Hannah was nervous for days. We had heard about the bungy jump from Bloukrans Bridge and checked the minimum age for jumpers. It was 14. This meant that she had no excuse, other than her own fear, to hold her back from making the jump. Every time she thought about it, she would squirm. Although none of the rest of us would put any pressure on her to jump or not to jump, she knew enough about herself to realize she would do this to herself. And it scared her.
We stopped by on our way to our camp site at the Mouth of Storms River to check it out and take a look. John decided to jump. Marlie is too young and on crutches, besides. I opted out. When I was younger, I was so convinced I would like sky diving that I made six static line jumps from a small Cessna before I decided I really just didn’t like the freefall part. Of course, freefall is the whole point of skydiving. I’m a bit of a slow learner, I guess. That experience kept me from committing to the bungy jump plunge, myself. Hannah tortured herself for a while and finally decided that if she chose not to jump, she would regret it. She harnessed up.
They have rules against bringing your own camera. Although they say it is for safety reasons, we suspect the real reason is so they can sell their own photo CDs and video DVDs. After pressing them, they did let John wear his GoPro camera on a chest harness, in exchange for a promise to buy their photos and videos. We were not able to bring other cameras onto the bridge, though.
We all walked out on the catwalk to the middle of the bridge, in itself an adventure. The walkway is diamond plate mesh, offering a view to the chasm and river below. Even Marlie made it out on her crutches, although we tested the hole size to the bottom of the crutches before heading out, to make sure they would not get stuck or slip down as she put weight on them.
John jumped first, with no hesitation. Hannah was a little more fearful and took some time to bring herself over the edge, but she made it. Both came back having difficulty finding the words to express the experience. I watched, wondering why I had opted not to go. When we headed back to the gift shop to pick up souvenirs and our photos, we found a common tagline on their clothing was “Fear is Temporary. Regret is Forever.” Sort if sums up life.