Bloukrans Bridge Bungy is the world’s highest commercial bungy bridge at 216 metres (709 ft) above the Bloukrans River. It is situated at Bloukrans Bridge on the N2 Highway at the border between the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape in the Tsitsikamma area of South Africa’s Garden Route. [ Read more on: Wiki ]
As part of my 4 day garden route tour, our tour guide (Michiel) encouraged all of us to do the jump. I kept toying with the idea, even months before going on the tour, but had at that point, still not made up my mind.
The night before the jump, I told Michiel that ‘I’m out’. I was way too scared and didn’t want to go ahead and cause a scene on the bridge. So I declined the opportunity, regardless of having an allocated slot for the jump.
That night I took a shower and got into bed. Took a deep breath and told myself to decide in the morning. To make a solid decision and to follow through, come hell or high-water.
The next morning I was up at 6am, and went to the guest-house reception. They hadn’t opened yet, so I took the opportunity to sit and breathe. Deep breaths for clarity. I’d still not made up my mind!
7am the owners opened the gate and asked if I’d wet the bed. “You’re early?!” he exclaimed. I laughed it off ( South African humour) and then went to have some breakfast. The rest of my tour group joined around 7:30 and then Michiel asked the whole table who the final jumpers were going to be. Sophie (French) nodded her head. Steven (English) nodded his head too. And then the spotlight was on me.
“Have you changed your mind yet?” Michiel asked. My response was, “Yes! But I don’t want to talk about it. I will do it.” I confirmed. Michiel smiled and then invited us all to join him at the minibus at 8:15.
9am came and I found myself at the bungy bridge having my harness fitted. At that point it felt like my heart was going to beat itself out of my chest, but I managed to motivate myself into getting into the ‘quick-wins’ mindset.
Harness fitted, CHECK. Safety Brief, CHECK. Didn’t look at the bridge on the way there, CHECK.. -then I got to the bridge. The walkway to the centre of the bridge was made of some form of mesh. Apparently the least wind resistant platform to be walking on to get to the centre of the bridge. The walk itself was, for me at least, probably the most terrifying part of the entire experience.
Steven, one of my tour buddies, kept checking if I was ok. I wasn’t.
I walked very slowly, one step at a time, fixing my gaze at the Face Adrenalin logo above his head. I only looked down once, and it was enough to get my legs to shake. The mesh under my feet was completely see-through and flexible, so with every step, it felt like the floor was going to give way, and there was absolutely no way I’d be able to save myself from falling to my death.
The whole experience, from seeing, to walking through the bridge, was terrifying.
I got to the platform, and the DJ started mixing a few songs. I couldn’t help but tap my feet and bend my knees, moving to the beat of the music. It actually helped. It made the experience more fun. We smiled at our apparent craziness and each other, and then posed for a group photo.
Following the photo, the first jumper took the plunge. Once I knew he was safe, the second jumper took his turn. By the time the first jumper came back up to the bridge it was my turn. I thought: ” If he can do it, I can do it.” So I took my place at the platform, waiting to jump into the abyss.
The rest was easy. My mind went blank and I ‘zombied’ through it all. Unaware of my facial expressions, and also completely unaware that I’d not pressed the record button on my GoPro. The whole experience lasted no more than 2 minutes. The descent lasted no more than 6 seconds.
So upon reaching the bottom of the jump, I was sad that it was over so quickly, happy that I went through with it and so incredibly overwhelmed by the moment that I just started crying uncontrolably. The moment was beautiful and I managed to capture the last bit of the jump on camera, when I’d actually thought, I was switching the record button off..
The Bungy has been operated by Face Adrenalin commercially since 1997 and based on my personal experience they were incredibly kind, patient, supportive and encouraging throughout. I cannot recommend you jump with them enough! Just say yes. Commit and then follow through.. You won’t regret it.