June 22, 2008

Taking the leap

Bungy jumping first started on Vanuatu in the Pacific where people have been throwing themselves from huge towers for centuries with nothing more than a few vines tied to their feet. These ancient rituals inspired the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club to try a few experimental jumps in the 1970s. In the mid-1980s, AJ Hackett saw a video and teaming up with fellow speed skier Henry van Asch, they developed bungy into the modern ritual it is today. On November 12, 1988 the Kawarau Bungy Bridge became the world’s first bungy site, and the home of bungy jumping. Since then AJ Hackett Bungy has opened four other bungy jumping sites in New Zealand.

I had always wanted to try bungy jumping. Over the last few years, progressing from a carefree single woman to becoming a mother, I realized that I’m becoming more scaredy cat, less inclined to extreme activities and less inclined to take risks. I knew that this was my best chance to do it, before I totally strike this off as something I want to do at least once in my lifetime.
To ensure that I don’t chicken out, I signed up the day before at the bungy centre in town, and paid NZ$160. We drove to the Kawarau Bungy Bridge in the morning and after watching a few jumps, I was ready to check-in.

The beautiful Kawarau River

The bungy bridge

After getting my details and weighing in, I was instructed to just follow the sign-posted path to the bridge. I put on the harness, had my feet bound together and made my way to the edge of the bridge.

Looking down 43m (that’s about 10-storeys high, if you must know) into the crystal clear waters of the Kawarau River, I felt as if my heart had dropped into my stomach!

There was no turning back, and I threw myself off the bridge.

It was electrifying, but only for the few seconds of free falling before the cord rebound, and I was left hanging upside down till my knights in shining life jacket came to my rescue.

It was an exhilarating experience, knowing that I’ve conquered yet another of my lifetime quests. And oh, in case you are wondering, hubby didn’t jump. He said he wouldn’t survive even five seconds of the fall :-)

The jubilant jumper after her quest


jazzmint said...

OMG....u did it!!! That's like a dream to me. ANd the river si so beautiful

A Mom's Diary said...

Jazz, yes, I did it! And you can see from the "after" photo that I was really glad I did.

Anonymous said...

waaahhh!!! so brave one! :D