The Scariest Thing I’ve Ever Done – BUNGY
Last Saturday, upon my arrival to Queenstown, I decided to go Bungy Jumping. My online photo code hasn’t been working till today, so I had to wait until they resolved the problem, before I could write this post. Sorry for the delay!
Anyway, back in 1988 AJ Hackett invented ‘bungy’ jumping right here in Queenstown. So obviously since it was invented here, I had to give it a try. They have three AJ Hackett bungys here in Queenstown. The Kawarau Bridge (43 M- also where first commercial bungy site started in the world), the Ledge (34M), and the Nevis Gorge (134 M). I picked… the Nevis. 134 M or 440 ft straight down – one of the highest commercial sites in the world.
I knew that if I didn’t bungy right away, I probably would have never done it. So I dropped my stuff off at the hostel and then boarded a 4×4 bus to take me up to the gorge where the Nevis Bungy was located. The bus ride itself was terrifying. Graced with steep cliffs on both sides, the bumpy dirt road took me straight up a mountain to where I greeted by the sight of a box suspended by two cables hanging over a 800 foot gorge.
As if the ride wasn’t scary enough, the wind was howling that day, and whether or not we were going to be able to bungy was in question. Luckily the wind died down a bit and they gave us the green light to go. To get out the suspended jumping platform, we had to take a small cable car. Upon arrival to the suspended jump platform, the six of us were shuffled into the backside of the jumping platform. The jump master gave us a brief spiel and then his assistants put harnesses on our feet. The 6 of us sat patiently waiting for our name to be called to jump. I was number 4.
Watching the other 4 in front of me jump only increased my own anxiety. Finally my name was called and I was brought to a seat next to the jumping platform. Here they hooked the actual bungee cord up to my feet. This was the scariest moment. 26 years of life, and I was literally putting it all on the line. I like information – I wanted to know what cord did what, why they were hooking it up the way they were, how the system worked, etc. They didn’t tell me anything. I was putting my life in the hands of the bungy master; assuming what he did was correct. My heart was pounding, I couldn’t look anywhere but at the horizon. I tried calming myself down by asking how often they changed the bungee cord. The bungee master told me every 500 jumps, but not to worry because I was number 499. That was reassuring…..
Next they helped me up and forced me to shuffle out to the jumping platform. The wind was still strong and because of this they had to wait until the wind died before I could jump. The jump master informed all of us that when he counted down to ‘ONE’ we had to jump, NO QUESTIONS ASKED. So right when I got to the end of the platform, the wind immediately went down. Quickly, the jump master yelled ‘3,2,1.’ I didn’t have time to think. I just jumped.
I don’t remember much, but the ground coming at me super quick. The free fall was 8.5 seconds – long enough for me to second guess my decision to jump and if the rope was actually going to catch me. I had about two big bounces. The weightlessness was amazing.
After the jump they pulled me back up. I have never felt so elated in my life. I literally thought I could take on the world. That night I went clubbing and partied till 5 am. If you ever have the chance to bungy, I highly recommend it. It’s one hell of a ride.