Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 12: Bungee Jumping & Day in Cairns

This was the day I was looking forward to since I arrived on Australian shores. When Phoebe and I began discussing my visit, she asked if there was anything I HAD to do while I was there. I told her of course I wanted to visit the Great Barrier Reef and then I REALLY wanted to do something like Bungee Jump. I know Phoebe is not into stuff like that at all, so I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do it. But when I mentioned it to her again, Liam said he would definitely go with me.
In the planning process I decided I wouldn't tell my parents I was going to do it until I had actually done it. I know my mom would freak out and be so nervous for me, but if I waited till after the fact she would be so excited for me.

We booked with AJ Hacketts and decided to do it earlier in the day because I didn't want to be waiting around all morning to finally go and do it. I knew I would have an amazing experience and absolutely LOVE bungee jumping, but I couldn't help but feel that nervous turning of my stomach the whole drive to Cairns. I kept saying over and over in my head that it would be just like the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland or any other free fall ride... it is NOTHING like that and SO MUCH BETTER!

We approached the jump site with incredible butterflies in the stomach. Karla came with us and jumped too. When we parked the car and started the walk up to the tower, we were greeted by this "Caution" sign. Loved it.

The infamous tower!! It is actually much higher than it appears

We signed in and then waited until they were ready for us at the top. In order to let off some of the nervous energy, Liam and I spent our waiting time dancing to the music in the bar area. Good times!
They gave us the go ahead to make our way up the tower and we began our ascent. I have to say that walking up the stairs was the worst part. I literally couldn't remember why I decided to do this as I took every step... but I was determined to follow through cause I knew I would regret it if I didn't. I got to the top and my knees were shaking horribly!

Phoebe of course didn't actually jump, but she cheered us on from the ground and told me later that she had a mini heart attack every time one of us jumped.
At the top, Karla went first while Liam and I had mini freak outs on the sidelines. After getting her all strapped in, she stood on the ledge of the platform for seriously an entire 2 minutes after they gave her a countdown before she jumped. By that time I myself was getting strapped in and the blood curdling scream she let out as she jumped nearly took a year off my life. As they were putting on all my gear, the guy strapping me in was rather lovely and kept me preoccupied asking me about Arizona and going to ASU. In my head I was reciting the Lord's prayer to calm my nerves... "the Lord is my shepherd, the Lord is my shepherd."
I actually was rather calm as I felt the sturdiness of the belts and straps. Then he stood me up and had me waddle to the edge. As I reached the end of the platform and looked down I couldn't not believe I was so high and that in a mere moment I would be diving the height of the platform into thin air. They told me they would count down from 5 and then I could jump when I was ready. I nodded and waited for them to start the counted... a few moments later the guy kindly told me that they wouldn't start  until I actually let go of the railing... whoops! I let go and they counted down from 5 and I dove. I knew that if I didn't just go for it I would continue to get more and more freaked out... so in an instant I was airborn and plunging into oblivion.
waving to the camera man who caught it all on digital and film.

the perfect swan dive
 It was so much easier than any free fall ride I had ever been on... I didn't have that rushing feeling in my stomach because it happened so fast. I kept my eyes open most of the time and remember seeing the ground get dangerously close and almost touching the water and then being gracefully pulled back up. I didn't feel whipped around and kept myself limp as possible to avoid being sore later. The only thing that felt off was the amount of blood rushing to my face as I dangled upside down at the bottom. Once I was steadied at the end of the bungee cord, a man on a raft paddled out to help pull me down. I gave a wave to the camera at the top and then was released from the cord and rode to the edge of the pond.
waving to the film crew at the top

waving to Phoebe

relaxing with the boat master

I can't believe I actually did it.

As I inched to the edge of the boat to step on solid ground I completely expected to have jelly legs, but no. I was as steady as ever. My heart was pounding like crazy though.
Seriously it was the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life and the most fun I have ever had in a moment. I would do it again in a heartbeat and actually plan to in the future.

Liam jumped next. There was a question as to whether he would actually do it because his nerves were starting to get the better of him at the top. But he finally did it and he felt like a champ!
The victors!!
Liam, Karla and I feeling like we could conquer the world
After the jump one of the staff members informed me he could hear my scream all the way from the parking lot. I apparently have incredible mile spanning lungs. Haha!

After the jump I was feeling so exhilirated from all the adrenalin. I was also very hungry. We headed into Cairns for some serious shopping at the mall and the outlet stores and then dinner along the harbor.
Australia really puts more limits on itself than America does... we have Bed Bath and Beyond, while their store ends at the table.

 We had cocktails at The Salt House on the harbor. Each of us would order a cocktail and try each others and then all have to order the other person's cocktail. My favorite was a Kiwi cocktail.
 As the sun set on the harbor over the boats and out into the ocean, thus ended another one of my favorite days of the trip. We drove home playing eye spy and laughing hysterically.

1 comment:

linda t said...

Oh Miranda, what a story!! And so well told.
I can't even begin to imagine. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for NOT telling me till after the fact!
So thankful you had the experience... and lived to tell :)