Bungee jumping is the kind of activity that needs a little courage. It also helps if you are a little loopy. It probably comes the nearest to staring death in the face of one’s own volition, albeit within a certain safety margin. Bungee jumping may have started out with jumping from bridges or cranes but these days it is so much more than that.
Although bungee jumping had started with native Aztecs in Mexico and natives in Papua New Guinea and other places, the first modern bungee jumpers in the western world were five colleagues from the Oxford University Extreme Sports Club who jumped from Clifton Suspension Bridge in April 1979. The sport was developed commercially since then by the New Zealander AJ Hackett, who has developed a number of sites around the world.
Bungee jumping is now a whole new experience. The locations have become ever more special and unique. The views can be spectacular, and people will travel ever longer distances to partake of this activity. You may have decided that you will jump, but have you ever thought about the distances you might jump from? Some of the distances are well over 100 metres high, with the highest being 321 metres high in Colorado, in the United States.
One of the most spectacular sites is in Queenstown in New Zealand at the Nevis Highwire Bungee. The jump site can only be reached by cable car and is set between two hills at 134 metres. The jump canyon is wide at the top but narrows considerably at the bottom, making for a breathtaking site. It is a pretty awesome sight to risk one’s life.
Another recommended site is the Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge in Canon City in Colorado. This bungee jump is on the highest suspension bridge in the world at 321 metres high above the Arkansas River. However bungee jumping only takes place once a year during the time of the Go Fast Games. Jumpers have to walk out across the wooden boards to the jump site with the sheer drop below staring you in the face. The views all around are splendid with the stunning combination of the river and the canyon.
Another stunning location for bungee jumping is the Colorado River Bridge, in Costa Rica. The bridge stands 81 metres high and stands around a tropical rainforest of vast dimensions. The views of the rainforest before jumping are amazing, which adds to the overall experience.
Verzasca Dam in Switzerland became very popular since James Bond jumped here in the film Golden Eye. The jump is one of the highest at 220 metres, and is a real test of nerves.
A supreme test of nerves is also required at the Volcano Bungee in Pucon, Chile. This is because this involves jumping about 105 metres from a helicopter into the mouth of an active volcano. You fall within 200 metres of the molten lava, bubbling within the volcano. You can feel the heat of the volcano as you dangle below the helicopter, and you continue to dangle below the helicopter until it returns to base over 35 miles away.
So if you fancy a big dose of adrenalin, choose your site for Bungee jumping carefully. The locations can be mouth watering, the jump stupendous, the buzz incredible, and you can almost fly yourself home!!
Gerard Moxon is Founder of Luxury Hedonist.