To jump or not to jump..... By Mark and Kate
Whilst New Zealand appears to be full of places where they prompt you to jump of something high, raft down something fast and rocky or jump out of a airplane; nowhere is it more prevelent than in Queenstown - adventure spots capital of New Zealand (with all they have on offer, perhaps the world!?).
It's practically law that if you decide to spend a night in Queenstown you have to do something foolhardy and seemingly life threatening. I have to admit, the thought of jumping of a high platform did actually appeal to me and I'd been researching the different options on the journey. I'd decided to partake in a Canyon Swing, a jump off a 109 metre platform with a sheer cliff face to the side, a fast flowing river at the bottom and another cliff face on the opposite side. The concept is simple; step 1, throw yourself off the platform, step 2, freefall 60 metres, step 3, let the cord do it's thing (this is an important step) and step 4, complete a massive 150 kph swing across the canyon. Sounds like a blast in both writing and principal, standing 109 metres up looking over the edge it's a whole different ball game!
Glad i did it? You bet! Prepared to do something else as stupid in the future? Watch this space ;o)
So, after witnessing Mark throw himself off something stupidly high I have to admit that I had a slight sense of jealousy, a small amount of excitement and wonder as to whether I too could do something similar. After spending most of the next day arguing with myself the pros and cons of straping an elastic cord to my body and throwing myself off a perfectly good platform (pro - sense of achiement/excitement, con - possible death) I decided to bite the bullet and proceed with something I previously never had any real intent to do.
'The Ledge' was the bungy of choice....a 47m (154ft) urban bungy over the city of Queenstown!! The Gondola ride up to the top was proving scary enough, could I really do this?? There was no queue, no one else jumping, just the booking office where the final yes was waiting to be given. The word was released from my mouth and suddenly I was on my way to my bungy experience.
Strapped in by a harness rather than by the feet (no detatched retina for me thank you) the girl started to give the countdown. 126.96.36.199....we reached 1 and still I didn't move. Aparently all I had to do was run and jump off the ledge, she made it all sound so simple. We started a countdown once more, this was the one!
Running (more like stumbling) towards the edge I threw myself off. I wish I could say the view down was amazing but I'm not ashamed to say I had my eyes closed for the majority of the time. I was falling and falling, then at last, thankfully the elastic came into effect and I was being bounced around in full view of the people taking their mundane trip in the gondolas. It was finally at this point that I slowly opened my eyes and could see the amazing view from this truely unique vantage point. Lifted back up, my feet firmly on the ground, I could at last let myself feel a sense of achievement.