The last time we decided to do a bungy jump it was my idea. That was March 2008 in Thailand. This time it was Michelle’s idea. Since the last jump I had developed a bit of a fear for heights, even though I enjoyed the bungy in Phuket. Michelle had wanted to do the canyon swing in Queenstown even before we left Ireland. As we could get a package for both a bungy and canyon swing we thought why not. The canyon swing will be explained in the next blog and for now I’ll describe the bungy.
We left the office of AJ Hackett and drove for 40mins to the canyon where we would do our bungy jump. Everyone on the bus was a little tense and talking about who would jump first. Something told me early on it would be me. When we arrived at the site of the bungy we were told that there were no refunds and that we just had to do it! We got into our harnesses and got weighed so that they could judge the amount of bungy cord or whatever way they do it, for each weight. Unluckily for me I was with
a bunch of scrawny 18 year old boys and girls and the jumps went by order of weight. There was one other guy from Argentina “of normal size!” who was one kg lighter than me! They took us two out first along with Michelle and the other guys girlfriend.
The bungy itself is from a cabin, supported and held up by wires from either side of the canyon. To get there we had to take a small five person cable lift. The guy bringing us over told me I would be going first and I was the team captain and I had to set a good example. Talk about physiological pressure. Not only had I to jump out of a cabin suspended in 134m above a river, I had to go first too. The nerves were building and I was feeling pretty tense. I knew nothing bad was going to happen, its just to make yourself have that belief before you jump is the hardest thing. Soon my legs were strapped up and the guy was giving me the low down on what to do when the bungy stops moving. I could see Michelle and the Argentinean couple looking
at me and you could see the fear in their eyes. ‘Right so, we’re ready to go’. I cant do this is all that went through my head. The guy was holding my strap as we walked to the platform. ‘Ok, on the count of three then jump, remember arms out and don’t run’. Run??? Run where?? I thought. Standing there I really thought I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t help myself but look down. ‘FUCKIN HELL!!!!!!!!’ (please excuse my language but it was exactly what I was thinking). How am I going to do this. ONE, what felt like an eternity passed, TWO, the same again, THREE, Geronimo!!!!!!!!!!!! I had jumped! I cannot actually describe the feeling you get as you rush towards the ground, head first from a height of 134 metres. The first few seconds you are completely free falling and then you can kind of feel that something is with you and then the last few seconds you wait for the cord to kick in. In total the jump is 9 seconds long. Just sit there now and count to 9. See how long it takes. Its like an eternity but then all of a sudden
it is over. I don’t know if I could describe it as the most exhilarating feeling you can get, as sometimes the nerves and tension can make it all a blur. Even when I got back to the top it was hard to remember the fall. When I was pulled back in I kind of fell back on to the railing. Im not sure was it on purpose or because my legs gave way. Michelle and the Argentineans were looking at me with even more fear. Michelle said she didn’t think I would do it as fast as I did but I knew if I refused the first jump it was going to be 10 times harder to do the next. The relief that it was over and done with was brilliant.
Michelle was well down the line as it was done by weight. We had to wait and watch most of the others go first. Not before long though her name was called out. The tension had built even more and she was terrified about doing it. Terrified being the word as she must have said it a hundred times. Her legs were strapped up first before she
went into the area of the jump. I knew she would jump without hesitation but she was saying she didn’t know could she do it. As she walked to the platform she had a grip of the guys arm. She would not let go of him. In fact I’d say she was even hurting him. I could see she was terrified as she walked to the edge. Eventually she let go of the guy and the count down was about to begin. One, Two, Three. She jumped off the platform. Most people scream on the way down but Michelle just like in Thailand didn’t say a word, for a while anyway. As this jump was three time as long as Thailand, three quarters way down she started to scream. Again, count to six seconds and its along time to wait to hear someone scream. Even the guy on the platform said ‘ah, there’s the scream!’, as if surprised he hadn’t heard one at first. When Michelle got back up she was relieved it was over and surprised she had jumped. I wasn’t. I knew there was no way she was going to turn around and say she couldn’t do it.
It’s a life or ego thing. Which one is more important. Chance of crashing in to the ground and making bits of yourself or people saying you were too afraid to jump?
For those who have never done a bungy jump I cannot really describe the feeling you get just before you jump and as your body leaves the platform with your feet still barley touching something solid. It’s the point of no return I suppose. A crazy feeling. To feel gravity then take control and pull you down is just as strange. I know people do a lot crazier things but to through yourself off a ledge, 134m above the ground takes a lot of b*lls and courage. Our day wasn’t finished there though. We had a canyon swing to complete. 120m drop before swinging across the canyon at speeds of up to 150km per hour. Coming next. Stay tuned!
We have also made changes to our plans. We are now leaving Australia two weeks early and going to Borneo and Brunei instead. It still gives us over four weeks in Oz and enough time to do what we need to do. It also means more time
in Malaysia so we think its worth it!
In a bit. DH
Song of the blog: AC/DC - Highway to Hell VIDEO'S BELOW - PRESS RED BUTTON ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN FOR FULL SCREEN WHO YOU OPEN IT
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