I must have been in the 6th grade when I saw this amazing movie that changed my entire outlook on life. The movie involved a bungee jumping scene. I still remember the goose bumps I felt when the heroine leaped off the bridge and jumped into the river. I could feel the excitement, thrill, boldness and mostly the freedom of this act. I was almost in tears when the scene showed her hanging upside down with a content smile on her face. That day, bungee jumping in New Zealand became the sole purpose in my life.
Bungee jumping is an extreme adventure sport in which the enthusiastic adrenaline junkie falls headfirst from a height with a cord attached to his feet. It was first referred to as ‘land diving’ on Pentecost Island in Vanuatu where the idea originated. It was later recognized by the Oxford Dangerous Sports Club in a bid to make bungee jumps popular and later commercialized successfully in New Zealand.
On 12 November 1988, AJ Hackett, the man who brought this sport to the masses, along with 28 others took the fall at Kawarau Bridge in New Zealand. From that day, more than four million have jumped their share and have lived to tell the tale.
Around the globe, adventure enthusiasts have turned to Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, New Zealand to experience the thrill. Being the place where history was written it is also regarded as the safest of all falls. The 43 meter drop from its suspension bridge has left people stunned as the tip of their hair slightly brushes the turquoise blue waters below.
The most terrifying of all is the one in the Nevis again in Queenstown. It involves a four wheel drive in an open-air cable car set in the rough and rugged Nevis gorge where you hang in a cabin with wind threatening to blow you up 134meters up in air! The fall approximates eight seconds before you realize that you are alive.
Nothing can be more breath taking and exhilarating as you jump through the most visited tourist spot- the Victoria Falls Bridge. Standing atop of an old railway bridge in no man’s land – the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia – you finally accept the gravity of the situation. The mighty cascade behind taunts you to dare, as it thunders into smoke when you caper 111meter into Zambezi River below as crocodiles patiently circle beneath, hoping it is their lucky day.
Macau with its glittering lights, gaming capital, highest skyscrapers, a jungle of concrete, hosts a popular bungee jumping destination. Known as the world’s highest bungee jumping spot you undertake your fall from the outer rim of a gigantic building with mainland China spread out in front of you. The caution to be noted here is to fall straight rather than taking a swing to avoid death by hitting your head across the building.
For an avid Indian fanatic, the closest destination is The Last Resort in Tatopani, Nepal. Located at a distance of 60miles from Kathmandu, The Last Resort is a paradise for nature lovers. Also, a home to whitewater rafting and canyoning, it is safe and the only spot to bungee jump. Here, you take your leap of faith amidst the jungle, bird-calls catalyzing to calm your nerves, the blue sky making you realize your closeness to earth and the roaring Bhote Kosi River 160meter below daring you to let go of it all.
Though incidences of mishaps have occured, the sport is increasingly gaining popularity day by day. With the risk of serious injuries being presented it still drives me more to undergo this experience at least once in a life time.
Why you ask? In a world where you constantly live to achieve comfort and security, how audacious would it be to let your inhibitions loose, trust your faith and jump a jump that would make all thereafter moments more valuable and precious to underestimate the cost of life.