Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bungy Jumping in the Nepal Himalaya

Bungy jumping was something I was determined to do on this six-month trip. Hey, I was jumping out of my comfort zones anyway, so why not jump all the way. Plus, ever since two friends of mine, Angelica and Cindy, went bungy jumping a year ago, I knew I wanted to put myself on that ledge, like they did. My original plan was to go bungy jumping in India, in a place called Rishikesh, but the travel gods had other plans and I had to tweak my northern India itinerary and forgo Rishikesh.

Good thing there was another outdoor adventure facility along our way which fortunately enough offers bungy jumping. This outdoor adventure facility was in Nepal. I knew I had to go bungy jumping there. Else, it will be a while before I get the chance to go bungy jumping again. And wouldn't you know it? The facility's name is The Last Resort. I know, scary when I first heard it. Why would an outdoor adventure facility name itself that way? As soon as I got over the name, I signed up to go bungy jumping. The Last Resort has an office in Kathmandu's tourist district, Thamel. We signed up there and booked a day trip for around 86 USD. The cost will include, apart from bungy jumping itself, a round-trip bus to the outdoor adventure facility and a buffet lunch.

Bungy Jumping in Nepal

We had to wake up really early for this bungy jumping adventure, like 5am. That's because the facility's three to four hours from Kathmandu. Naturally, we woke up late and hurried to the pick-up point. When the bus got to the bungy jumping facility, we were dropped to one end of a suspension bridge, on the other side of which is the facility itself. The thing is, that bridge is where they actually go bungy jumping. So, really, they give you a good scare two seconds after you get off the bus, seeing people bungy jumping and what not. Then, you walk on the wobbly steel bridge and see how high it is from the river below. Needless to say, it is enough to induce a paralyzing vertigo on hapless acrophobes. Then you realize, hey, I am bungy jumping on this bridge a little later. Really, walking over it shouldn't be a problem.

Bungy Jumping in Nepal

Bungy Jumping in Nepal

First, the bungy jumping master gives you a lecture on do's and don't's during the jump. After that, you are grouped based on weight. Five minutes before my weight group went to the bridge, they serve lunch. That's convenient, I thought. I can puke my stomach out while I am bungy jumping. Maybe then we'll find out which gets to the ground first: me or my vomit. When I got to the bridge, there was already a line. So I went to the back and asked some big Scandinavian dudes if I could cut in in front of them. Little did I know that the line had nothing to do with order of bungy jumping. That's because heaviest people go bungy jumping first. I came in third because most people in the line were Nepali teenagers on holiday.

Then it was my turn to go bungy jumping. They strapped me on. I told the bungy jumping master to tell me when everything's ready and I'll jump. I was trying not to think. If I think about it, I will feel nervous and begin to tremble. Frankly, I will sh*t in my pants. So I did not think about bungy jumping. I even convinced myself that I will back out the last minute. "Who's jumping? I'm not jumping!" I told myself. It worked! I wasn't feeling scared or anything. The trembles stopped. The heartbeat slowed down.

So I was standing on the ledge. The jump master said jump. Without even a split second passing, I jumped.

Bungy Jumping in Nepal
Photo by Angelica Cruz

It started slow, like floating in the air. Then all of a sudden, the wind and the ground came rushing towards me. It was unlike anything I have ever felt before. Honestly, my brain did not know what to think. I guess that's free fall for you. It was something completely unnatural. You don't really have words for it. Your brain doesn't even have thoughts for it. Because really, who has? It is completely against human nature to throw yourself over a pretty high bridge. It is suicidal, it's what it is. It is a death wish and really who can describe death?

Earlier, while waiting for our turns, a fellow bungy jumper asked why we do this to ourselves. "It's human nature," someone said. So I thought, so it's human nature to go against human nature? That's a nice thought. It makes me think that given the chance, I'll go bungy jumping again. Heck, who am I kidding? I'll go bungy jumping again. Most definitely.

Here's my full video bungy jumping. I hope it inspires others to go bungy jumping as well. You will not regret it. Trust me.

Have you tried bungy jumping before? How was it? If you haven't tried bungy jumping, do you think it's something you can do? Say yes, alright? Always say yes!

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