I’m six feet from the edge and I’m thinking 6 feet ain’t so far down…. – go the lyrics of a song from Creed. This blog post is about a bit more than 6 feet. Lets say it’s about 550 feet.
The first time you pull up and get down from your vehicle , you are instantly overcome by hysteria. Your mind refuses to accept what you see. Your assertion that you are a moron to attempt what your eyes see is validated. And then you step onto it.
You are taken to a calm and peaceful resort where the dangers of what you are attempting become evident. You are given a no-nonsense disclaimer form which says you agree not to sue in case you die and you are doing this on your own accord and no-one but you is responsible.
Your weight is taken and you are divided into 2 groups. Your weight is written on the back of your fist. You feel like you are being tagged like a featherless chicken ready to face the knife. You are offered lunch , but you know better – A chicken is offered it’s last meal before facing the knife. You politely make an excuse and request the stewards to hold on to your lunch for 2 hours and tell them that lunch shall be devoured in case you successfully return.
You are escorted onto the bridge. The shock that you experienced earlier in the day begins to re-surge through your veins. When you got down from the vehicle and stepped onto the bridge for the very first time earlier in the day, your mind went numb. This is the 2nd time on the bridge, but this is it. This is the moment of reckoning. The crossing of the bridge in the morning to reach the resort was a mere preview. Your mind does not know what to think. It oscillates violently between a blank void, fear, impeding doom, a sense of calm and what not. You are then taken to the middle of the bridge and asked to hold on as they call out the name of the first chicken. You are delighted that you are not the first. You rejoice that you will live for 5 minutes more. You then see the first person jump and your heart skips five beats.
If you haven’t already guessed, I am talking about Bungee jumping from the worlds 6th highest bungee in the world. This is located on the border of Tibet and Nepal , 3 hours north of Kathmandu,Nepal. The place is called “The Last Resort”. A cousin of mine has alluded to the bungee jump in Nepal a few years ago at a dinner. I had made a mental note of doing this jump whenever I visit Nepal. I got the opportunity to visit Nepal in September 2011 when a couple of my friends and I decided to trek to the Base camp of Mt Everest. I got the details of the jump on the interwebs, booked if and I was all set. Just to check out what it felt like , I decided to see a few YouTube video’s of the jump before trying it out. When I viewed it for the first time, it was outrageous,insane and unbelievable that someone would jump off a bridge so high. I knew that I had to do it. I had decided to do it , no matter what. Come hell or high water.
Then, your turn comes. They call out your name and weight.
You are harnessed and strapped. The videographer asks you for a few sound bites. You have no recollection of what you said because you are already in a state of trance and in a zen like state of mind. The only sound that your hear is that of the raging river about 600 feet below your feet. You can see the white water through the base of the bridge. You bend over the bridge and get a final look of where you are jumping. Suddenly, your vision gets narrower and narrower. Tunnel vision strikes. To make matters worse, you are asked to remove your spectacles and keep them in your pocket. All you hear is the seemingly distant voices of the Jump co-ordinator who gives you the final instructions. You take small penguin-like baby steps to the edge with the instructor at your back. You spread your arms and look straight ahead. Time comes to a stand still when you hear the words ……3……….2………..1……. Bungyyyyyy…yyyyy…….yyy………….yy…………..y.
You take off from the platform like a bird. You are free-falling straight down head first. The first 2 seconds of the free fall is insane. For someone who has never jumped more than 15 feet from a swimming pool high board, this is insanity. The adrenaline rushes through your body. The blood rushes to your head. You scream your lungs out. Not having a fear of heights helps. I didn’t have a fear of heights so I could relish the moment. After a few seconds of free fall, you feel the bungee cord beginning to take effect. you reach the bottom apex of your jump at maximum stretch of the cord and then you are yanked back to a negative G-force. The negative G’s pump more adrenaline through your veins and in my opinion the negative G’s are way better in terms of thrill! By this time , which is about a few seconds after you jumped , you are on a high! You experience multiple falls and yank-backs and bounce around a few times before coming to an upside down halt. By now , you have screamed your lungs out and just experienced the thrill of a lifetime. You are then lowered down to the river below when you are pulled to the bank of the river onto a platform using a really long pole.
As you lie down on the platform getting untied , you come to terms of what just happened…….
The coordinators ask you if you want to jump again.
Do I want to bungee jump again? HELL YEAH!
Pictures below. Click to view large size images.
More details about The Last Resort here : http://www.thelastresort.com.np/content/28