How does bungy jumping really feel? Bungy jump Thailand

grey How does bungy jumping really feel? Bungy jump Thailand

The heavily tattooed man looks at me over his chipped counter, “You want the photo combo mate?”

“No thanks, just a jump” I say shakily thinking about this bungy jump Thailand style.

Already I can feel the metallic taste of fear. Behind and above Tattoos is another man. Pale and overweight he quivers high on a ledge not daring to look down. I watch the man shake on his ledge for a few long minutes before he jumps…when I say ‘he jumps’, more to the point he leans out too far one time and before he can catch himself gravity takes control of the situation. Like a surprised fish on a hook he silently falls until the cord catches and bounces him around. Red faced and visibly distressed he is lowered to a pontoon on the dirty lake where he is released from his bindings. Free again he jumps to his feet before scuttling to a waiting taxi which whisks him away. A trip which no doubt will end at the nearest bar.

Besides Tattoos and a few others I am now alone at the bungee centre.

Random bird noises from a nearby wetlands punctuate a heavy silence over the grounds.Now it is my turn to test gravity. A dark skinned man in a faded T-shirt wraps a towel then some straps around my ankles before calling over a colleague to check. A rusting crane creaks nearby under the weight of the platform. The second man lowers my confidence in this Thai operation by retying my legs before I am allowed to shuffle over to the crane.

The rickety crane laboriously raises me and my dark skinned companion about fifty metres up over the water. The man is trying to make friendly conversation in pidgin English as we rise, ‘Do you like here?’…’Where from you?’ He asks with a wide Thai grin.

grey How does bungy jumping really feel? Bungy jump ThailandI reply distractedly with, ‘Yes. Tasmania…in Australia’ As I speak the view around me opens up to reveal lush green jungle. As the ground slowly drops away so to does my ability to hold a casual conversation. It is fine for the other guy, he only has a commercial interest in the fraying cord. My interest is far more personal. At least the centre is empty so there is no one to hear me screaming like a little girl. My mind throws up a random image of a lone spacecraft orbiting earth; ‘In space, no one can hear you scream.’ The crane shudders to an unconvinced halt but my shuddering continues unabated. Near the car park I see a group of drunk tourists materialise from the kiosk…apparently in Thailand there is always someone to hear you scream.

I must look quite a sight. Last night I checked out my skinny frame in the mirror. Twenty-eight days of hard climbing in Nepal has left my face dark above a snow white torso, I am now long bearded with very unkempt hair. I would certainly be able to scare small children without breaking a sweat. At least I am starting to look like a footloose traveler, if not always acting the part.grey How does bungy jumping really feel? Bungy jump Thailand

I force all thoughts of breaking bungy cord out of my mind and instead focus on the job at hand, overcome all natural survival instincts and jump off this bloody platform. It feels much higher from up here on the swaying platform. A mere fifty metres above the water I am shaking like a poorly maintained VW and cannot see the cord. This is one of the biggest mind fucks with bungy jumping, the cord loops away below and out of sight. It truly feels like a suicidal act.

I look down, trust that my angels have not left me, gulp, then jump and plummet towards the dirty green lagoon.

My mind slows as my body accelerates.

With every cell in my body I feel that amazing acceleration. The whooshing of air past my ears gets louder and louder. The lagoon rushes up at me and my jaw is clenched tight.

Just as I start to panic about the cord my fall slows, all this happens in three weightless seconds.

Despite trying to keep all my openings clenched I think I let out a little squeak of fear mid-flight.  The deceleration is surprisingly smooth because as soon as the cord is fully stretched out it starts slowing the fall, by the time you start to bob upwards again you have gently slowed to nothing. A few upside down bounces stills and leaves me hanging by my feet over the filthy water. My head fills with blood and I can feel my pounding heart as I wait for the crane to lower me onto the small pontoon.

Back on solid ground I decide that maybe, just maybe, doing a bungy jump in Thailand after 28 days climbing in Nepal was not the best way to ‘wind down’.

Oh well, at least I have just ticked off another thing on my bucket list!

(All photos not the author’s, linkbacks and credit provided where possible)


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