I never planned to bungee jump so soon in our trip. I was waiting until the end of our trip to convince Derek to jump with me when we would be in New Zealand (December). I figured I had 10 months to convince him…no problem.
Except there we were at Bloukran’s Bridge, the tallest bridge in South Africa and apparently the tallest bungee jump in the world.
The sun was dipping low in the sky and everyone was leaving the area as we drove up. It was an easy 30 minute drive uphill from Plettenburg Bay and we were attempting to do as much as we could before having to leave in 18 hours.
We got out of the car and walked down the hill to the pub where exhilarated jumpers and their nervous friends (who hadn’t jumped) shared a beer and laughed and high-fived. You could smell the jumper’s excitement and their friend’s envy. I couldn’t stop watching the different body language and wondering if I would be envious.....or content not jumping.
The bridge was spectacular. It’s not only tall, but it’s quite dramatic because of the huge gorge underneath it. Derek was getting pretty nervous because he doesn’t like heights, and he kept telling me his knees were going weak…but not me.
I was curious.
Are there any openings to jump tomorrow? How much does it cost? What’s their safety rating? How long does it take? Etc…
The office (Face Adrenalin) was closing as I walked up and learned that their safety rating was 100%. They had never had a problem….EVER…and they pretty much invented bungee jumping.
But I didn’t want to jump alone.
We got into the car (didn't make the booking, but got all the info), I decided…I was jumping…with or without Derek.
Even though I love sharing experiences with him, I’m first an individual with hopes and dreams unique to me. Jumping off this bridge was something that I knew I’d regret if I didn’t do it. Decision made.
That night at dinner we had the sweetest waitress, Bukie, at Emily Moon Restaurant (amazing food and hotel). As we were paying our bill, I mentioned that I was jumping off the bridge tomorrow morning.
Her eyes lit up, “You are??? I’ve always wanted to do that!” She went to get the credit card machine.
I looked at Derek, and he knew exactly what I was thinking. Could Bukie jump with me? Since we would normally pay for him to jump (and I still hadn’t convinced him), it would be the same $$ to have Bukie jump in his place…right? He agreed.
She came back and I asked, “What are you doing tomorrow morning?” To which she replied, “I have to work, but not until 3pm.” Perfect. We could jump together, our treat. She'd be my Derek.
I told her the plan, and I thought her eyes would pop out of her head (she already has the prettiest big brown eyes). “Really!!! Okay, I’ll meet you here tomorrow morning!!”
I couldn’t have been happier, and I think she felt the same.
The next day we hugged and laughed and took pictures and cried and squealed and laughed some more. We became friends and we made new friends (Nina and Daniele y’all were so fun!), and I’ll never forget it.
Here's a video of the jump if you want to see it! (Wait, never mind, it's still trying to upload to YouTube...slow wi-fi in Zimbabwe.)
I don’t know Bukie all that well, but I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have treated herself to a bungee jump as a single mom with a son to take care of.
The best part of my jump wasn’t the jump at all, it was making sure that Bukie got to jump.
And later that weekend when I saw her posting pictures on Facebook with all of her friends commenting, that was the best. Dropping her off at her home and seeing her huge smile as she greeted her sweet dog, that was the best.
Thinking about Bukie showing the pictures and videos to her friends and family, that is the best.
Making a difference for someone else, that is the best. Whether you are bungee jumping together or not, it’s always the best part. I make sure to remember that always, especially during this very special time in our lives. The people make the memories, period.