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Sloggs' Travel Blog A journal of my travels in 2008 & beyond...

Kawarau Bungy and on to Te Anau...

NEW ZEALAND | Tuesday, 3 June 2008 | Views [1465] | Comments [2]

Look ma I can fly!!

Look ma I can fly!!

Unfortunately I did not have a good nights sleep, with the cold setting in nicely and waking up shivering cold about 4am and not being able to get back to sleep properly, I rose from my pit around eight and forced some breakfast past my sore throat. This was going to be interesting, as I was doing a bungy on a cold crisp morning before driving down to Te Anau!

The drive to the bungy site took about twenty five minutes, and I listened to some hard dance music to try and pep me up a bit more! The paracetamols had kicked in along with my breakfast cereal by the time I pulled up in the carpark next to Chris, and I was feeling pretty up for it! The anticipation of this kind of thing is part of the buzz I think, and the slight nervousness was fine by me... I was jumping, and thats all there was to it!

The site is where Mr A J Hackett installed the first ever commercial bungy operation, and is on a bridge spanning the Kawarau river, with a forty three meter drop from the bridge to the river surface. The staff are highly professional and very happy of course, and so settle you into the day nicely. There was also some good news delivered as we were weighed in, I am now 97kg's, which is under what I was targeting only three weeks ago when I weighed in at 103kg's. The strict healthy diet and ton of exercise had paid off, and now I've started I'll be keeping it going. (It's so much easier without the daily pressures and stresses of everyday home life to stick to this plan!) After getting a large '97' written on my hand in red marker, we were off outside into the cold morning air and onto the frosty viewing platform. We were among the first jumps of the day and Chris and I decided to stagger our jumps so that we could take photos of each others jumps. We played roshambo (sp?) to see who would go first, which Chris won with some skillful play, lol! I'm officially rubbish at roshambo, having yet to win when it counts! Although, perhaps it was best to go second with this particular activity, who can say? I stood on the public viewing platform off to the side of the bridge and jump platform, armed with Chris's camera and Chris headed up to get kitted up and jump... there was some apprehension in him, but also a steely determination to get this under his belt!

Chris got the safety harness fitted and stood on the bridge and watched the first few jumps of the day go off, which seemed to make him look slightly more nervous. I found watching them settle any nerves I had and was really looking forward to it after seeing those before us do it so easily. When Chris stepped out onto the platform I took a shot of him standing near the edge and then switched to continuous mode ready to snap the whole jump. He gave a salute (lol!) and took a deep breath and off he jumped! Great form by the lad too, arms out to his side and only yelling out an expletive near the bottom of the fall! He opted out of being dunked into the river and so came up the stairs after being collected in the boat at the bottom, buzzing and dry.

It was my turn...

By the time I got up to the platform, everyone else booked in this morning had jumped so I was straight into the harness and sat getting my ankles tied in and being briefed immediately. The guys up there are a hoot, and we had a bit of banter pretty much straight away, including me opting for a 'little touch' into the water after considering not bothering due to my cold and the fact that it was bloody cold today! I had a change of heart though and thought why the hell not take the plunge?! The guy running the show said that it is 'not an exact science' and that 'surprises are nice', with a twinkle in his eye. I anticipated getting my outstretched arms wet and maybe the top of my head. Once hooked in we're ready and 'its all up to you now mate'! I hopped straight up to the edge of the step, with my ankles now tightly tied together and took a good look down into the river... brill! I was buzzing like a mofo! They have some formalities at this point, namely pointing you at the camera in front of you for a cheesy snap shot before you throw yourself off of a bridge, then to the assembled crowd (which was small for my jump) and then points you to the horizon before beginning his count down... 3...2...1... BUNGY and I was gone! I leap out as far as I could and it was only at the point where my feet left the platform that I really realised that I was jumping off of a bridge! The feeling left immediately and the rush of air and adrenaline was fucking awesome (I'm allowed to swear to describe this, I've done a bungy!). I remember shouting 'I love it' at the top of my voice through the fall, which seemed to last for ages, and then remembered that I might hit thew water to looking straight at it and being confused with the now stretching bungy cord slowing my down a little bit, got my bearings wrong and was in there before I'd tucked my head onto my chest like I'd been told. My 'little touch' was hilarious, I went under, head and arms first, up to my stomach!!!! The recoil bounce is wicked fun and Chris caught some great photos of the whole splash down and bounce (cheers mate!), which look brill. The git up top had got me good and proper, and half of the river was up my nose. I recall shouting 'good morning' to the world and myself after the wake up provided by the dunk, and the two guys in the boat at the bottom who rescue and untie you from the cord replied with a laughed 'good morning' too, lol! I was immediately hooked on the rush and pretty much wanted to go again straight away! Once unclipped and back up the climb to the viewing station, Chris got some snaps of me soaked and shivering, NOT good for colds... lol.

I went and got dry and changed in the van and then went back inside to check out the official pictures and video of the jump. Usually I don't go for these things, as they are generally an added rip off, but I could resist it in this case, plus I can add the much bigger 'Nevis' jump in Queenstown to the dvd at a very good knock down price. I WILL be doing that jump... it is 134 meters, loads bigger than this one, and is from a suspended cable pod over a huge ravine. I'm actually really looking forward to that, as the freefall is loads longer and that was the best bit today. It is such a 'release' to jump off of a bridge, LMAO!!!

After this we drove down to Te Anau, where we will be based for a couple of days to check out Milford Sound and surrounding area. I was buzzing all the way on this drive, smiling like a nutter pretty much the whole way, lol. We stopped for a big celebratory lunch, where I treated the new slightly slimmer me to a large burger and chips in a little cafe in a random town.

Tonight and tomorrow I'm staying in the shared hostel and parking the van in their carpark. I need to try and shift this stupid cold feeling, and sleeping in a freezing cold van like this will not help. It is actually really nice to be sat on comfy sofa's and have a nice log fire to sit in front of to relax tonight, and only for a few extra dollars than the van would cost in a powered site.

Tomorrow we are off to Milford Sound to get on one of the boat cruises that runs around the area, which I'm looking forward to and should be pretty breath taking as long as the weather isn't terrible.

Pics of crazy ass bungy jumping are over on facebook!!! Woohoo!!

Tags: adrenaline, bungy, driving

 

Comments

1

Awesome fun ain't it mate? Back in my student days I logged 5 jumps at the AJ Hackett site in Normandy - fantastic buzz!

  Steve A Jun 4, 2008 2:17 AM

2

You sicko. Jump out a plane...yes. That...omg, nutter.

  Woody Jun 6, 2008 1:27 AM

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