Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mission Impossible, like literally

Everyone has watched on of those movies where the ninjas/thieves/charlie's angels break into a highly secured complex, with cameras, infra-red sensors, patrolling security in the middle of the night. But how many of us can actually say we've done it?

Getting told a list of all the people getting arrested having unsuccessfully tried to break into this gigantic power plant did not convince me to go in. However a bunch of seals did. The only way into this highly secured complex was through the back. And how? We had to walk through a go-cart track, push our way through half an hour of dark forest, climb some rocks by the sea then VOILA. That was the easy part. 

We had to teamwork our way through the barbed wire fence, tore a hole in my pants and sustained a few cuts. At that point I stayed and pondered if I wanted to get arrested, just having paid for my tickets to Taiwan the next week, whilst my urbex team left me by some seals and went to figure out how to enter the tightly secured building. Half an hour later, the seals seemed to have screamed YOLO at me so I got up asked Tansix for directions via text message and I was off. 

This was a thermal power station built in the 1970's to meet the increasing power demand of NZ. But because of more recent, more efficient plants being built recently, this one was officially shut down in 2007. Especially because much of the machinery was cladded with asbestos. And YES that's a 200m tall tower with more than a million bricks!

There is still multimillion dollars of machinery in there, so the owners employ security to patrol the grounds and they keep the facility brightly lit to keep robbers and trespassers (like us) away.  

What I saw before I decided to take a risk and ninja in. So I had to tiptoe behind shadows of various warehouses, avoid sensors/cameras, crawl across a rusty bridge, climb off a platform, sprint across an exposed spot and climb three ladders climb through a fire exit (all in silence) before I found my team. Should have recorded it, it would've looked like a mission impossible movie!

The inside consisted of four parts:
  1. The City of Metal. The vibes I got from this was a mix of some Studio Ghibli fantasyland, the inside of a submarine and kowloon walled city. 

I call it "city" because of the 7 levels of maze like pathways that were lit at regular intervals by street lamp looking lights.

Lost myself in this almost beautiful metallic labyrinth.

Imagine this but a hundred times bigger

Wish we could stay longer, but every second we were in here was a second that security could run into us.

2. The locker room

A whole floor dedicated to metal cabinets filled with a collection of different valves, meters and other curious devices. With an equally curiously Swedish sauna wooden theme!

At least 50 of these metal beings

I was tempted to turn it on, to see if something would explode.

An engineer/physicist can explain this to me, other wise to me it's a giant xylophone!

3. Ze Control Room

We were crazily flicking the switches, trying to see if anything did anything! 

This is just a third of the control room! There must be 10 of these Star Trek looking stations around!

Wonder what these TV looking things are!

I thought only nuclear power plants would have this, but even thermal energy plants may explode!

Me and my iPhone 5 camera taking a picture of what looks like a seismograph.

4. The almighty GENERATORS

They look like giant minions off Despicable Me!

Need I say more? 

And then we quietly (but extremely hyped) tiptoed over the way we ninja-ed in. 

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