Ooh errr! Death defying bungy jumping!

Trip Start Jan 05, 2006
Trip End Jan 25, 2006

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my unshaven legs. At 5:45, Friendship Nepal called and told me to report to the Kathmandu Guest House to meet for bungy jumping w/the Last Resort. I got there and there were a number of young backpacker types milling about, especially Germans. I signed my life and limbs away, gulp, paid my $80 and boarded the bus. It took 3 hours to get there but I enjoyed the scenery and sunrise along the way. At our toilet rest stop, I met a nice chap named Craig from Northern England. As it turned out, he was the only one of us who'd bungy jumped before (in Greece but only half the height of the one in Nepal).

We got to the site at 9:30 and got our first (last? Ooh shivers!) gander at the "drop". There was a bridge crossing over the Bhote Kosi river from which we'd be making the plunge. A 160 meter plunge I might add and just did. It was shockingly high, but my butterflies hadn't started their acrobatics just yet. We crossed over (ooh, that sounds prophetic) and had a sitdown briefing and weigh in. I weighed 58 kilos w/my Gortec boots on thank you very much. Each jumper had their weight carved in blood on their right hand. Ok, ok, so it was written in red marker. Still. They grouped us according to weight, the smaller group (ME!) going first (oh no!!!). I was the third to jump and they had a guy videotaping us. You know the usual, "Any last words?" I hammed it up for the camera winking, trying to meditate in order to remain calm (didn't work) and sang a silly made-up song. I also told the camera guy not to pan in too tightly on my unshaven legs. Vanity, oh vanity!

I wasn't extremely anxious until I started edging my way to the end of the jumping platform. It was, without a doubt, the most frightening moment of my life.

Bungy Master:"Three...two...one...bungy!!"
Me: "AAAAAAAAAH!!!!! Oh my God!!!!""""

Nope. I didn't jump at the first countdown. My bravado went poof and a four-letter word slipped out (caught for eternity on DVD). Thankfully I wasn't a complete wuss and jumped at the second countdown. It was so incredibly difficult and I don't think I can put it into words. That open air, nothingness, trust, faith, God, death, all swimming around in my brain for a few precious seconds. Believe in a rope, that's all I could do and yet my mind couldn't fathom it. After all, it's only the second highest bunjy jump in the world. But there's no way I was going to chicken out and I didn't. I took that ONE STEP BEYOND and have it preserved due to the taping.

During the rapid descent I screamed I'm sure but it all went so fast initially I can't remember what sounds/words I uttered. Once I bounced up and twirled, my nerves calmed and my senses caught up with my body. I started to sing, "Oh solo mio" at the top of my lungs and loved to hear the sound of my voice booming in that space. I was attached at the waist and at the ankles and was suspended for about a minute before being pulled to safety by a man holding a bamboo stick at the side of the river. I'd do it again for sure.

Afterwards, I had to hike up the side of the cliff to rejoin those waiting to jump at the top. It was a bit tiring to hike what with my heart still racing from the jump. Over the next couple of hours, everybody successfully jumped and then we sat down to a buffet lunch that was quite tasty. We also got to watch all the video footage from each jump. I purchased the DVD of my jump and can't wait to show family and friends how crazy I in fact am. Of all the female jumpers, I was by far not the most afraid as the tapings proved. One Japanese girl took at least 4 counts to jump and the form of my plunge was better than most of the other ladies (there were 5 of us and I think I was the 2nd best).

Finally we headed back to Kathmandu at 14:30 arriving at about 17:40. As I was getting off the bus, I spotted one of my memory cards on the floor of the bus and when I looked inside my my digital camera bag, my 256 memory card was missing! Frantic searching and panic ensued. I got tearful when I couldn't find it. Thinking of the nearly 150 shots I'd taken on the trip and irrevocably lost had me quite UPset. It wasn't until I arrived back at the hotel and searched my other bag that I found it. A choir of angels broke into a chorus of "Hallelujahs!" and I literally dropped to the floor of my hotel room and thanked God profusely. A lesson learned. I wasn't that hungry so I went out to a bakery and bought a sesame bagel and cheese scone. That was my dinner in its entirety. I went to bed at about 9:30.
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