Monday, April 7, 2008

The Nevis!

Before leaving Quenstown for the mountains, there was a small matter of jumping off a shaky platform suspended 134 meters above a canyon floor (a beautifully scenic canyon floor, to its credit) with nothing but a string of rubberbands attached to your feet - a.k.a. I went bungy jumping, this time at the 3rd tallest jump in the world: the Nevis Highwire!

As it turns out, the Nevis isn't actually in Queenstown proper, it's about a 30 minute ride out of town - the trip is unremarkable enough, except for the point where we pass another bungy set up (and you can't go much of anywhere in Queenstown without seeing some sort of a dare-devil set up, or just seeing people falling out if the skies by any means available), which at 43 meters looks impressive enough... and then our driver helpfully points out that the tower we'll be jumping off of is 3 times higher!

Upon arriving, you get your first view of the canyon, and the platform suspended really, really high above it! Then you take a rather slow ride in a gondola to the platform which offers a breathtaking and sobering view of the canyon below (and yet they jump an even taller platform in Macau! Hmmm... I intend to be near Macau fairly soon...). The platform, however, has rather encouraging music - Metallica's Enter Sandman, Welcome to the Jungle, some Red Hot Chille Peppers! And then we start - the first guy goes without so much as a second thought... The second guy, we have now learned, is here for the second time in as many days (paying full price both times), but not because he likes it so much, no, he's here again because he went up and didn't jump yesterday! So, we all encourage him to not worry and just do it, harness on, off to the ledge... 10 minutes of contemplation and conversation on the very edge, and he just can't do it! I really thought the operators should've just pushed him over because he's clearly just over-thinking the whole thing, but apparently we're nicer than that, or maybe more cruel actually, as he ends up paying a 2nd time and not jumping a second time!

Everybody else jumped without any trouble, including a girl who seemed rather worried beforehand. I found the jump off point to be oddly un-stressfull - just come up and jump, looking down and thinking about it can only make it worse... The next 8.5 seconds of free fall, however, were utterly exhilirating!

Taking the plunge!

and another perspective

No comments: