Garden Route offers everything from cute, little beach towns, to world class surfs and world class bungee jumping. I have already mentioned my road trip along the Garden Route, so here I will continue with sharing pictures and thoughts about one specific adventure this trip included: The World’s Highest Commercial Bungee Jump!
So we were on our way, driving, pretending to be all cool about it, while at the same time being extremely excited. I couldn’t tell if I was scared or not, but I was definitely not feeling normal. We got there, went on to the scale, had are weight written on our wrist in a bold, fat print (no place to be self conscious), and were strapped up in some sort of harness. I still wonder what this harness was for. Honestly I think it was just a thing they did to make us feel safe and protected. I can’t remember they ever strapped the harness into anything. Other than a tiny little rope to the “foot loop” during the jump. Anyways, after these preparations they led us out onto the bridge (see pictures).
Interestingly enough, the jumping does not take place on top of the bridge, but from a ramp built below it. You can barely see it on the photos. The path that takes you out to the ramp is of the see-through and wobbly kind, which made the walk out there almost as scary as the jump itself. Especially for my heroic friend who happened to be scared of heights.
Out on the ramp I was told that I was the first one to jump. I was cool with that, since I would rather get it over with as soon as possible. They strap a nice and padded loop around your feet, tighten it just not enough to make you feel secure, attach the loop to your harness with some dental floss and give you the thumbs up.
Ok, I am supposedly ready to go. I stand up, wobble over to the edge, still smiling and playing cool. I have to admit I was pretty nervous, but still able to hide it behind smiles and laughter. I peek over the edge and as they showed us on the video afterwards: My face went instantly from smile and coolness, to an intense mix of fear and horror, as if I had just realized that I swallowed a bomb by accident. At the same time as this massive fear exploded inside of me they started counting down from three. Not in a calm and relaxing counting, but in a screaming-at-the-top-of-your-lungs-counting. And I think their counting, plus the little push they gave me, is what actually made me jump.
My jump is likely to be the most embarrassing and disgraceful in South Africa’s bungee jumping history. While others can claim to be flying like a bird, or sailing like some other sort of bird, I was just falling. You know those little new born baby birds who jump out of their nest for the first time. That was me. I was falling, waving my arms, screaming, plummeting, screaming more, waving more, plummeting more, all until i was finally just hanging there. I didn’t realize at the time how ugly looking my jump was, all I remember is the extreme acceleration, the power, the wind, the sound of my voice and the feeling in my stomach.
The rest is history. Look at the pictures. My jump comes first, and then the perfect, flying swan that jumped after me. I think her gracefulness in the air must have contributed to the fact that I am today living with this girl, who I had just gotten to know at the time of the bungee experience.