I thought I was going mad – or was over tired but Adam was like “do you see that star moving”. I thought that it could be a helicopter – but we could see it for hours just hovering – then occasionally just dropping and slowly rising again. I’m not going to lie both of us were a bit scared of seeing some little green men and being analy probed. After a while it just stopped and faded and was gone.
I don’t know what the hell it was and me and Adam have discussed this and maybe it was a helicopter – or a new military plain – or some strange star – it could possibly have been a UFO - the main thing is that we were not abducted and arrived safely at Franz Joseph, ready for a day of glacier walking.