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Hitch hiking was going terribly wrong. I had woken up a bit late this morning and couldn’t find anyone in the hostel going to Turangi, the town where I was headed to do the torringo crossing.

Hitch hike it is than, I told myself.

I lugged my bags a solid 2 km effort either got to a place where cars could even pull over. But It was another 1.5km walk to the main highway where the golden turf of hitch hiking was.

If you’ve never hitch hiked, like I hadn’t until a few months ago, it’s important to know that you have to be in a good location to get picked up. I’ve been stranded waiting because of my poor hitch spot before.

Once again this seemed to be happening, but to get to a good location meant another 1.5 km of walking and I was getting to the point where I’d be so sweaty no one would pick me up anyway.

Someone will pull over and bring be to the primo location I imagined. So I stuck out my thumb from where I was.

After what felt like an eternity (20-25mins) and roughly the same time I began to tell myself this is the last time I hitch hike, a white truck signals to the shoulder.

Whooo! Instantly I love hitch hiking again.

I open the door to put my bags in and his first words are “Where ya going? You’re not gunna get picked up here mate.”

Thanks for the reminder.

He says he’s headed down the road and he can drop me off at the promise land of locations.

Straight away he gets to asking where I’m from and how long I’d been in town. I told him just since last night, I’m headed to do the crossing.

“You’re not gunna sky dive while you’re here?” He asked.

I was in fact thinking of doing it that morning. A; because I’ve always wanted to skydive and B; because it was the cheapest place in NZ to do it.

“Meh, I thought about it.” I told him.

He goes on to tell me he knows he owner of the skydive quite well and says he’s headed to the airport anyway. “I can call and see if there are spots available. Then I can take you to a place to hitch after the dive.” He said.

I thought about it briefly.

“Uhhhhhh, yah I’ve guess I have time for a quick skydive.”

In less than 2 minutes we were at the airport. 20 minutes after that we where at an altitude of 5000 feet and I began to wonder how the hell I had accomplished this. One minute kicking myself for attempting to hitch hike and half an hour later seconds away from jumping out of a plane.

As we neared the peak attitude I was feeling good. Palms sweating and pale faced but I was ready. I climbed to the edge of the plane, smiled for the camera and let myself ( and the dude strapped to me) fall into the sky.

If you’ve skydived you know it’s great. If you haven’t, you need to hitch a ride to your nearest skydive centre.

We landed in the air field and there my driver was waiting for me. I walked over, still dressed in my dive outfit and introduced myself formally since we hadn’t even had time on the drive.

He introduced himself as John, the owner of the Taupo Tandem Skydive.

Sneaky salesman.

I asked him if he had ever picked up anyone else and if they had went skydiving that very minute.

“Nope, never.”

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