We said goodbye to Ted & Sarah (hoping to meet again somewhere in Asia) and planned for a day of adrenaline. We would start by zip-lining hundreds of feet above the ground through the Tsitsikamma forest. Next, we (actually, just Dave) would kick it up (down?) a notch and free-fall 216 meters (708.66 ft) at bloukarans bridge: the world’s highest commercial bungy site. It was an awesome day.
Q: Why did Jesse not bungy jump?
A: Based on the recommendation of our guesthouse in Kynnsa we did not pre-book our bungy jump timeslot. My conversation with the owner of the hotel went like this:
Me: Do you know whether or not I need to reserve a spot at the Blourakans Bungy?Guesthouse: No, no no. They always have spots – you just show up.
Me: You sure?
Guesthouse: Definitely, you can always just show up and jump.
This walk-up availability also meant that neither me or J had to commit to the jump, and it is possible we were both a little scared…. Then, while we were zip-lining, I asked our guide whether he thought we would need a reservation to bungy jump at Blourakrans. That conversation went like this:
Me: Do you know whether or not I need to reserve a spot at the Blourakans Bungy?
Zip-line Guide: Yes, yes, yes. They are fully-booked almost every day of the entire year.
Me: Wow, are you sure? My hotel said I could just walk-up and jump.
Zip-line Guide: You can always try to just show up, but I’ve never heard of them having spots available. Sometimes, walk-ins can go when there are last-minute cancellations.
Back at the Tsitsikamma Zip Line office, I asked if I could use their phone to call Bloukarans Bungy. Our conversation was quick.
Me: Do you have any bungy spots available today?
Bloukarans: Hah. We are fully booked for the next week.
Me: Really, oh no! We are only here today.
Bloukarans: Yeah mate, we hear that a lot. You should have reserved online.
Me: Well, we will be driving over the bridge, do you ever get last-minute cancelations? Can you put my name on a list in case there are any cancellations or someone is too scared to jump?
Bloukarans: You can put your name on the stand-by list when you get here. Thanks. Bye.
Crap. The bridge was 50 kilometers in the wrong direction, and the chance that I would get to jump seemed small to quite small. But, since we had nothing to do we headed east towards the bridge, just to see if fate would shine upon us. We pull into the parking lot and are “helped” by one of the ubiquitous unauthorized parking attendants. He pointed out one of the tens of available spots in the large lot and for this I give him a Rand ($0.17). The bridge is really high, but I am only slightly nervous because it seems pretty unlikely that I will get to jump.
I walk up to the desk and see the Bloukarans employee who I spoke with on the phone. He is on the phone with someone else. He seems frustrated, and keeps telling the man that he can’t do anything and something about the next available spot. The caller, it turns out, had been delayed in traffic and could not make his reserved 4 PM jump time. Because it was 3:30, he had officially missed his check-in window, and Bloukarans was about to sell his spot. And I was standing there, first in line, with my credit card out and ready to swipe. The woman who took my information told me how lucky I was – people rarely miss their appointments (its $100 USD non-refundable) and because I would get to bungy jump! And she was right. I was lucky on both counts.
Dave does the Bloukrans bridge bungy jump (the jump starts at 2:05) from David Meshkov on Vimeo.
All of our Garden Route photos (including more from the bungy and ziplining) can be found here.