Shweeb. Swoop. Zorb.
Words I had never before heard in my life. Until, that is, acquainting myself with the in-your-face extreme sports and culture that New Zealand is famous for. The above terms are names of some of the inventive, nail-biting, there's-only-one-way-down activities NZ has come up with to sky rocket one's blood pressure. In a previous post, I mentioned that for a relatively small country, Kiwis tend to go big. Well, their sense of adventure is one of those big areas. The biggest. The fastest. The highest. They invented adventure superlatives.
And I had to get in on the action. Indeed, stepping out of the comfort zone is the crux, the essence, the meat and potatoes of being here. I refused to let my nerves get the best of me. I headed straight to Zorb. After posing many questions to the excitable guys running the show and kicking myself for not creating an updated will, I was consoled to know that this particular place, in Rotorua, is the Zorb motherland; where it all started. Having pushed myself through the flexible plastic sphere's opening and harnessed myself in, I was ready to bounce, tumble, and reel head over heels down the intimidating hill. And away we go!
From start to finish, I couldn't stop laughing. It struck me as so silly that I was deliberately sitting in the middle of a huge, uncontrollable bouncing ball. Zero purpose. Just an innovative way to have fun.
Other oddball ideas that got my adrenalin pumping this week were the mountain luge (think low-to-the-ground, brakes-are-for-sissies alpine ride) and the Huka Falls Jet. The latter is a special jet boat that skims and skips across the Waikato River to the popular, gushing Huka Falls at roughly 50 mph. The periodic 360's and skids along the banks of the river were scream-worthy.
Testing my typical boundaries? You betcha. It's OK to be square. But rough and rounded edges are good too.
Hei kona ra!
Getting the ball rolling at Zorb
How does this thing stop again?
The thundering Huka Falls