When I first started my Latin American trip I set out to try as many new experiences as I could. I wanted to put myself out of my comfort zone and truly test myself.
Over my tripI had swam with sharks and giant sting rays (and even got to hold one) in Caye caulker Belize, Boarded down the side of an Active volcano in Leon Nicaragua, Ziplined in the jungle on the way to Machu Pichu and white water rafted down the rapids in Banos.
But the bridge jump in Banos was by far the scariest most challenging thing I did!
So it was a wet and rainy day in Banos, When myself and a few Canadian girls I had been hanging with for past couple of weeks decided to go do a bridge jump, Even though I was a little bit nervous at the prospect of hurling myself off a bridge with little more than a rope attached to me, I was more excited than anything. This had been a big thing on my bucket list for a long time and today I was finally going to check it off… Or Was I?
So we arrived at the bridge (Just a normal bridge with bus’s and cars bustling across) and paid the guy $15 USD
FIFTEEN DOLLARS!!!!! There are some things in life that you want to pay more for,If two people came up to me and both were trying to sell me a sky dive for example and one was selling it for $10 and one for $100 I think id be going with the more expensive one. haha
But either way I figured no one had died yet (Since they were still in business) so me and Alisha (One of the Canadian girls) got harnessed up and prepared for the jump.
Alisha went first and was straight up onto the platform and after a 5 second count down, jumped LIKE A BOSS!
Next it was my turn…
So I stepped up to that platform like a man and jumped off like a pro, Everyone cheered and all the girls that were watching were so impressed I couldn’t keep them off me.
Now that’s what I wish I could say happened, What actually happened was no where near as manly or courageous.
After Alisha had jumped the rope was hoisted back up and clipped onto my chest. (this was a Swing jump not a traditional bungee jump) I slowly climbed my way up over the side railing of the bridge and stood on the small rusty metal platform that was hanging precariously over the edge of the bridge. (Like it makes any difference if it was rusty, if it had have collapsed while I was on it, it probably would have made the whole thing go a lot quicker)
I stood there on the edge of this platform the wind rustling by and rain coming down all around me, The rope connected to my harness hanging down and disappearing under the bridge out of sight. They began the countdown 5,4, My heart was racing,3,2,OH GOD,,1…..
I tried to jump but I just couldn’t, My legs froze up my natural instincts kicked in and it was like every part of my body was screaming
OH GOD BRENDON WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING!!!
My friends and the jump instructor kept assuring me that it was safe, I knew it was safe and that wasn’t really the issue for me. It was just overcoming that natural fear and going against your survival instinct and taking that leap over the edge. What followed was 15 minutes of various count downs and me trying to psyche myself to take the jump. (It was a good thing it was a quiet day and there was no one else waiting to jump)
so as I stood there knee’s trembling like a baby deer with my friends giving me support to make the jump. I knew there was only one way off this platform, Moments like this were what my entire trip was about. I knew that if I didn’t make this jump I would always regret it, Plus my friends were filming and taking photos, If I didn’t make the jump Id have a bunch of photos from that time I failed to do a bridge jump in Banos.
A constant reminder of my failure
After about 15 minutes standing on this platform I had attracted quite an audience, there where about 20-30 people standing around watching to see if I was going to jump or chicken out, People had even stopped on the bridge in their car’s. I knew what I had to do, I moved close to the front of the platform with my feet hanging over the edge, Raised my hand up to the crowd and with a count down of 1,2,3. I spread my arms out I let myself fall.
What came next was a bit of a blur
I plummeted down towards the raging river below waiting for the rope to catch me
As I soared “Gracefully” the rope finally caught me.
After that it was all cruisy, I just swang side to side as they lowered me down to land beside the river. and as soon as my feet touched the ground again it was one of the best feelings ever.
So why wouldn’t I do it again?
Now don’t get me wrong the feeling of adrenalin and accomplishment after doing this jump was phenomenal. I’m so glad that I did this, But for me it’s not the kind of thing I feel I need to do again. I Think I will stick to white water rafting and volcano boarding in future.
Having said that sky diving is still on my list and as weird as it sounds I think that will be a lot easier to do than a bridge/bungee jump. why? In a sky dive for one you are strapped to an instructor atleast, Plus I imagine your so high up and that you would be out of the plane before you knew it.
and my advice for people doing a bungee or bridge jump…
Don’t think about it, Just jump on the first countdown, The longer you wait the harder it gets!
Have you ever had any experiences that you are glad you did but would never do again?