Jumping Into Canyons + Go Go Goa, India

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Last weekend I was in Queenstown, NZ. To some it’s considered the adventure capital of the world. Sweet. I like adventure.

But Queenstown has something for everyone, adrenaline junkie or not. Luxury hotels? Check. Sweet hostels? (The Last Resort, best hostel ever.) Check. Amazing scenery? Parts of Lord of the Rings were filmed in the surrounding areas. Check. Water sports? Check. You get the point, it has everything.

My main reason for coming to New Zealand was specifically because of Queenstown. More specifically, the Nevis 134m (440ft) High Wire Bungy.

Australia was always on my list of places to visit. New Zealand wasn’t until I learned about Nevis sometime early this year.

Upon arriving in Queenstown I learned about another really fun activity. The Shotover Canyon Swing. It’s 109m (358ft) high with a 60m (197ft) drop and a top speed of 150kph (93mph).

I decided to book the Canyon Swing for Saturday since it was windy and not a particularly nice day. I wanted to do the Nevis jump on a clear sunny day, and Sunday’s forecast was perfect.

Canyon Swing Videos (yes, I was nervous, as you can tell):

Sunday I headed to Nevis. Unfortunately, I stupidly bought the DVD instead of the USB stick (wasn’t thinking, must’ve been the adrenaline) so I won’t have the video digitized until December.

Nevis was a really fun experience. I’ll leave it at that until I have video to share. ;)

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A few people have noticed that my sidebar has been updated with a slight change of plans. I had planned on going to Singapore/Thailand in January, but now I’m going to India.

Why India?

To learn how to build guitars with a luthier.

I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time. When I was in 9th grade I built a guitar that barely played and sounded like crap. I didn’t give it another shot. Until now!

India isn’t exactly known as a guitar building mecca. But that doesn’t mean it’s not full of skilled craftsmen.

And I love Indian food.

And the weather is great.

And it’s about $3k cheaper than doing the same type of course in the U.S. :)

I’ll be in Goa for a month or two.

Then, assuming I don’t fall in love with India, I’ll head to Thailand.

Been to India or Thailand? Sweet! Let me know your experiences.

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I wrote this from the most beautiful place I’ve ever been in my life. Lake Tekapo, New Zealand. Thanks to Eszter, a CouchSurfer I met in Sydney, for insisting I visit here.

Lake Tekapo New Zealand



23 COMMENTS

    • Bobby, you will love it. The guys at the Canyon Swing are awesome. It’s a really relaxed atmosphere and there are tons of different jump styles you can do. I went with the 2 that are supposed to be most scary. :)

  1. You’re gonna be in Poland in 2010? Wow that’s great :)
    I’m from Poland and i follow your blog for a month now.
    I like it so much and i’m trying so many new stuff inspired by your articles that i think soon i will be on your “100th” list ;)

  2. Oh hell no! I almost had a panic attack just watching you dangle out over that canyon upside down!

    I bet it was an incredible feeling when you actually dropped, but it would take a LOT of convincing to get me to do that. :-)

    • hehe, I love that kind of stuff. A lot of the fun is the hours/days leading up to it and freaking yourself out about what you’re getting ready to do.

  3. Hi Karol,

    I’ll second John’s request for an update once you start building your own guitar. Pictures, videos, sound clips – the whole deal… ;-)

  4. Oooh, that looks fun! I did a reverse bungee in Thailand once and squealed so much they gave me another free go. Brilliant. Bet they didn’t have a very good safety record but still, you only live once.

    Have fun in India – I was there for 4 months once but Thailand is a true favourite with me. If you get a chance head up to Laos and Luang Prabang. It’s divine.

    Happy travels!

  5. Hey Karol

    Well done on jumping and swinging. That takes courage…wow! If you’re ever in Cape Town, South Africa I’d be happy to take you to our bunjee jump, it’s over 200m! I haven’t jumped yet, although my crazy wife bunjeed off Vic Falls in Zimbabwe. She said it was awesome. One day I’ll pluck up the courage. They say it’s life changing. Do you agree?

    Enjoy your travels :-)

    • Thanks Angela, looks like I’m going to Cape Town. :) A girl I met here in NZ said that was her first bungy and she loved it.

      But I don’t think it takes courage and I don’t think it’s life changing. It’s incredible fun and gives you a great “high.” I’ve written a draft article about fear and doing “crazy” things like this. I don’t know if it’ll hit the blog until 2010.

      I’m really looking forward to the highest jump in the world off the Macau Tower (233m!): http://www.ajhackett.com/macau/bungy.html

      Congrats on being raw for almost 30 days! That is so awesome.

  6. If you’re going to Goa, head down to Palolem and stay in a place called Ordo Sounsar. Absolute paradise, extremely cool owner, name of Serafin, will show you the party spots along the beach.

  7. I lived in Goa for exactly the same period you plan to be there next, only I did it this year :)
    I will echo “globetrotter” and recommend Palolem. The owner I can recommend is called “Lira Dias”, and as far as I know the place doesn’t have a name. You just turn right off the main street and walk about 50m and ask for her and you’ll get pointed in the right direction. I was staying in this place: http://bit.ly/8NuYXG and paying an excellent rate (after some haggling). I had spent 3 weeks travelling most of Goa and found the north to be quite disappointing, it just wasn’t my kind of crowd. The south was excellent!!
    Palolem has gorgeous beaches, a wide selection of excellent food, some great courses (cooking, yoga etc.) and a great mixture of travellers and the local fishing community. You can go to very tranquil beaches with almost nobody in a short motorbike ride (rentable everywhere). The headphone parties are DEFINITELY worth checking out and makes me wonder why it isn’t an international trend after having an amazing time without hurting my throat shouting or going deaf every time I go out dancing!
    India was an absolutely amazing experience for so many reasons, the food, the people etc. You’ll love it! :)
    BTW I’ll be in Poland for 2010 – first very briefly for New Year’s and then most likely for 3 months in the summer (still to be confirmed) with a plan to become fully fluent in the language in that time :) Hope to run into you!

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