Sorry to bring your hopes up, but I lied. This sh*t is a myth. Bungee jumping is scary AF. The title should be: How to bungee jump and stay alive. Listed below are the following steps, based on my own experience.
STEP 1: PRETEND TO BE BRAVE
The night of the 21st of March 2017, I couldn’t sleep. My mind was racing, my body shaking, and my heart pumping. I was all alone in my room in Pokhara, Nepal thinking “why do I want to do a bungee jump?” The fear of the jump creeps in my veins, my nerves, and my soul. I answered myself back: “conquer your fears!” But why should I? What’s the reason behind this. Why do I have to conquer the fear? What’s in it for me? Can I not just accept the fact that I am scared?
I remembered a European girl who happens to be my roommate back in a hostel in Hong Kong last 2014. She was very excited when she learned that there was a jump site in Macau. She said her first jump in Africa was amazing and she wanted to do it again. Do it again? But why?! I was baffled. Why would someone do something that horrifying? Why are some people braver? Why do they love the adrenaline rush? So many questions were running through my head that night in Hong Kong. I told myself, maybe someday I would gather enough courage to do it. I would do it out of curiosity, to feel the excitement and fun the girl has felt during her jump….hopefully.
Going back to the night before my first bungee jump, I used the “if she could do it, then I could do it as well” mentality card. I am brave. I am a man. I am not a boy. I can do this. It will just be quick. Just one jump and it’s over. Get it done. Finally, I was able to calm myself and was able to sleep.
STEP 2: REGISTER AND PAY
The next morning I was feeling both excited and nervous, but more on the latter really. The kind hostel owner drove me to the office of High Ground Adventures Nepal using his motorcycle. I paid the amount of $68 ($135 in NZ). Add $20 on site for a copy of your videos and pictures. Note that you have to pay an extra percentage if you will use a credit card.
This was my assurance of not backing out. I don’t want to waste hard-earned money. I need to go through with this. I want this right? Errr.. right..
I filled-up the form for the necessary information: name, address, height, weight, emergency contact number… wait.. hold on.. emergency if I die? This form isn’t helping…
After filling up the first form, a second one was given– the waiver form. Uh-oh, the tension just keeps piling up. What’s up with me? Why do I keep signing up for activities which require a waiver? I read every single word. To sum it up, they are not liable if you get injured, or if you die. geeezzz.. luis.. papa cheese..
I signed it, and it felt like signing my own death certificate.
I already did tandem skydiving twice, but people say bungee jumping is a lot scarier. Looking at the posters, pictures, and videos around the office, I noticed the testimonials from previous customers. They said it was great and they would do it again…
If people kept saying they want to do it again, then bungee jumping ought to be fun… right?
STEP 3: GO TO THE JUMP SITE
There was this family of three– a dad, mom, and a cute little baby at the office. They look like locals. The dad (who looks like in his late 20s to early 30s) was filling out the form so I also assumed he was the one jumping. It would only be the two of us doing the jump that day.
The staff accompanied us to the “company” car. I sat at the front on the left hand side, next to the driver while the family sat at the back. As we drove and passed by streets and houses, I saw cows walking along the street, kids playing, and tourists roaming around. It was similar to India. As my mind began to wander off, I can feel the anxiety crawling in. I need to talk and start a conversation to relax me a bit. I turned my head at the back of the driver’s seat, towards the dad.
“Where are you from? Are you from here (Nepal)?”
“Yes, we are from Kathmandu.”
“So you’re going to do the bungee jump as well?”
“No, I have fear of heights. She will do it”, pointing to his wife.
“Ohwww.. Is it your first time? Aren’t you scared?”, now twisting my neck further towards the wife.
“It’s my first time. No, I’m not scared” she answered smiling. What a brave woman, I thought.
The dad then asked: “Are you nervous? Because you look like your nervous.”, with a smirk on his face.
“Yes, I am nervous.”, I answered honestly and a bit ashamed because his wife was braver. But hey he’s not jumping.
The driver then said: “It’s ok my friend, don’t be nervous.” while laughing…
*I later learned their names and became my friends in FB, Anup (the dad) and Deepa (the brave wife).
STEP 4: STAY CALM OR BE NERVOUS
When we arrived at the site, we climbed a set of stairs to get to another office. They have lockers where you can keep your belongings. Good thing I can keep the key inside the pockets of my pants.
As I step outside and felt the cold breeze touch my skin, my jaw dropped. I saw the mini cage where we would be standing before we plunge into the unknown. Well, you can actually see a man-made pond at the bottom amidst a rocky ground with mountains as the backdrop.
I can imagine myself already falling. I was scared and I was either staring blankly or walking around.
Anup noticed and said: “Hey.. relax.. look at my wife.. she’s relaxed, come and sit.”
I sat down beside him and left out a sigh: “uhmmm ok.. “, forcing a smile. I sat there as I watch their child running and playing, not worrying about a thing. How lucky.
STEP 5: WEAR THE HARNESS
Now it’s time to prepare.
The jump masters introduced themselves. They placed our full body harness and rubber band on our feet. They told us just to listen to them and do exactly what were told to. With that, they will lead us to a safe and enjoyable jump. They also said that it’s a 70 meter vertical drop with just 3 seconds of free fall. It’s not that high? Not that long? Don’t think so.
After a couple of small talk with the one of the jump masters, he found out that I am a Filipino. He was then showing off his Tagalog skills. “Kamusta ka, pare?” He was even saying words I shouldn’t put here. He said he knew a lot of Filipinos and that made me feel a little bit at ease.
I asked: “What was the feeling of the jump?”
He answered: “I haven’t tried it…. because I love my family and friends.”
He quickly laughed and pat his hands on my back.
STEP 6: CLIMB AT THE TOP
Before we climb the metallic bridge slanting upwards, Deepa and I were gathered to determine who jumps first.
“Who want to go first?“, jump master-lead asked.
Deepa delightfully answered: “me!” while raising her hands up.
At this point, the jump masters taunted and teased me.
“Chicken, chicken, chicken curry”
I told them: “OK! Let’s do this! I can be first!”
Jump master-lead interrupted: “No, we were only joking.”
I replied laughing: “Yes, of course. I am a gentleman. Ladies first!”
Then, we slowly climbed until the top while holding on the railings at the slide. It was a nerve-racking climb…
STEP 7: CONNECT THE BUNGEE ROPE
At the top, there’s a red line you can’t cross until you were given the signal. Deepa went first and was given the final instructions. I stayed behind the line to watch. The expression on her face was different. She was not the confident lady I know back on the ground. You could tell she’s scared and nervous at that moment. Who wouldn’t be?!
3..2..1.. there she goes… screeching… very loudly….. that definitely didn’t help boost my confidence..
It’s my turn.. as I gulped my own saliva..
Then, the instructions…
“Just look straight. Don’t look down. Don’t think too much. Just fall forward, head first. Hold your hands together and raised them upward”
They attached the bungee rope and cords as I stood still.
As they placed the helmet with the Gopro on my head, I tried to yell: “Let’s do this, pare!” to hyped myself up.
“Now, move at the edge.”
This was the scariest part — moving towards the edge.
I’m at the edge…
“Hands straight, hands out.”
I hesitated a bit.. and then..
STEP 8: JUMP AND SHOUT
I raised my hands….this is it…..
“okay, ready? have a nice jump.”
The jump masters shouted: “THREE!!!!! TWO!!!!! ONE!!!!!!!!” to add more intensity ….. and then I started to fall forward… oh sh*t!!!
It felt as if my soul jumped out of my body.. AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!
…that moment I was lost.. lost within my own world.. free.. floating.. inside an abstract world.. like in the Matrix…
And then I was bouncing.. I bounced like three times before it stopped.
I screamed my lungs out!! It’s finally over! WOHOOOOO!!!!!
It was a very exhilarating experience, from the night in the hostel until the bounces.
The feeling was liberating!! I did it!!!!! It was the longest 3 seconds of my life.
STEP 9: DETACH THE ROPE
Obviously, I was inverted.
They instructed me beforehand to reach for the rope after and so I did as I curl my body upwards. Then, they lowered me hastily down the rubber boat. BANG! That was fast.
A staff was waiting for me on the boat..
“How was it?”
“It was fun!”
“How many times have you tried it?”
“No matter how many times you try it, it will always feels like your first.”
STEP 10: CELEBRATE
To celebrate the victorious jump, I treated myself with a sumptuous pepper steak meal and an Everest beer in Maya restaurant.
Would I try this again someday? YES!
Would I still be scared? Hell yeah!
Is it scarier than tandem skydiving? Definitely!
To anyone out there to want a life-changing experience, I dare you to JUMP! Let’s goooo!!!