Two Near Death Experiences In One Day!
Sorry I've been away for a while! I went on a holiday to New Zealand and since I've been back I have been so busy!
I have an interesting story from said trip... In one day I had TWO near death experiences.
To start off, we were driving to a place called the Siberian Valley to do a whole day trip of adventure! Basically, it was meant to start of with a light plane flight for about 40mins, then be dropped of at a 3hr hike in the middle of nowhere, and then be picked up by a jetboat at the end of the hike, taking us back to the centre.
Well on the drive there, a massive campervan was driving on our side of the road (the wrong side!) and did not realise... We ended up stopping in the middle of the road and being so confused as to how he and his passenger did not pick up on the fact that they were driving on the wrong side of the road with 3 other cars behind us. Luckily no one crashed but we were all a bit shocked and from then on carefully eyed every other car coming our way. That was our first scary experience of the day!
We got to the centre and hopped in our little, yellow, 4 seater plane and were flying for about 15mins when the plane suddenly started making weird noises at 4000ft. Our pilot said, "Um our engine is failing and I'm going to have to land now". Cool, no biggie Haha Mum said later that she thought he was joking at first. Nope, he was serious.
It took about 10mins for the pilot to get low enough to land the plane safely, so it felt like a long wait to reach land! My mum - sitting next to me - put her hand on my knee and I felt bad but I didn't want to put my hand on hers. I thought it would have made me more scared because that's what you're probably meant to do when death is imminent (well that's what my thinking process was in the moment anyway). I just wanted to convince myself that everything would be okay and we would land safely. I was actually proud of myself that I didn't freak out. I was surprisingly calm, although I was a little more worried closer to landing because I expected it to be really rough. I worried a little when the pilot was pulling a lever down over and over (and desperately hoped that wasn't what was keeping our plane in the air).
In the end, we did land and it wasn't rough at all! We were very relieved to be grounded though :D So now I can say I've been in an emergency plane landing! Yay? :D
Then the waiting game began...
In the middle of nowhere, we sat under the plane's wing in the shade in the hope that the centre would realise that our GPS coordinates were not where we were meant to be. Our pilot attempted and failed to contact the centre a couple of times for an hour. Finally he decided to send the emergency signal which is sent to the capital (Wellington), then they contact the nearest air strip I think. About 10mins later a helicopter arrived to rescue us! Hurrah!
To be honest, I was so excited to go in the helicopter - I've always wanted to because they look so badass! Haha
We left our pilot and the boss who arrived on the helicopter, with the plane and were flown to the start of our 3hr hike. Our only instructions were, "Walk over there where there's kind of a track and always keep the river on your right". A little daunting but we found our way! The hike was pretty fun, with lots of creek crossing, clambering over boulders, and not one person in sight. We managed to complete the hike in only 2hrs and about 5mins away from the end, our jetboat driver came looking for us. Luckily he had heard what had happened to us and was so kind to wait about 20mins for us. He was great fun and before we hopped on he said, "I'm not too sure I want you guys on my boat! You've had pretty bad luck today!" We did feel like we were tempting fate all day... The jetboat ride was heaps of fun and I expected it to be scary but it wasn't at all! (Perhaps because we had become desensitised to fear and danger by that stage but who knows?)
Well we got back to the centre in one piece and now we have a pretty crazy story to tell!
I hope you enjoyed this little (well big - sorry about that), narrative of my almost unbelievable day. Tell me about any near death experiences you've had! Man, isn't life insane?