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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!

The Bridge (Taken on a not so rainy day)

The Bridge (Taken on a not so rainy day)

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

The Banos Bridge Jump

The Banos Bridge Jump

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)

The view looking down from the bridge jump (Pro tip: Don't look down)

The view looking down from the bridge jump (Pro tip: Don’t look down)

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!!!

Standing on the edge

I can do this! I can do this!

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

Me counting down

Me counting down

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.

Banos Bridge jump

 What came next was a bit of a blur

Not graceful

I plummeted down towards the raging river below waiting for the rope to catch me

oh god

As I soared “Gracefully” the rope finally caught me.

I'm Alive :D

I’m Alive 😀

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?

2017-08-29T01:43:11+00:00 20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Valeri June 20, 2013 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Skydiving was something I absolutely enjoyed, owned and will do every opportunity I get. Bungee jumping however I swore I’d NEVER do. Didn’t even make it on my bucket list. Last year when in Queenstown, NZ an itinerary filled with adrenaline pumped activities was a non negotiable. How could you visit the birth black of bungee jumping and not do it. Not only did I bungee my first bungee was the 134m Nevis. My adrenaline was so high after that first jump I was convinced the 300m arc Nevis swing would be a good idea immediately after. Two days later I couldn’t leave Queenstown without jumping off the original 43m Kawarau Bridge. This is my classic never say never story. I couldn’t have imagined I’d ever agree to this and I did it 3x in 3 days!
    You’re right about the advice… don’t think, just jump! (For those who haven’t done it yet, you’ll thank us later)
    Valeri recently posted..Job hunting on a Work & Holiday Visa …aka my reality checkMy Profile

    • Brendon June 20, 2013 at 11:55 am - Reply

      Wow Valeri thats intense :D.

  2. natasha June 25, 2013 at 9:02 am - Reply

    Wow – i really thought you were not going to jump – YOU ARE VERY BRAVE. I cannot bungee jump ever…too afraid of heights. I once walked on a bridge in South africa overlooking a very deep gorge – I froze – the guards had to coax me into moving one foot at a time to get back to land….. I was 50 metres away from the landing lol ….but good for you for making sure your photos would never remind you of your failure day 🙂
    natasha recently posted..A Romantic Spa Oasis In Bangkok – where serenity commands a presence.My Profile

    • Brendon June 25, 2013 at 11:38 pm - Reply

      Thanks Natasha, It was close I almost didn’t jump. I’m probably more stubborn than brave haha. Heights can be pretty scary. Were the guards in South Africa like ohhh not again another person froze while walking on the bridge, This happens every day haha

  3. Digital Nomads June 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    That is super awesome! We spent 20 days in Banos and did almost everything from White-water rafting to waterfalls rappelling, zip line…etc. but the bridge was too much! I salute your courage.
    Digital Nomads recently posted..On the Road Expenses and Statistics, Month TenMy Profile

  4. Roisin July 16, 2013 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Even from reading your post I could feel that heart pounding feeling before doing something like that. It’s something I’d like to do someday if I get enough courage 🙂
    Roisin recently posted..Visiting the German Village HahndorfMy Profile

  5. Tim July 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Dam boy. That sounds intense and so so rad. I need to get some shit like this on my list of things to do.

  6. Luke November 30, 2013 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    I remember my first jump in Cairns, Australia. I was visiting a friend and we had decided to go have a few drinks at a bar next to an adventure park…. After 2 glasses of scotch, “someone” (me) came up with the idea that it would be cool to Bungee jump….. So we paid the fee, got weighed and signed away our lives. I remember climbing the tower (150 feet) and realising it was a lot higher than it looked from the ground. We got to the top and my friend (Danielle) decided I should go first… I couldn’t really chicken out and tell a girl she had to jump before me…. I was lucky, my adrenalin kicked in before they even finished hooking me up to the rope, so when it came to the countdown I was airborne before they even got to 1. Best experience of my life! After they lowered me down to the ground I was jumping around like an idiot “high fiving” anyone within arms reach…..

  7. Murissa January 22, 2014 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    Congrats! So glad you did it. My heart was pounding with the pics and your countdowns!
    I tend not to jump when I get to 3 so now I always jump on 2 before I can have time to think about what I am about to do. I learned this after I jumped off a cliff in Negril, Jamaica, a wedgie may have followed but it was such a rush!
    Murissa recently posted..What Lies Beneath: Snorkelling Oahu & VideoMy Profile

  8. Hank January 21, 2015 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    Hi. I can see this was posted a year and a half ago, bit I stumbled upon it and wanted to add something.
    I completely understand your fear. At least I think I do based on the timeframe you provided since my first jump had me standing on the edge of the bridge about the same time. You put into words pretty much my experience, although I tell it somewhat differently.
    First, let me say I’m Ecuadorian (living in Quito) even though I don’t think it’s the same guys running the bungee line (we call that particular pendulous jump ‘Puenting’) , I’ve heard that people have died there some years ago, and recently as well. That piece of information might make your future telling of this story a little more dramatic. Again, this is something I’ve heard and not something I read in the newspaper or have any evidence to say that I’m sure it’s true, just something that I believe is probable enough to make it worth mentioning.
    Next, I have to add that my experience includes the fear that suddenly grabbed me while I was waiting to be pulled up (I did it in the Chiche river bridge on the outskirts of Quito, where the drop is so high and the river underneath is not easily accessible, that it is more practical to pull the jumpers up to the bridge). What went through my mind after the excitement faded and the adrenaline dropped to normal level, was that all that was keeping me from hitting the planet that suddenly looked farther away than what it really was, was these two incredibly thin strings (suddenly the ropes looked like the thinnest strings imaginable) that seemed to be holding me with all their might. Halfway up, I was already holding onto the ropes for dear life while looking down (I was terrified AND fascinated at the same time), which of course only increased my terror. By the time I had to let go from the rope and grab the bungee-guy’s hand so that he could pull me up onto the bridge, my hands were frozen on their grip and it took me a minute or two to gather my courage and do the final movements (I needed another minute when I got a hold on the bridge’s beam and hugged something solid that felt safer than the rope).
    Let me add that I knew exactly what I was getting into when I decided to jump. As a child, I loved playing in high places, growing up my parents always got so worried and told me so often to be careful and avoid the edges that I developed a fear of heights. This was part of my self-impossed therapy to overcome my fear.
    I’ve jumped a second time since, and I am dying to try the classic vertical bungee jump, after that, skydiving.

    BTW, don’t hesitate to come visit Ecuador again!

  9. Naomi J February 24, 2015 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Lmaoo thaaat was a great story! I was here cryingg with laughter, in public :/ so glad you did it, even after the couple of minutes, I’m sure you had some real DEEP conversation with yourself up there for that 15mins lol awesome. $15? Nah. I would’ve definitely passed on that one. Lol I’m going to South America next week, huacachina and Macchu picchu on the itinerary, feel free to follow my travels on Instagram @naomi_nocampbell

    • Brendon March 10, 2015 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      Thanks Naomi, Hope your travels are going well 😀

  10. Travelling Chingrita March 29, 2015 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    Congrats! I did the jump as well. You got a deal, the price went up to $20. Wasn’t the most thought out decision I have ever made but it certainly was worth it. Wrote about it on my blog as well 😀

    I immediately jumped off as he was trying to fix my foot. I had seen him push off a Peruvian guy the day before, and I was not about to get pushed. My friends that I met said that was the fastest jump they had ever seen lolz.

  11. twofeetontheground karen October 7, 2015 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    i don’t think it a bit un-manly to say NO to jumping off a rusty platform, thousands of feet in the air, with only this big band to hold you up~ to keep you from scrambling yourself on the ground like an egg. : ) i am very glad you are alive though. 🙂

    • Brendon October 9, 2015 at 2:52 am - Reply

      haha yeah, I’m glad i’m alive as well 😀

  12. lyn barden October 18, 2015 at 1:05 am - Reply

    Enjoyed reading about this adventure. I salute your courage. I will stick to reading about other peoples bungee jumping adventures. Glad you made it safely.
    lyn barden recently posted..On the Water – Port Phillip BayMy Profile

  13. Nicholas Gault January 15, 2016 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    I experienced poor safety practices. I just did this. I have to say it was pretty cool. However the safety practices aren’t that cool. Shortly after jumping I was hit very hard on the shoulder by a heavy plastic bottle full of sand that they simply chuck from the bridge without looking with a rope attached in order to haul the harness back up. It packed a punch falling from 60 metres of more . Zero sense of remorse or refund or acknowledgement from the manager. 10 minutes later they were blindly throwing the bottle over the bridge without checking below.

    • Brendon January 17, 2016 at 12:42 am - Reply

      Ouch, that sounds painful. Yeah their safety practices werent that great when I was there

  14. Conchita December 23, 2016 at 8:20 am - Reply

    I’ve huge fear of heights and the closest thing I’ve done to overcome such fear is ziplining (lame)

  15. Jen July 20, 2017 at 12:23 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this.
    I’ve been watching videos of the the puente on YouTube. The ones that evoke the most fear are those where the jumper is slow to climb up and do it. The ones in which the puenter goes forward without fear are the most reassuring.
    Hopefully we will set off and do this in two days, my husband and me.
    Fingers crossed!

    http://www.nynomads.com
    Traveling and living rent free in NYC

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