I'm jumping ahead on the blog today just to tell you that I finally plucked up the courage to do a bungee jump in Taupo in the central North island.
I had no plans to do one at all in Taupo although I had been thinking about doing one for years, although in the back of my mind I had pretty much decided not to bother and that it was a frankly stupid thing to do (my mum was right!). Then we rock up at a caravan park in Taupo and happen to mention to the bloke behind the counter that I had thought about doing one and suddenly the guy's face lights up. "You've got to do one" he enthuses before telling me all about the one he did only a few weeks ago here in Taupo. This is guy is well into his 50s, weighs in at 20 stone and has about 8 teeth left but he is clearly thrilled to be on the subject of bungeying. Before we could blink he'd reached under his desk and produced the photos pack that you can buy from them as proof of the jump, something he obviously kept close to hand just for this eventuality and he is showing us them and telling us how great it is and he got me thinking.
Next day I decided I would do one but we didn't have time as we were going kayaking and I figured that it would give me 24hrs to psyche myself up to do the jump. The sun was blazing but apparently out on the lake the wind was up and they cancelled our kayak so it was suddenly "well I suppose we could go and see if I could do the jump now" and Rhiannon to my shock and horror is saying that this is a good idea and practically drags me up the hill there.
All the way two TV/film flashbacks are going through my head. Firstly I am sure James Bond does a bungy off a cliff or out of a helicopter at some point, secondly I am remembering Mark from Peep Show bottling it good style and being called a Humpty. "I want to be James Bond" I mutter to myself, "I certainly do not want to be Mark from Peep Show".
We arrive and I almost bottle it there and then and i'm not sure whether i'm thrilled or mortified that they will have no trouble fitting me in straight away. The jump itself is according to them "Located in the stunning volcanic Waikato River Valley, Taupo Bungy is considered one of the world's most spectacular bungy sites, featuring the world's first cantilever platform and New Zealand's first 'splash cam'". All very fascinating but what it means is that you jump off a platform 47m down into the water. Oh and as a little extra you can have them send you 48m down so that you go in the water.
To be honest I figured that my main fear is jumping and the water at the bottom will be the least of my worries so I decide I am happy to get dunked. So I pay, I get weighed (small weight loss since England which i'm happy about) and I watch a few people in the queue ahead of me do their jump and I start to get confident. It doesn't look that bad, sure they scream but what do you expect and none of them appear to be dead so can't complain. Touchingly an increasingly nervous Rhiannon gives me a hug and tells me she loves me, she looks more nervous than me and I wonder if she is about to ask where my insurance details are held.
A couple of minutes later and I am on the platform receiving my instructions which pretty much amount to "shuffle over to that there platform, smile for the camera and then jump off into the water below". Conscious that I had paid for the dvd and photos I did my best to maintain a relaxed demeanour throughout this instruction and concentrating on this stopped me being too nervous right up until I had shuffled to the edge of the platform and had my photo taken and then "s*** i'm actually going to do this and it's a long way down".
I'd seen the guy before me jump and knew that if you hang around on the top thinking about it too long (20 seconds or more) then they just push you off. Brave and heoric man that I am I actually manage to just shuffle up and when she says "and bungee" I just fall forward and i'm plummeting. Perhaps not so heroic is that I scream like a big girl as I head towards the water, but then it is coming up very fast. It probably lasts about 3 seconds before I hit the water and then boing back up again. My t-short has come over my head so I pull it off and suddenly can see that i've bounced back up 20m or so and soon i'm going back down.
Anyway to cut an even longer story short I obviously survived with no injuries. It felt brilliant to have done it, a mix of relief, excitement and "get me up there again". That last one wore off soon after although I reckon i'd do another one again, maybe from a bit higher next time, or then again I may just rest on my laurels tell everyone it was easy but never set foot near one again. The important thing is I did it and I have dvd proof of it!
Soaking wet we headed back to the campsite and I sought out the manager and I could have hugged him as I thanked him for encouraging me to do it and we then chewed the fat about how great it is with Rhiannon grinning next to me thinking that I wasn't acting with such bravado a few minutes earlier.
I still did it though. I am James Bond.