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Ben and Ange - On the Road

Mum, I Jumped off a Really High Bridge!

ECUADOR | Friday, 12 September 2008 | Views [973] | Comments [2]

The scene of the crime.

The scene of the crime.

When you`re cycling through the lovely country side of inland Ecuador, you get to a bridge over a rather deep ravine, theres ropes and mats and other paraphernalia and a smiling Ecuadorian dude comes towards you with a jumping harness... what else are you supposed to do but jump off said bridge?  I ask you!

But let me start at the beginning.

So we returned to mainland Ecuador from what is now seeming like a super-sureal Galapagos experience and after double checking that the Guayaquil icecreams were as good as we remembered (which still isn`t as good as the Cuenca ones.... which still probly don`t quite top the one I had in.... I digress...) we headed inland to the Avenida Vulcan (Volcano Avenue). 

This area is lush rolling hills and it seems like a volcano shares the horizon with every point of the compass.  Neat.  Into Baños we headed.  So called because of the seismic hot springs and such like.  This gorgeous town is nestled right under an active volcano and is in fact, in an ongoing state of yellow alert.  This just means "be ready to run for your lives when she blows" so nothing to really get hett up about.

As you travel down and around this valley there`s a waterfall at every possible turn.  Including the stunner close enough to our hostel that in our lovely room, we could be lulled to sleep by the sound of the cascading waters. Naturally such a valley calls to be explored and the clever way to do this is to grab a bicylce - ride downhill checking out all the falls and views and then get a ride on a truck back up the hill.  Jeez theres some clever people out there!

Such a lovely cycle we were having. 

And then we came to a bridge. 

It was a very tall bridge. 

Over a very deep ravine. 

With a river and rocks in it. 

And there were these guys with ropes and stuff. 

And they came toward us with a harness and a too-good-to-refuse price and before you know it Ben is strapped in and standing on the bridge railing! 

Strictly speaking its not a Bunjee jump cos the rope isn`t attached to our feet.  The rope is strapped to us via a rock-climbing meets rally-driving harness.  I`m watching, poised with a heart rate so high I`m not sure any of the photos I take will be in focus and Ben is poised ready to jump.... as soon as I give him the all clear cos all of a sudden I`ve forgotten how to use our point-and-shoot camera.  But jump he does!  Maybe it was more of a topple - but it was still a very quick way off a very high bridge!  His scream kinda sounded like he was having fun... but fear is cleverly disguised at these times, no?  I am impressed beyond words and of course have instantly made up my mind as to whether or not I`m having a go.  As IF I`d let this boy be braver than me!!

I was quite surprised at my calmness as I was harnessed and approached the bridge railing.  Although I did wonder fleetingly if I should call something romantic and meaningful to Ben.  You know, just in case. 

Down to the business of it.  My friendly dude with the ropes tells me to climb up and on the count of three to jump out "like superman".  And jump like superman I did.  A full launch out into the wide nothingness.  Of course it`s at this point that I`ve thought "oh dear sweet jesus what the **** am I doing?!"  and the horror of this thought elicited itself in an almighty scream that would put a draq queen discovering a broken nail to shame!

FUN?!!!  Damn straight!  Not only did we become instant adrenaline junkies (cos it sure it fine!!!) we also became an inspiration to all the other tourists looking on.  After Ben took the first leap of the day people grew courageous and started lining up.  Shoulda taken a cut of the days takings.

Our bicylces may have seemed tame after all that excitement?  But soon enough we came across our next adventure for the day in the form of a cable car crossing the width of the valley directly over a water fall of a sheer 100m drop.  WOW!  The roar and the spray of it as we passed over was just stunning.  We also managed to trek down to the biggest of the falls in the area and stood right along side it.  One way to get a quick soaking anyway.

Caught our truck back to town feeling deeply satisfied with a good days work.  Had a beer and found our way up to a volcano viewing point.  Word is, on a clear night you can see some sparks and even lava glowing.  Guess it wasn`t a clear enough night.  Never mind - these two plum tuckered adventurers were well and truely ready for sleep anyway.  

The sleep of angels we had... falling ones :-)

Oh and mum, word is, Colombia is FULL of rivers and bridges. 

 

Comments

1

Even sounding spanish now. Love hearing about the travels, make me reminiscent of when was it 2002??? So long ago.....See you in Cuba in Feb 2009???? love Dot

  Dot Sep 18, 2008 10:05 PM

2

Ooooh! Would SO LOVE to get to Cuba and the rest of Central America.... but with time ticking (and money NOT growing on trees like we hoped) Taganga is as far north as we get. This time :-) More likely to see us back in Aus for chrissy.

  bagen Sep 26, 2008 4:09 AM

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