Thursday, January 30, 2014

Austrian visitor jumps off bridge and into the record books

Thursday, January 30, 2014
oldbearnews editor

The day dawned beautifully and so did the realization what is about going to happen.  We packed and drove into town and strolled past the shops, for a bit of distraction (yes got more badges) and just to see a bit more of the place - we really did do it a great injustice to come here just for one night.  Turns out - if my memory is not totally geriatric just yet, that I may well have stayed in the same Motel as last time I was here with Oma and her Sister - Tante Liesl (in Jan 2000??) . In fact may even have been the same unit - although I can remember a ground floor more . . .    Rest assured the two ladies had great fun watching the  jumpers - but would not dream of jumping of a bridge themselves!!  So it was time - we can no longer put it of - and in any case it was already paid for via internet banking so there is no bunking!!
Further it would be a shame to let this gift voucher go to waste (given as Birthday present - and I am sure meant as an encouragement)!  So off we went back to the 43 m bridge.  Butterflies flew by the dozen!!


 Once we checked in the first thing was that you where given a secret code!! Note - this number does not represent age or the order you jump in or - no wait, I can't divulge that info!  Do I detect some apprehension???  Actually - I can't remember and if you look closely you see me conversing with a certain female bear of the Family!I think from memory we were discussing from which angle to take the dunking (about to happen) . . . . .

                     The best part of this particular place is that there is always a gallery of supporters and other assorted people who wave flags and use score cards on the jumpers - just like at the Olympics.  Points given for style and distance achieved.  Rumor has it that if you under 8okg you are unlikely to get into the water - which is no doubt of relief to our Volunteer.  There are you-tube clips of gals who decided to test the water on the way down and returned on the upward bounce MINUS a tee - shirt.  Hmmmm - that has got possibilities.   There is also a rumor that if you do this in 'the buff' you get to jump for free - so I will casually mention this to another cousin of mine later - - - -

 The other great thing about this particular location is that you can walk across the bridge and get a different view of proceedings.  It does give you a perspective different to the original location - and of course the depth of the jump.  You also casually get to stroll past the victim - ooops volunteer and catch them in their most  un-awares - that's catching the true emotion.  This volunteer one seems quite relaxed.  Must have something to do with the harness . . .

The electronic wizardry is great - there are at least 3 cameras set up PLUS a video camera that takes your pictures and by the time you get back up top they are all collated and ready to be inspected - in the hope you BUY them, at a cost of course.  Naturally they are set in a prime location so that we, the support paparazzi have to make do with second best location.  ^^  Who looks nervous now??  Actually I am wondering what Bernhard is thinking right now???


3 - 2 - 1 - the point of no return


That would be a 10 for style - just look at that extension!!

We await the judges final decision later

A birds eye view - top down - seconds after the Geronimooooooooo
Hmmm that IS a long way down . . . .

Once airborne there is nothing you can do other then to ponder what on earth possessed you to be doing this and was that bush you saw on the way down the same as you see on the way up and how many times will we go up and down like a jo-jo?!! And what if the rope slips/breaks - how far is it to the water - and yes - I have already showered so no need for another bath . .   ^^   Doris you are doing GREAT!!!

Houston the eagle is about to land - just get me down from here.
Actually I heard  once a story where the guys controlling the ropes had morning tea-break right after one jump and the volunteer got down after hanging about for a while- but I am sure that's just a story ^^ !!!!


After some 20 plus years there is still no quick and dignified way of getting the person into the boat and back to Terra Firma - ok Liquid Firma first!!  Ah well - perhaps it also doubles as a last chance to look straight up from where you just came ? ? ?

Victory always tastes sweet and yes I DID IT!!!!
wohooooo the first (to my knowledge) of the Muller / Blocher clan who toss's her/himself of a bridge - just for fun!!!

 You can see the joy and elation on the face!!!!

 Who's a happy gal now?????
 Having conquered your fears - ahhh nothing beats that feeling - and all this BEFORE lunch.  Not a bad half days work ehh *winks*

After that, the day seemed kinda - different - flat almost - from the bridge it was up to Queenstown and a Gondola ride up a hill and by the time we came back down from the hill it had grown to a mountain!!   Queenstown has progressed to a fully fledged over-commercialized tourist town that has a lot to offer - for cash of course!!! 
I have a picture where the left of the town is only HALF way up the hill and of course if you go further back there is just a teeny weeny space next to the sea-shore occupied.  In any case - after the Adrenalin rush - you need to stock up on carb's - so what better place then atop a hill - sorry mountain -  and look back down in the sunshine???
I think Wilfried looks mightily relieved that I did not give him a gift voucher for a jump just a he has done for Cousin Doris!!!

Nach dem essen sollst du ruhn - oder tausend schritte tun!!  - yes?!?!?!
ok a thousand steps it is and - as always - you have to taste the water.  It is mightily cold - and - just in case you forgot - this is the SAME water that ends up in Cromwell - were if memory serves - a certain female cousin had a priceless expression on her face once the temperature was sampled.   Seems Mamabear is made of sterner stuff.  This has nothing to do with her complaining about hot flushes . . . . . or being hot-blooded urm headed . .
or . . .

The foreshore - looking back towards the Hill (on the right would be the gondola) - oh and I forgot at the top you can do a luge ride . . . . .

Well we did have to be in Te Anau for the night - so soon it was time to head along the lake  and yes the clouds coming over the tops where beaut to watch. It gave a different feeling to the Remarkable's.

The lake will come to an end in the end - its just some 40 km in that direction!!!

At the end we had an unscheduled stop - the place is called urm - Kingston home of the famous Kingston Flyer - a steam driven old-school train engine. I figured Bernhard might be interested. In fact he left the car like I have never seen before and was not to be seen for another 10 minutes.
Links here:  -->  

and here

urm - oh yeah featured in a tv commercial - to the great delight of Kiwis-->

As in all things it needs serious funding and for a while the train was derelict - but recently some new funding came in and they started restoring the train - it did from time to time excursions down to Athol. 

And  sadly there is this -->
All mothballed for now and you can BUY yourself a train along with carriages and track and station - and then you can be the  'big Conductor' and pull on the train whistle . . . . . .
Along the way we saw this rather creative fence line.  It would be a bit of a pain to paint, but does let the sun get through!!
Soon enough we were in Ta Anau (and spotted no less then 3 police cars inside 20km near Lumsden [and the first too]- they must have been looking for someone - wasn’t me officer *grins* ) - anyway - Te Anau - the gateway to Fjordland. We walked to a restaurant and found these two knuddeling on a parkbench.  Must have been a good time all round as they were still sitting there when we came back after 2.5 hours later.
Must say, not sure of their choice of wine - but yeah he is one good looking dude and she is - urm - well rounded?!?!?!

The place we stayed in was called Alpenhorn and as you can see - you cannot miss it! Doris giggling when she saw the Logo. The check-in procedure took three times longer then normal due to the extremely friendly nature of the owner / operator who likes to chat and advise and chat and help you to book cruises and chat and help and chat . . . . . .    ah you get the picture . .

Have fun

 bear print

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