Taupo Bungy!

Trip Start Feb 17, 2005
Trip End Feb 27, 2006

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Sunday, March 20, 2005

I couldn't resist!!!

I passed the Taupo Bungy site the day before and watched a few people jump, and I was so tempted to do it there and then! But I resisted...for a little while!

That night I met Helen, from Glasgow, who was staying in my hostel room. After chatting for a while, inevitably the talk turned to these adventure activities that seem to be everywhere in New Zealand! I looked at her skydive pictures, and also some photos of her Bungy Swing in Queenstown (something that I definitely have to do). However, it wasn't a real Bungy Jump and so I tried my hardest to tempt her into doing a tandem jump with me the next day. She said that she'd sleep on it and let me know the following morning...

Alas, she had decided to do another skydive instead as she couldn't see herself jumping from the 47m high platform. Fair enough, but she said she'd come and watch me do it in the afternoon after she had been on her trip.

So, I spent the morning wandering around Taupo on what was another glorious day. I then ventured up to the bungy site and watched for about an hour as lots of people threw themselves off the platform, and towards the green water of the Waikato River. Some got to the platform edge and soon turned back after making the fatal mistake of looking down! It turned out that it was 'Local's Day' which meant that all the locals got to jump for just $35 as opposed to the $100 that I was going to fork out (about 35 quid). So I think I chose the wrong day to do it as it was quite busy!

I went back to the hostel and Helen asked "What time's kick off?" so before I knew it, we were heading back to the site.

Once again, I wasn't feeling nervous...but that was to change later in the day!!

After getting weighed and paying my money, I was told to go and queue up on the ledge but I'd probably have to wait an hour or so as it was busy. No worries though as I actually enjoy the atmosphere up there, as people start acting stranger and stranger as they get closer to the front! Once I went through the 'Jumpers Only' gate, Helen made the long walk down towards the river so she could get a good view of me hurling towards it!

There were a couple of differences to this bungy compared to the one I did in Auckland. The main thing was that once you had jumped and it had bounced a few times, a boat collected you at the bottom. Obviously in Auckland you released yourself and you were slowly pulled back to the top. Secondly, it wasn't in weight order this time...thankfully!

I ever so slowly progressed towards the front of the queue when wouldn't you just know it...the Bungy crew had to make repairs to the bungy rope!! Repairs?? So everyone had to get off the platform while they did what they had to do. Obviously I watched through the gates to see what was happening (I like to know these things, especially when it concerns the thing that is going to stop me from plundering into the water!) and it wasn't long before everyone squabbled back onto the ledge, making sure everyone was in the correct order.

The guy before me seemed like a quiet enough guy, but this was his first jump and his behaviour started to change as we neared the front! He started playing the drums along to the heavy rock music that was playing...a sure sign of nerves! I think it had a knock on effect because I too was getting a little edgy! I'm not sure why because I was as cool as a cucumber for the Auckland bungy and the skydive. Maybe it is because it seemed so much higher this time, and I could see rocks at the bottom of the water! Plus by this time, Helen had made her way down to the bottom and she seemed incredibly small! In Auckland, there was nothing to compare the height to as it was just a mass of water. The girl behind me was a local who had done 7 bungy jumps before so she was a real veteran and didn't seem at all bothered by the whole experience!

Eventually, after about an hour and a half's wait, my turn came. "A bit nervous mate?" said the guy who was strapping my legs together. "No I'm fine" was my reply (a blatant lie!). This time it seemed a lot less secure as I didn't have to wear a harness, as I wasn't coming back up! But I trusted that they knew what they were doing!

So my turn came. A quick shuffle forward and a wave to the camera. I waved to the camera for an eternity because I knew that once I stopped waving, it was time to jump! Unlike in Auckland, there was no count down! So after a few seconds waving like a total gimp, I realised that I'd have to jump! So I did. And whereas before I was completely silent, this time I let out an "Aaaaaaargh!!" Helen later told me that it was a very manly "Aaaaaaargh" and so that comforted me a little bit! I don't know why, but this jump was about 10 times better than the one in Auckland. It's hard to explain. Maybe it was the nerves, the not knowing anyone on the platform, or the fact that it was inland rather than out at sea. After about 3 bounces, I looked and saw the guy in the boat waving a pole at me. "Grab this when you can mate" he said, and I grabbed it first time and he pulled me into the boat.

We waited there until the next girl did her bungy jump, so I got a great view of that from right underneath. Her fingers just touched the water! Once again, I was lucky and managed to avoid the whiplash effect of going under! Once she was in the boat, we went to the side and I met up with Helen. She did take a couple of photos which she said she'd email to me, although it's hard to tell that it's me!

As we walked back to the hostel (with legs still shaking), Helen admitted that she was tempted! But she was doing the skydive the following day and so it was too much to do both. When I return to Taupo in a couple of months, hopefully armed with some more money, I will do the skydive as it is so cheap.

Taupo is indeed the Adventure Capital of the North Island!
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