Mon 6th October (Road Trip)
Up nice and early to hitch a ride to the centre of the city with Nathan. Stopped off for a quick drink at the Mini dealership where Nathan works before heading to fetch our hire car - a 1.4 Ford Figo (Fiesta to us whom live in the UK). Safe to say that this was a budget car, but it did the job and had air conditioning which was absolutely necessary today with the weather topping around 34 degrees at Plettenberg Bay.
All geared up to go we made the journey to our lodge in around 7 hours, only pulling over for fuel and something to eat. Found it very strange not filling the tank up myself as over here someone stands at the pump and does it for you while someone else cleans your windscreen (necessary when you see the size of some of the bugs that splatter on your windscreens on the open road). The drive was long and tedious, but the costal bays and mountains scenery during the journey made it bearable.
Got to our lodge and was greeted by staff whom were great and some fellow backpackers (we later found out that a group of 7 of them were doing the bungee at the same time as us!). The lodge itself was great with a laid back feeling that kinda felt like you were chilling at your own home with a group of friends. There was quite a bit to do, but the hot tub proved to be the most popular activity during the evening, though we preferred to relax at the honesty bar next to a glowing fire.
Summary of dinner, drove to a recommended restaurant which ended up being closed, but got talking to a family whom were heading to Plettenberg and decided to follow them over. The restaurant was called The Lookout, and funnily enough it looked out to sea, sitting right on the beach. Filled our bellies and watched the sun go down before heading back to the lodge for a quick drink and to rest up before taking the plunge eekk :-/.
Tue 7th October (5,4,3,2,1 Bungeeeeeee)
Woke up in our tent (first time glamping :D) and got ready for the big leap. Made our way to Bloukrans Bridge earlier than expected after a loud bird helped us out of bed and we were bored of waiting around. Got to the bungee location and rather than sitting around drinking a cup of coffee they stuck us on an earlier time slot...b*****! Before we knew it we were harnessed up and walking across the suspended bridge underneath the road. The bridge felt flimsy but found that this was the least of our worries lol.
We got to the centre of the arch of the bridge, all feeling nervous and strangely pumped up as the DJ was blaring out some decent dance tunes.
So I've been harnessed up and now they've started to strap my feet, the enormity of what I'm about to do is all starting to sink in now. I stand on my feet and hop over closer to the edge to get connected to my life line and for the final checks, now in full view of the sheer drop I have willingly handed my hard earned money over to do!! Checks complete, I'm reluctantly carried over to the edge of the bridge, literally sticking my toes over the edge now. A lot was going through my mind at this point, most of which is too explicit to post on here! Before I know it they start the count down (counting from 5 to bungee in like 2 seconds!), no going back now. Going against everything my body was instinctively telling me to do I took the leap, almost instantly regretting this decision as my feet left the security of the concrete floor. Flying through the air, I am sure that my heart stopped beating for these few seconds until I got that sweet sensation of the rope holding on to me. Slowing right down I start to enjoy myself, back up into the air and now I have to relive the experience as I start dropping from what is now the worlds second highest bridge bungee...ahhh (insert explicit word). Finally everything settles and your staring at the lush green trees below and the river flowing through the gorge out to sea, with an uneasy slipping sensation at the feet as you're just settling into the pads I assume. Finally someone comes down to fetch you, being reeled in back up to the bridge like a fish that's having a bad day. Eventually you get back on the bridge, relieved and full of adrenalin and without any sense of regret for what I have just achieved. It's well worth a go for anyone thinking of doing a bungee and think I'll give it a go again one day.
After watching Curt and a few others jump I knew my turn was next! The guy lead me to a seat where he started strapping big pads to my ankles, getting ready to strap the bungee rope on. Anxiously watching him hoping it won't fall off mid jump! I stood up unable to move my feet and jumped closer to the edge of the bridge where two guys double checked the ropes and lifted me to the edge! After being told about twice that my toes needed to hang further over I looked down to adjust my feet seeing the 216m drop that lay ahead! Once they were happy with my position they let go of my arms and I was left standing freely on the edge of the bridge thinking I had lost the ability to jump. Then the count down started and before I knew it they shouted Bungee. Before I could process what was actually happening I managed to bend my legs and jump off the bridge! All I could see were the trees and the river below me as I was falling through the air letting the bungee rope elasticate and fling me back into the air again. Settling in to the flow of rope and my body dangling metres above the ground. The silence was bliss as I could happily say I enjoyed the views (despite hanging upside down!) as I impatiently waited for what felt like a lifetime for the man to come and get me as I felt like my feet could slip out any minute! Once he reached me I wanted to just cling on for dear life as he started to pull some ropes off and flip me round so I was sitting up. He shook my hand and I knew I had no regrets for what I had just achieved. The amazing sensation of falling through the air with a rope tied to your feet was something I will never forget and wish for anyone to give it a go! Once I reached the bridge and stood on my own two feet the smile across my face said it all! Maybe one day I will do it again and relive this moment :).
Unfortunately the weather was not great and after some thought we decided that we would take on the long drive back to Cape Town. After we grabbed some toasties at the restaurant watching the next group take their plunge off the bridge, excited for them, we headed to the car and made our way back. Looking forward to a relaxing few days before our flight to Bangkok on Friday.
C & E