Storms River, South Africa

Trip Start Jun 23, 2008
Trip End Sep 08, 2008

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Tube N' Axe

Flag of South Africa  , Eastern Cape,
Tuesday, July 22, 2008

All of the while I was in J-Bay, there was one thing that I had been putting off each day.  An hour away was Bloukrans Bridge, a span over the Bloukrans river which forms the border between the Eastern and Western Capes and home to the world's highest bungee jump, 216m above terra firma.  I don't know if it was because of the hangovers or fear that I had not gone there on a day trip from J-Bay, but I knew that I would not be able to pass through Storms River without doing the jump.  I arrived in Stormsriver an hour too late for the jump so would have to spend an additional night there before moving on.  On arrival it seemed like a really nice place with lots of things to do, and I thought that it would be nice to spend a couple of days here in high season when it would be busier.  Unfortunately there were only a few people here but I was able to find a like-minded Scouser who wanted to do the zip-lining tour that afternoon.  Maybe not as good as the zip-lines in Costa Rica last year but good fun all the same.  I also did an hour quad biking which can be described as driving around a forest at top speed behind a guide.  Both were great activities and a great way to get the adrenaline flowing before tomorrow's bungee jump.

I was still calm on the morning of the bungee jump and continued to feel very relaxed about it as we were fitted with our harnesses.  The sheer height of the bridge only became apparent once we began the walk along the "catwalk", the caged walkway beneath the bridge that would bring us out to the jump site.  Pumping house music boomed out of the speakers and I was the second of two jumpers that morning.  Once my turn came and the final connections were made, checked and double-checked, I began to feel nervous for the first time.  However I had come this far and if I could get over the following twenty seconds, there would literally be no turning back.  As my toes crept slightly over the edge, I looked down to see the river below barely resembling a trickle.

A 5-4-3-2-1 count was give to me and I jumped out straight away, not wanting to wait a moment longer.  The first two seconds elapsed in complete silence before my screams of happiness fuelled by the incredible buzz began to echo around the valley.  The overall fall was 7 seconds long before the bungee cord was fully stretched and the first of several recoils continued to bring me up and down until I finally settled mid-way between the bridge and the valley below.  I spent the next minute suspended invertedly suspened until one of the staff was lowered down to adjust my harness and re-connect me at the waist so that I would be raised back up again.  The waiting in mid-air and being winched back up was possibly more scary than the actual jump.  With a mixture of relief and joy I made my way back up to watch the video of my jump, hoping that it would look better than my previous attempt off Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, NZ.  I was pleased with it and had it put up on Youtube.  Here's the link:

The Bazbus was due to collect me from the jumpsite shortly afterwards for the last time for the long drive along the Garden Route to Cape Town, passing through towns such as Plettenburg Bay, Mossel Bay, George, and Hermanus.  I would have liked to stop in a couple of these towns but also wanted to spend a week in Cape Town so decided that I would have to head straight to Cape Town.

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