Friday, November 29, 2019 @ 9:00 PM in 2019 New Zealand
Today was a thrilling day. Mike and I had made plans to go bungee jumping at the birthplace of bungee at the AJ Hackett Kawarau Bungy Center while Anne and Sam went horseback riding in some of the areas they filmed Lord of the Rings.
We dropped the girls off in town first thing in the morning, then packed up some beers and made our way to the bungee center. The plan was to each get a jump in, then find a cool overlook to have some beers and unwind from the adrenaline rush while we waited for Anne and Sam to finish their horseback tour.
The jump takes place on a bridge over a river with a free fall distance of 141 feet. When we got to the bungee center and paid for our jump, they took our weights, wrote the weight on our hands, then weighed us again several other times to make sure they set the correct tension/length on the jump cord. They had us wait on the bridge but you can't really see off of it which kinda helped with the nerves. We could hear a few people ahead of us jump, but couldn't see them actually go off. After a final weighing and them asking us if we wanted to try and touch the river, we got shuffled to the area where we actually got our feet strapped in. While this was happening, we still couldn't really see the river or over the edge. One person went before me and I heard them give a 5 second countdown when you got to the jump position. If you don't jump by then, they kindly push you off, lol.
I got fully strapped in and sat there for a minute or two before someone told me I was ready. As I was hobbling over to the jump platform, I got my first real glimpse of the full height of the bridge and the size of the plank I had to walk out on. As I was hopping to the end of the plank, they started the countdown. I certainly didn't want to get pushed off so when I got to the edge I just went for it and jumped.
The rush during those few seconds of free fall was really intense. The cord caught and bounced me back up, then I had a little more free fall before they slacked the cord and a boat came out to catch me. It was a pretty cool system they had. Once you were done with your jump, they had an inflatable raft that comes out, grabs you and takes you back to some stairs at the river's edge. I remember my head feeling extremely tight from the blood rush, but I was extremely happy I went through with the jump and ended up unscathed.
Mike jumped after me, then we met up back on the stairs, both on an adrenaline high. They tried to sell us some photos and videos of the jump, but we opted not to get them. Mike did buy us both a used piece of the bungee cord which was pretty cool to see. It's just a bunch of strands of elastic all bound together. Apparently they replace those pretty frequently and sell some of the old stuff as a souvenir.
As I mentioned earlier, they ask if you want to try and touch the water before the first bounce. I said yes but apparently they didn't have things worked out enough and didn't actually get my hands wet. We did see another guy who ended up slamming about waist deep into the water. When we were back in the tourist facility, he was getting looked over by some medics. Apparently he hurt himself when he slammed into the water. I'm glad I ended up not touching vs going too far, lol.
Mike and I set off for a nice overlook to have some of the beers we brought. We drove around for a little while until we finally came across the Crown Range Road Scenic Lookout. There were some incredible views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. We each enjoyed some beers while winding down from the jump. There was still some time to kill before Sam and Anne were done with their tour, so we found a wide river to walk along. It was really weird though, as we were walking down to the water, some birds were not happy and kept dive-bombing us. It would have been a cool area to hang out, but we only stayed long enough to snap some pics and be on our way.
When we all met back up at the Airbnb, Sam and I walked into town to check out some shops. We saw a few earlier and noticed how cheap the prices were. Sam ended up getting a jacket but I didn't find anything that I thought I needed.
Posted from: New Zealand