If you’ve been following my adventures for awhile, you’re probably not at all surprised that the first thing on my list of things to do in New Zealand was bungy. I’ve gone skydiving in the Pyrenees, dropped 100 feet into a black hole in Waitomo, dove with sharks (multiple times), thought I was going to die canyoning in the deepest ravine in Switzerland—of course I was going to bungy. You don’t exactly go the land of its origin and not partake, you know? I mean, you wouldn’t visit New Orleans without sampling deep fried alligator, would you?
So I had breakfast with the lovely owners of Point View Lodge and made my way over to Taupo Bungy. I was surprised that I didn’t have to book a jump in advance or, I don’t know, UNDERGO A FULL MENTAL EXAM or something, but I showed up, said I’d like to fling myself 154 feet off a platform, and they said OK.
(Nice butt shot.)(You’re welcome.) I don’t normally think I’m afraid of heights until I reach the edge. Then my heart starts to flutter, my stomach leaps into my esophagus, and I try to, sometimes unsuccessfully, continue to act like the nonchalant bad ass I aspire to be am. I walked right out there, they put a big rubber band around my feet, gave me a brief tutorial, and it was time to go. Just like that. Nothing to it.
I had wanted to do a water touch, but I guess they either hadn’t adjusted my elasticity accordingly, or else I didn’t jump hard enough, but I got about two feet from the surface before I bounced back up. I’d say what makes bungying scarier than, say, skydiving is that you’re hauling yourself over the edge head first. With just a rubber band around your feet to stop you from plummeting to your death. It can be a bit disconcerting.
Then, they lowered me all the way to the water to let me down. Maybe 30 seconds had passed since I jumped, and it was a total of 15 minutes between the time I checked in until I hiked back to the top. By far the quickest adventure activity you’ll ever try.
The funniest part is I didn’t realize they were filming—I guess maybe there was a microphone somewhere on my bungy?—because I maybe accidentally flashed the lucky poor boat drivers below more of my midriff than they cared to see and, out of being uncomfortable, started cracking jokes about how normally they’d be paying me for that, not the other way around. Um yeah, all on camera.
(Also, please note the widescreen filming of this video makes it look like I packed on 30 pounds while island-hopping in the South Pacific. I did not, I ensure you. Rather, I’m saving that small feat for this weekend’s return to NYC.)
As I continue to cross off more and more items on the old Bucket List, I wonder: Will the day come when I simply run out? Nah. Until I conquer Nevis, I’d say I’m still going strong. And oh, I will conquer Nevis, just you wait. Because if anything beats bungying, it’s bungying from a cable wire in the middle of one of the country’s deepest canyons. Now that would be one worth writing home about.
**All photos and video courtesty of Taupo Bungy, who were kind enough to mail me a DVD after my first one didn’t work. Great guys!