Posted by: Dani | 07/04/2010

bungy jumping

I actually got around to putting my bungy video on facebook, so I decided that I wanted to put it on here too. Mostly cos I am actually really proud of myself for doing a bungy jump, something I never thought I would do, and something I will never feel the need to do again (probably).

I can’t put it straight onto here, but here is a link to facebook:


Posted by: Dani | 24/03/2010

Dani’s guide to climbing

Having started to learn to lead climb, I feel that the real way people climb needs to be highlighted. So here is how I climb:
1) any part of the body can be used when lead climbing.
This includes knees, elbows, shoulders, backs, chins, head, hips. Hips are especially good for hip jamming

2) Hip jamming.
Wedging hips into small gaps so your hands and feet are free is a good way to have a rest. I managed it when at Black Ians. I wasn’t really resting, but it was a nice way to work out where my next move was going to be.

3) topping out is never dignified
Imagine a small child climbing out of a swimming pool, and then translate that into climbing over a ledge and you get a good idea of what I look like. ie, elbows over the top, a knee up and then roll away from the edge, or literally dragging myself over the edge.

4) Once at the top, having a rest is ok
Once you’ve made yourself safe at the top, a lie down due to total brain meltdown is fine. 10 minutes is usually enough time.  Any form of tim tams/natural confectionary sweets/food in general can help overcome this, hugs are also good.

5) Having a rest halfway up on a ledge is equally as good

6) Talking to yourself is how to do it
Along with other strange noises/screaming, talking to yourself is fine, as long as the person belaying knows that you’re ok. Complaining and wanting to die is also perfectly acceptable

7) Bruises are part of the package.
If you do not look like you have been attacked by the mosquito bruise monster, you obvs haven’t been climbing hard enough.

the day after damage.

8 ) Lunch and snacking are necessary parts of the day.
Although most climbing gets done before lunch, it is necessary to stop and eat, as it allows time for your brain to sort itself out.

9) Gear placement is essential to get right.
But really difficult to master, and guaranteed you will have  used the bit of gear you really want further down the climb.

10) Lollies, especially jelly snakes, fit well in pockets for a ‘I just made it to the top without dying’ reward.
Just make sure that the pocket is buttoned up, as snakes lost in combat is wasteful.

11) The downclimb is far scarier.
You aren’t attached to a rope, and the route isn’t as detailed in the guidebook as the ascent.

12) Falling is scary, and feels far worse than what actually happened.
In reality, I fell about half a metre, I thought I was a gonner.

13) Helmets are useful.
Especially for rock hugging and headbutting protection.

14) Confidence is easy to have on the ground.
Routes look easy when you’re looking up at them.

15) Anything is possible when it comes to moves.
It may not be the easiest or most obvious move, but it works! Even if your knee was level with your shoulder.

  • Its not Australia – its ‘straaya.
  • ‘how you going?’ is a question asking how you are, not how you are getting somewhere. When asked in a shop, you are also expected to reply, as the person asking wouldn’t have asked if they didn’t want to know the answer.
  • they do no understand the phrase ‘get the drinks in’ – poor show if you ask me!
  • Mc Cafe is a poor attempt for McDonalds to be a coffee shop
  • Doonas – why they don’t call them duvets I have no idea
  • its put another prawn on the barbie, there are no shrimps.
  • no wuccas/arvo/any other shortening of words.
  • how they insult everyone
  • they actually say ‘fair dinkum’
  • goon – nowhere else in the world do people subject themselves to drinking such awful wine from a box, when oz is full of such nice wines. However, it has lead to games such as goon of fortune…
  • the all laugh at Tasmainias how we laugh at the welsh.
  • the call their prime minister K Fed. Sadly their prime minister isn’t cool. G Brown just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
  • Melb uni hold their exams in the nicest building ever. Sadly its freezing cold.
  • Also  with exams – you get reading time, ie 15 minutes of sitting at the answer paper wishing that you had revised that one little thing.
  • You also get to take lollies into the exam with you. So when you think its all a failure, you get to eat a jelly snake.
  • How they believe that 4°C is absolutely freezing.
  • Driving 4 hours is a standard amount of time to get anywhere on a friday.
  • They call any type of sweets ‘lollies’
  • They have travelled more of Europe than I have, but I have travelled around more of their country.
  • Societies hand out snags (sausage in a slice of bread) and beers at lunchtime. Its amazing.
  • They believe that New Zealand should become another Aussie state.
  • They care about any sport. Its always on, but they’re actually proud of most of their sports teams, and occasionally the socceroos.
  • They consider fosters (the beer) an insult to aussie pride.
  • In aussie rules (aka footy) they have 4 goalposts, the two outermost ones which are essentially getting a point for trying to get a goal, but effectively missing.
  • There is no such thing as disliking Vegemite, you have to like it if you call yourself Australian.
  • When its hot outside, you will still have to carry a hoodie for when you go inside, as the air con is guaranteed to be set to ‘chilly’
Posted by: Dani | 24/03/2010

up till now

So getting back to the UK wasn’t that much fun, I only had 10 days at home before heading back up to Manchester for uni. My first night back I found myself out for Tom Hodge’s birthday at robbos, with a pint of cider and black in my hand, and stuck to the floor – some things never change!

Uni has been mental, with lectures, exams, lit review and now lab project. Its nearing the Easter holidays now, and heaps has happened, I just haven’t had the drive to write about it. I’ve been playing polo, been kayaking and done a bit of canoe polo, as well as Network.

There are also some other posts that I wrote when in Oz, that I feel I should really post,considering I did write them.

Posted by: Dani | 24/03/2010

Back to reality

So I left Queenstown very early the next morning for my last rip on the Stray bus, which was the journey to Christchurch. We had a new driver, who was called Arial, but he didn’t tell us why. We slept for a fair amount of the journey,  as we had done a lot of parting in Queenstown, and the last night was no exception; and the weather wasn’t that great. We had a few stops, one was at Lake Tekeapo, but it was sooo windy, and we got blown about quite a lot!

We arrived in ChCh at about 5 in the afternoon, and were dropped off at our hostel. I went shopping for some food, followed by chilling out for a while before having diner and then going down to the bar with the others from the bus, where we spent the night before leaving at about midnight for an earlyish night, after all the late nights and no sleep of Queenstown.

I was woken up at about 7 the next morning by building work happening right outside our hostel, and I wasn’t impressed. So I got up, to find out that it was quite a nice day, so after some breakfast and a bit of internetting, and booking stuff for the trip home, I went for a walk around. I went to the botanical gardens, where I bought and wrote some postcards, sitting in the sun, and then I went to the Rutherford Den. Rutherford grew up in ChCh, the Den is where he conducted some of his earliest research into electricity and magnetism. I then wandered around a bit more, and enjoyed the last of the daylight I would be seeing forthcoming 36 hour flight. I went back to the hostel as it was getting dark, and met up with the girls from the bus for a chilled evening of packing and sorting for the very early start.

It was a 5am start on the Morning of the 1st September, going home day. I got up, grabbed the last of my stuff and the food I had made for the taxi ride the night before and got in the taxi to the airport. At the airport I found that my flight had been delayed for about 90 minutes, so I got to sit in the airport where nothing was open getting bored. I did have time to eat my breakfast and have a wash though, so that was ok. I also phoned the parents to let them know I was on my way home, but for them it wasn’t going to be for ages before they had to come and pick me up, so they found it rather strange that I was at the airport!

My flight departed from ChCh to Auckland at about 8am, and was another uneventful flight. As far as I can remember, I slept, but it was only about 90 minutes, so was over pretty quick. It was then quite a quick turn around at Auckland, and a change of terminals to the international one. My bags had been checked in at ChCh, so I didn’t have to worry about them. I then spent the last of my kiwi dollars on some kiwi chocolate, which is choccy with bits of kiwi in it, was yummy. The next flight to Sydney was equally uneventful, but I got talking to a kiwi who was off to visit friends in london, but wasn’t on my next flight.

At Sydney I had about a 3 hour wait, so I bought some lunch, and a glass of wine to use up my leftover dollars. It was horrible waiting at the airport, because I had to stay in the international terminal, as I couldn’t go through customs, so I had to look out of the window at the sunny spring weather! It was then onto the British airways flight to Bankok. I was sitting next to an English guy who was just finishing a year out travelling after graduating. We were sat right at the back of the plane, and had the 4 seats for the two of us, so we had a dedicated snacks/drinks tray in the middle, the extra leg room was also much appreciated due to the excessive snowboarding bruising making sitting down by this point rather uncomfortable! I watched a few films, and slept for a bit and ate some airline food before we landed in Bankok, and I had absolutely no idea what time of day it was, apart from that we had 45 minutes at the airport. I think it was night-time in Bankok, as the airport was relatively quiet. We walked along a massive concourse, and then turned around to go right back to the same plane, via the loo for a quick wash and teeth brush.

We got fed as soon as we got back on the plane, but I think by this point, I had almost lost the will to live, so ate the salad and the pudding, and had a glass of wine before going back to sleep. I then watched films and napped until about 2 hours away from london, where they woke us up for breakfast, or meal of random timing. I had lost my appetite by then, so stocked up on orange juice and fruit. We got to heathrow at about 6, just as the sun was rising, and I think we were the first flight in, as we had to do a few laps of the airport to waste time before we could land, as we were a bit quicker than planned in arriving.

Customs and all that stuff at the airport was pretty quick, and boring as always. I then walked out to meet dad and olie, who were picking me up, but they were just walking over, having had breakfast in weatherspoons!

It then the last and shortest leg of my journey, the car journey home, and back to reality.

Posted by: Dani | 27/12/2009

Queenstown and the rest of NZ

We left Makaroroa at 9 to head to Queenstown, and it was still raining. The drive was quite boring as we were heading inland, so the roads were boring and there wasn’t much to see. We stopped off in Wanaka to go to puzzleword, which was quite funny and meant we got off the bus for a bit, as there wasn’t much else we could do in the rain.

Shandy and Fiona in the weird room

We played around in puzzleworld until lunch, where we drove for about half an hour to Wanaka, where it stopped raining so we bought lunch and sat outside to enjoy the bit of sun we had! We then headed towards Queenstown, the party capital of the south island, but stopped off at the bridge where the first commercial bungy jump was set up, to have a look, an stupidly sign up for a jump the next day!

We settled into the hostel, which was only 3 weeks old, so was still really clean and shiny before going shopping for some food for the next few days.  After dinner we headed to world bar, to start the Kiwi crawl, a bar crawl around some of the bars in Queenstown. The bar crawl started in world bar, where you get drinks in teapots, which was really cool.


We then went around another 6 bars, with a bit on dancing on tables before heading back to world bar for some more teapots and dancing.

dancing on the tables

The next day we had a lie in, before having a chilled lunch and a wander around town before meeting the others for a sneaky pre-bungy glass of wine. We got to the bungy centre for 2, and were checked in and weighed, beofre having lots of stuff written on our hands so they knew who we were and that we were doing the correct jump. We left at 2:30 for the 40 minute drive to the nevis jump.

We got kitted up in waist and body harnesses, and then had to get into the cable car to get to the platform where we would jump from, which was suspended between two hills over a valley. The cable car was pretty small, and where it was windy, blew around quite a lot. The cable car stopped about 8m away from the platform, and we had to wait for the winds to drop before we could continue moving – we were all pretty scared by that point!

trying to hide the nerves

Eventually, it was my turn to jump. You ave to sit in what looks like a weird dentist chair while they kit you up. First I had cuffs put around my ankles, which is what the bungy rope would be clipped to, and then had my safety clipped into my body harness. There were a few more safety checks, and then I was ready to go. I had to shuffle right to the edge of this tiny bit of metal sticking out from the main platform, where I had to jump off, and with the wind blowing I thought I was going to fall. They then dropped the bungy rope so it hung under the platform, but I was being held by my harness at this point, so didnt quite fall.

It was then time for me to jump, and after quite a bit of psyching myself up, I finally managed to jump! I don’t actually remember the jumping bit, but I do remember falling and thinking, ‘woah, I’m actually falling’, the 8 second freefall felt like it went on forever, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t breathe until I had pulled the cord to un-attach my feet so that I was back up the right way and being pulled back up to the platform.

and jump!

We then headed back to Queenstown, where we had a celebratory group photo in our free tshirts that we were given,along with out certificates, of which mine is now stuck up on my wall!

After getting back to Queenstown, we went to the ski hire shop to pick up our stuff and pick up our lift passes before going back to cook dinner. We then headed to world bar for some celebratory bungy drinks before having a relatively early night, as we were all shattered from all the adrenaline!

I was up early on Thursday morning for a daytrip to Milford sound, which is a few hours away from Queenstown on the west coast. Technically, its not a sound, as that is a valley created by a glacier, but a fjord, but they only worked  that out recently. The first two hours we spent of the bus, where we stopped at To Anu for some breakfast. We then were off the main roads and into the mountains.

It had been snowing quite a lot, so we had to drive quite slowly, and saw a few avalanches, but the roads were quite clear. On the way down we went along the road that was used for the mazda advert, so we got to sing the ‘zoom zoom zoom’ song while we were driving along it.

zoom zoom zoom

We had a quick stop before we got to the harbour to see some Arctic parrots, which are the only parrots that can be found in cold places. They also sounded pretty weird, as well as not being particularly camouflaged.


We got to the harbour at 1, and had half an hour to walk around before getting on the boat. We got onto the boat and hit the buffet, which was actually really good, the only problem is that we were warned that the water might be a bit rough, so didn’t want to make full use of the buffet. Thankfully, the boat journey wasn’t too rough, but it was really windy!

We were on a boat with three levels, and there was our bus, and a big bus full of the most typical american tourists possible. After eating, we went up onto the top deck, and were braving the wind, and trying not be be blown off the boat. We were watching the waterfalls, which were flowing due to the rain, but weren’t actually reaching the water as they were being blown off to the side. But then the american tourists got a bit cocky, and got stuck out on deck and were too afraid to let go of the railings, so they had to rescue them, and then we weren’t allowed back out on the deck after that until the rain stopped.

trying not to be blown away...

As the boat turned back to go towards the harbour, the rain stopped, the wind started to drop and we saw a bit of blue sky! Sadly, we were off the boat far too soon and back on the bus on the way back to queenstown. The journey home was quite uneventful, but we did just make it through the tunnel to get back to the main roads before they closed it as it was predicted to snow overnight.

I got back to queenstown at about dinnertime, and met up with the others to go to furgburger for dinner. Furgburger sells almost every type of burger possible, and they were massive! We went back to the hostel to eat them, and chilled out for a bit before going to world bar and Winnies, which was another bar.

It was another early start for snowboarding on friday morning. We got on the bus to be told that there was a possibility that the resort may be closed due to there being too much snow, but I decided to risk it anyway, but the others decided that bed was a better option! I slept most of the way to Cardrona, which was about an hours drive away. It was open when we arrived, so I collected my boots and snowboard and went out for my lesson.

My first lesson was learning to get used to being on a snowboard, so we had one foot strapped in, and the other was puching us along, an then putting the foot on the board and going down a little hill. After a bit we went onto the learner slopes and practised going down in diagonals, but we couldn’t turn the corner, so had to stop, and then sit down and roll over before starting off going the other way.

After lunch I had another lesson were we started learning to turn corners, which is where it started to get painful, and I was very thankful for the many layers I was wearing, along with the wristguards! Turning corners looks really easy, but was soo difficult. I was ok turning from my heels to my toes, as I was looking downhill, but then slowing down to turn back onto my heels again was a lot more difficult, and I spent a lot of time falling over and getting back up again. The day ended at about 4, and I was aching! I slept the whole way back, and then had pizza for dinner before having an easy night playing cluedo before having an earlyish night for once!

the only photo of me on a snwboard

My final day in Queenstown was spent back on the slopes, but the weather was heaps better, and I was joined by Sonja, Briege and Shandy, along with Cameron and Sarah, who weren’t having lessons. Our lesson built on what we had learnt previously, so more practise turning, and heaps of falling over, which hurt even more considering all the bruises from the day before. We then had lunch and after went to try a green run, the easiest run on the mountain.

None of us had been on a ski lift before, so we knew it was going to be an experience! So we all got prepared with one foot strapped in and the other off the board, and then sat down on the chair, which was the easy bit. As we were preparing to get off, we shifted sideways slightly on our chairs, and prepared to push ourselves off the lift. I managed to stand up, but then crashed into a skier that was standing in the way, so another fall for me. Shandi, Sonja and Briege were on the chair behind us, and all fared slightly worse, falling over almost as soon as they got off the lift. Once we had time to strap our feet in and get away form the ski life, we set off on the run, which was heaps steeper than the nursery slopes! I edged down most of the slope as it was pretty icy, but did manage to make a few corners, and fell a few times. We spent the rest of the afternoon on the nursery slope, where I managed a few more corners without falling over too much!

It as then time to go back to Queenstown, where I had to return all my gear and pack as I was leaving early the next morning. We had pizza for dinner, and then went out for a final time around queenstown. We ended up in the world bar, with more teapots and dancing before bed.

more teapots

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