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Thoughts of a wandering soul The "IT WAS TIME" Trip!

Why live on the edge, when you can jump off!

MACAU | Wednesday, 28 November 2012 | Views [2778] | Comments [1]

After having found out that it was only an hour to Macau from Hong Kong, I had decided I had to go over and check out the Macau tower and the world record bungy jump off the top of it! Velina hadn’t been to Macau either, so it was a first for both of us. As we were walking towards the ferry terminal, I realised I had brought travel sickness tablets, but not taken it. Oh well, it’s only an hour right? We should be fine...


BIG MISTAKE!!! We both felt pretty ordinary by the time we reached the other side! How was I going to do the jump feeling like this?? Thankfully as soon as we got off the ferry I felt much better. We found ourselves on a bus to Macau Tower that drove us through the city After all that we had heard and imagined, it wasn’t quite what we expected the place to be, but as we neared the city centre (I guess?) the buildings became infinitely more majestic, grand and somewhat monstrous in size.

We finally arrived at the Macau Tower and found our way to the check in counter. After a brief discussion with the guy at the bungy jump counter I decided to take the full package which included the Skywalk, Bungy jump, tshirts, photos & video! Handing my credit card over, there was a brief notion of “this card is almost at its limit now!”.

Velina could not be convinced to try either activity, so she just bought a visitor’s ticket and we went up together. As the lift went up, we could see through panels of glass a view of the city. We stepped out at the 58th floor and had a wander around. A collective scream brought our attention to a particular spot on the circular observation deck that had a label on the glass “Caution: people falling”. The bungy jumpers! With a quick look at each other and a few photos, we made our way to the top – the 61st floor.

We wandered around the “external” observation deck which was also enclosed in glass, but there was also a glass ceiling so you could see the sky. We walked around and there were a couple of guys doing the skywalk as a horde of people followed them from the inside. Then, the bungy jumpers. There was a couple doing it so we watched them get fitted in their harness. I guess if I had to be superficial, I would have said they did look the part of thrillseekers! The girl was tall, with long black hair, shaved on one side. The guy, although sporting a comparatively “normal” hair style was also pierced with earrings and had a very big, muscular body. They both were quite excited.

Okay, my turn, I wanna do this! I went and they gave me a form for the bungy jump. And sure enough, I pointed out to Velina, there was a clause about how if anything bad happens to you, it’s your own fault & you can’t sue the company for anything. Velina had been so cute! She’s like, give me your parents’ phone number so I can call them if something goes wrong. Then she’s like, no give me your friend’s number so I can call them – I don’t want to be the one that calls your parents! Hehe!


So as recommended by the ticket selling guy I did the Skywalk first! I get my “free” Skywalk tshirt (a bright orange) and get myself fitted for a harness. Then my photographer comes along so we pose for some pictures before I realise she’s the one taking me on this walk as well! There’s a locked glass door to exit the deck and step outside the tower. Right next to where the bungy jump platform is. There are these ropes attached a pulley system attached overhead. So the rope gets attached to your harness and you can walk on a platform of about 3m across that runs around the circumference of the tower. There is space between the body of the tower and this platform on one side, and of course, nothing on the other side!


So we walk along, as she stops me every now and again to adjust my ropes and get me into poses for the photos. Leaning back off the tower, running & then swinging around the corner, sitting with my legs hanging off the edge. All of this is quite fun and then she asks me to lean forward off the tower as if I’m doing a bungee jump. As I lean over, and look down, I think, I can totally do this!

We’re back to the start before I know it and I go inside to get kitted up for the bungy jump! Back to registration, and given another “free” black tshirt for the bungy jump. This is how you can tell what activity people are doing, as these tshirts cannot be bought by just anyone. The same photographer, Kelsey, fitted me into my harness and after I was done, she weighed me and wrote the number on the back of my hand in BIG WRITING. Then before entering the bungy platform, another guy weighed me again.

Okay, come out and sit on that chair. It looked like a dentist’s chair but made out of that hole punched look aluminium that park bins are made of. While I was sitting, shaved hair girl was about to jump. She had a huge grin and while scared, seemed to be excited. She kept looking at me and I just kept saying, you’ll be great! Watching the bungy jump up close and personal it seemed so easy, but she was getting more and more terrified. Just before the jump she looked once at me again, with that big grin and even bigger eyes and I smiled back and gave her a thumbs up! Then the two guys on either side of her counted down and off she went!

OMG! Before I had time to think or react, one of the guys - Jack - came over and strapped my ankles together and connected another couple of cables to my harness. He explained how it worked and how long he’s worked there, etc. He then attached another cable with a red handle that he wanted me to pull when after I had jumped, I was going back up again. Okay, show me, he asked. I pulled & the carabiner holding my ankles together clicked open quite easily. Eeeek! That can’t happen accidentally right, I checked. Nope, he confirmed. Phew!


He then told me told me to get up and walk to the platform. Firstly, with your ankles strapped together, it is really hard to take any kind of step! How had the others done it? I couldn’t recollect watching any of any of them shuffling or waddling as I was doing! They shuffled me to the edge of the platform where I held onto the side handles. the other guy removed my hands and Jack said, we’re going to count down from 5, when we get to 0, just fall, don’t jump. They moved me right to the edge, and I was still okay. I looked around, and then the countdown started.

Five...oh, this is a bit soon! Will I have to jump straight away?
Four...what if I’m not ready yet?
Three...oh God...
Two...wait, I...
One...oh my God!
Zero...no! no!
Go...I fall/get pushed off...ARRRRGH!!!! ARRRRGH!!!! OH MY GOD!!!!

And then a second later I realise I’m in a straight line, there’s a big pillow and a guy waiting below.

Oh, this isn’t so bad. Ah yes, things look pretty cool from up here.

Oh, what? We’re slowing down? Oh, here I go up again.

The bounce, oh that’s right pull the cord.

I grab onto the cable that connects to the carabiner between my ankles and pull! Nothing.

What the?

I pull harder, still nothing!

Oh no! Am I gonna have to hang upside down the whole way? I can feel the pressure building up in my eyes so I close them. Nope, not really helping. Why aren’t they lowering me?? I lift my head so I can try and relieve some of the pressure and then I think, oh, the guy did say pull on the red handle. But aren’t they all connected anyway? Oh well, I’ll try.

I pull on the red handle and instantly my legs are released and I topple over into a seated position. Relief! I’m then lowered down and the guy & another girl come to collect me and remove all the cables.

I’m so thrilled I can’t stop grinning. I have a massive big grin the whole way back up. I feel like I’ve just conquered the world! I feel ten feet tall and bulletproof! This is what it must feel like to be an adolescent guy all the time! :-) As I’m heading back to the observation deck, I bump into the thrillseeking couple. I go up to the girl and give her a big hug! I feel like we’re now connected in some strange way, and we talk to each other excitedly about our experience. I find out that it’s actually their first time doing this and they’re from Switzerland. Huh - I would NOT have picked that. We exchange a few more words in French which surprises her and then we go our own ways with a maybe I’ll see you at another bungy jump! :-)


I feel so happy & light & incredible like nothing matters the rest of my life has just disappeared and there’s nothing left except this moment of bliss and it is all that fills my body. It IS a high and if this is how people who take drugs feel, I can totally understand why they do it. It is a feeling unlike any other. Just an ongoing high and feeling ridiculously happy!

I get up to the 61st floor again and think I’ll check my eyes to make sure they are okay - I don’t want to freak Velina out anymore, but she’s there as soon as the doors open. We hug & squeal. She doesn’t say anything about my eyes so I assume they are fine. We talk some more and I go to collect the rest of my things, ie. my video. We watch it on the screen in the shop where anyone else can also see it.

At the moment I jump & hear myself scream, all the feelings come back to me and I’m off on my high again. It is truly a feeling beyond compare! We finish up and ask the lady at the front desk what we can do? We saw this food festival outside? She says it doesn’t start til 5pm, but we can check out City of Dreams, The Venetian & Hard Rock Cafe which are all close to each other. We think. There’s a free shuttle bus that goes there, she tells us. Done!

We catch the shuttle and are totally in awe of the buildings on this other island of Taipa. Incredible, huge, ornate, like buildings from olden France or Austria. Palatial! We arrive at City of Dreams and it is huge! At first I am sadly mistaken that it is anything like Crown Casino when I see the chandeliers & water features inside the entrance. This place is all gleaming black marble and a pinky brown marble floor. There are rows and rows of exclusive and expensive designer stores. Women walk around in velour, sequins, diamantes, slinky dresses & high heels.

I’m dressed in black cargo pants & black canvas shoes, still wearing my black bungy tshirt. I’m nothing if not colour co-ordinated.

We’ve been seeing all the signs for this thing on dancing water or something. What is it? An amazing show a friend texts me. You should see it if you get a chance but it starts at 8pm. The whole once in a lifetime thing flashes before my eyes. Velina doesn’t want to see it, so I’d have to stay, watch it by myself and we’d both end up catching the ferry back alone!

However, Velina, the ever kind said that I should definitely stay and see the show. We lined up for what seemed like ages before we finally got to the ticket counter. The lady informed us that the 8pm show had sold out but there were still tickets for the 5pm show, half an hour away. Then she pointed to the seat plan and indicated that the front row B reserve were available. Front row? And not A reserve? Hell yes! Okay, I’ll take one!

HK$680. And I’ll pay by...umm...well let’s see, definitely no cash, my credit card had possibly a little bit left after the bungy jump, and I only had my debit card. Umm...think! Think! Okay, here’s my credit card...and I watched as the lady processed what was very likely to put me in overdraft & be a very expensive ticket! Oh well, it was done now!

As I walked away Velina said as it was only 1 and ½ hours, she’d get something to eat & hang around. If she felt like heading off, she’d send me a text. After we parted, I started calculating how much this ticket was going to cost me. At about 21% on my full balance - eeeek! After I almost passed out, I realised this was an annual amount, and that I would only have to pay for one or two days at most.

Feeling relatively better, I sat down - in the front row and waited for the show. Then another thought occurred to me - how much HAD I paid for the bungy jump? And the theatre ticket? According to my trusty currency translator, it came to somewhere just below the credit I had left. Oh please! I prayed! Let there be just enough credit left to cover it and I promise to pay more attention in future! Having thus said my prayers, I settled down to enjoy the show. Before I continue, I want to say, that it was an AMAZING show and I would highly recommend it to everyone! If you intend to see it, do NOT read the post on “The House on Dancing Water”. Go in completely unaware like I did! :-)

After the show ended, I received a text from Velina that she was still here and to meet her at The Venetian, which was across the road. One thing I gotta say - the lack of instant internet communication access really cramps your style when you’re overseas!

I made my way to the hotel, amazed at its exterior, only to be even more blown away when I entered. Sumptuous, elegant, luxurious. It was like being in, well, what I imagine a palace would be like. High, ornately painted ceilings in the style of the Sistine Chapel, thick rich carpeting, dim lights shining out of extravagant chandeliers and warm golden walls. This was the hotel section.

As I wandered down this magical carpeted hallway, I arrived at the casino of the hotel. I didn’t really need to go in, and plus Velina was waiting so I turned around to try and find the shops where she’d texted she was waiting The shopping section was even more amazing! Apart from the hundreds of shops, a mixture of fashion, food and everything in between, there were these bridges over canals filled with clear blue water. The artificial lights inside emulated daylight so well that it took me a while to realise it was not a glass ceiling above my head, but a painted ceiling with a perpetually blue sky and fluffy white clouds. It really felt like the clouds moved above your head as you walked, but when you stopped and looked up, they were still, painted clouds. However the illusion was so real that I stopped and checked a couple more times that the painted clouds were not, in fact moving.

We finally met up, after I took about four wrong turns and it felt like I’d walked around the floor at least twice! The number and diversity of people visiting there was incredible! And so many tour groups! As we had been also advised, to eat a Lord Stow’s portugese tart, we did, and then it was time to head home. Macau at night was a completely different city to that we had arrived at in the morning. Needless to say, after our ferry experience that morning, neither of us was looking forward to the trip back. Anyway, we made it home in one piece. All in all, it was a truly amazing, spectacular and LONG day!

It took me a while to fall asleep as everytime I closed my eyes I saw the view from the top of the bungy platform and my heart started pounding with the memory.

 

Tags: aj hackett, bungy jump, macau, skywalk, venetian

Comments

1

Ohmygod you're so brave! The skywalk sounds even more terrifying than the jump!

  Beth Nov 28, 2012 8:04 AM

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