I can fly… Or maybe I can fall really fast and scream like a girl…
Yeah this week’s post is another video from my bucket list.
I was planning on posting something else entirely but time was running out and I desperately wanted to post something on time to keep up with my resolution. So I thought I would follow on from my skydive video with the other video I picked up on my travels.
While travelling around New Zealand I was persuaded into jumping off a bridge. Luckily I was strapped to a big rubber band so I managed to survive the ordeal. I can assure you that the screaming was simply a side effect of all the alcohol I had consumed the night before…
When I woke up I had no intention of attempting anything more than a good sleep on the bus trip to Queenstown. From what I remember, it was 10 years ago mind, the previous night was a bit of a heavy one. I was doing a bit of a trip around the south island in New Zealand on the Magic Bus.
Someone came around the bus asking who wanted to have a go at the bungy jump at Kawarau Bridge on the way into Queenstown. I woke up briefly and, being extremely scared of heights, immediately pretended to be asleep. I didn’t want to appear to chicken out but at the same time I didn’t want to put myself through such a terrifying experience. I thought nothing more of it until the coach pulled up at the bridge.
Over the microphone came the explanation of where we were and that they had phone ahead with the list of people wanting to do the bungy jump. As there were quite a few takers, and the stop wasn’t very long, those brave souls would have to go straight to the ticket office and fork over their money. Then the guide read out her list of names…
Among them was my name. I looked over at the guy in the seats next to me, we had got to know each other a bit the night before over a few pints, and with a smile on his face he explained, “You were asleep mate, and I knew you wouldn’t want to miss out on this!”
What could I say to that? So I just climbed off the bus and went through with it. I have no doubt that I would not have signed up for it by myself and knowing about it, for an hour or so beforehand, would only have made it worse, so in some respects I was pleased that I could just do it, on the spur of the moment, without having to worry over it for ages.
Well, we were there now so I might as well just get on with it.
Easier said than done. Even getting down off the bridge onto the little shelf had me shaking like a leaf. There was a stage there where I didn’t think I was going to be able to go through with it.
I confessed my fear to the safety guy, who, at the time, was wrapping a towel around my ankles. This felt a little surreal. How was a towel going to stop me from plunging to my doom?
I suppose I wasn’t the first person to be quivering at the thought so he told me to stare straight ahead, and don’t look down. I did try to explain that that hadn’t even crossed my mind.
As I couldn’t even contemplate looking down I asked him to tell me when to stop, and started to shuffle my feet forward. Baby steps would have been an understatement.
Next he asked me to hold onto the hand rail from the outside, which I eventually managed to do but I had to make sure that one hand was in contact with the rail at all times.
Then he started counting down…
Then I started to scream…
It was quite an experience and I am glad that I have done it. One more thing to cross off the list.
One thing I will say is that because I had tried so hard to avoid thinking about what I was about to do, I hadn’t clicked on the fact that I was strapped to a big elastic rope. That meant that it wan’t quite as simple as jump, then land and it’s all over. I hadn’t accounted for the fact that I was going to bounce back up again and again.