Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
Prev / Eastward Ho! / South Africa / Brenton on Sea Next

Hugging the southern edge of South Africa is a long highway, constructed in the 80's, with huge bridges over the coast's many gorges. One of these, named Bloukrans Bridge, is exceptionally tall. Likewise, the gorge is exceptionally deep. Thus, the forest floor is a staggering two-hundred and sixteen meters from the bridge deck. Given this depth, people with almost-suicidal tendencies often use this to enjoy their favorite activity: jumping from bridges without dying. That's right, the world's largest bungie jump can be found right here. Seeing as how I was in the neighborhood, and have never tried it before, I decided to give it a shot.

After stepping onto the scale (73kg) and being strapped into a harness, I am led under the bridge to a long walkway made of rope-mesh walls and a wire-mesh floor. The floor bounces as I walk and the wind blows through the meshes, causing me to actively repress any thoughts that I might just slip through the 1/2" holes and fall to the forest canopy below.
Eventually I make my way up to the edge, bit by bit. Seeing as how my ankles are strapped tightly together (thankfully), walking is replaced by a sort of hop. But hopping right next to a 216m drop is a bit more daunting than it might seem. Sure, there's a big rope attached to my feet, but... still. I'm taking pictures and trying to get in all the sights when someone grabs the camera out of my hands and I notice they're counting down and nearing 1 at a fast pace. Next thing I know, I lean forward and bend my knees slightly, then jump out into the great unknown. In my best swan dive I jut my chin down to the shallow river 200m, 175m, 150m below, eyes fixed on the horizon that is quickly overtaken by the rising canyon walls. Then tension on my feet increases and my head drops further into a vertical dive, when the g's kick in. First a little, then a lot, my head is filled with every drop of blood in my entire body. By the time I reach the full extent of my fall, an indeterminate distance over the gor... [more]
For some reason, the backpacker I was staying in was, well, not quite infested, but inhabited by cameleons. One of which was sitting on a chandelier, though I didn't notice it until it was very closely pointed out.

Copyright 2017 - David Barrett -