The moment I pressed “submit” to buy our Queenstown Nevis Bungy and Nevis Swing passes, I knew I had made a big mistake. I figured if we were going to do a bungy jump in NZ though, we might as do the highest one in the country. But I hate heights to the tune of cold sweats and panic attacks.
For weeks I did research and watched countless videos of people bungy jumping. I even watched failed attempts of ropes snapping and people coming out of their harnesses. Good for confidence right? I knew I shouldn’t…but I couldn’t help myself. I’m a planner, more of an obsessor really, and that should include plans for the worst.
That’s why I was surprised when I woke up this morning pretty calm. Then I stayed calm the entire bus ride to our destination. I even kept my cool on the trolley that takes you out into the middle of the canyon. The full impact of my mistake didn’t dawn on me until I entered the platform — that’s when I lost it.
Here’s the thing. You jump out of a tiny box (with partial glass floors might I add) that’s suspended between wires in the middle of a canyon hundreds of feet up. What I hadn’t taken into consideration previously is that the platform would be swaying back and forth in the high winds and that we would have to wait our turn on said platform for half an hour. Not to mention it was 30 degrees outside and sleeting!
The waterworks started immediately as I set foot on that tempest-tossed matchbox. In my frenzied state, the only thing I could manage to say to Nate was “why did I do this to us!? Why oh why did I sign us up for this?” I just knew we were all going to die, I was sure of it.
After watching countless people freak out but eventually make the jump (thanks to the pressure of a long line of us waiting to do our own jump behind them), Nate went first. Not nervous at all–at least he didn’t look it–he lept off after saying a few choice words (probably not the ones you’d think). “It’s great,” Nate said when he came up a couple minutes later. Real convincing.
I was up next. I sat in the prepping chair and watched my kiwi assistant like a hawk as he fastened this and that on my harness and foot straps. Had he missed something? Was everything clipped? Is someone going to double check his work? WTH? WE’RE WALKING TO THE EDGE NOW?!? I’m going to die. And it’s all this guy’s fault. And Nate’s.
I knew I had to jump at the end of the countdown or I’d never do it. 3….2….1….and I jumped. Screamed. And knew I was going to die. I flailed my arms like an unswaddled baby and started sobbing like one on the way down. The worst part was, I knew they were going to bring me back up to that godforsaken swaying platform. It was agonizing hanging in the canyon for 2 minutes as I slowly made my way back up there. It was the adventure that would never end.
Sure, fine. Looking back I’m glad we did it, but I’m not eager to do it again anytime soon! And the best lesson you can learn from our story is to never do a bungy when a cold front hits, with high winds, sleet, and rain. That was unfortunate.
Afterwards we did the Nevis canyon swing, which was still terrifying even though we had just bungy jumped. Same height as the bungy, but a swing on cables versus a stretchy cord, and we were able to go together tandem-style. We were given the choice to go facing forwards, backwards, or backwards upside down. Oh there’s a way to make this even scarier? Why of course we’ll do it backwards upside down then, which makes for some awkward pictures 🙂
Watch Veronica’s jump here.
Watch Nate’s jump here.
Watch our tandem canyon swing here.