The Orlando Towers Bungee Jump has been on my bucket list for some time. For some reason I made excuses not to do it when I was in the area in January this year and this recent business trip had me anxious about doing it for weeks to include sleepless nights. Sometimes I ask myself why am I doing this to myself, but I know myself well and when that little voice keeps repeating the same activity or adventure over and over again, then I know I must do it without any excuse.
Just looking at the towers and spending time at the venue can be intimidating, although the trance music pumping out from the venue’s stereo really is quite adrenaline inducing.
We chose a good day to do the jump, as Friday’s are usually quieter than the weekends. After signing the forms, being weighed and numbered I went through to start getting harnessed and briefed in terms of what to expect. The entire operation is very smooth, efficient and extremely secure. In fact I have found that the more secure the activity the less danger and the less adrenaline involved. The more I think about bungee jumping in general, as long as there is a safety cable the more I realized that the entire activity has more to do with the mind than anything else. The Orlando Towers Bungee Jump really is a very safe activity to try. The game is to overcome one’s fear of vertigo and most importantly making the decision to dive head first off a platform, plunging to the ground.
Once I had my safety harness we proceeded to the open air lift which elevated us up the outside of the tower to a platform 3m from the top. From here we enjoyed the views, had a chat and watched the bridge swingers enjoy themselves. Bridge swinging really looks like heaps of fun, the activity is also slightly longer than the Bungee jump. The floating stairway is something that I did not notice but is apparently suspended in mid air!
At the top of the stairway, one reaches the rim of the tower and from here one can pause to view the breath-taking panorama over greater Soweto. From the rim, you step onto the sky-bridge spanning the space between the two towers, rim to rim. At this point one is now around 100m up in the air, as you step out onto the suspension bridge between the two towers. From here the highly experienced bungee technicians guided me through the harnessing and safety procedures, in preparation for my bungee jump.
As I walked from the one tower along the suspension bridge to the jump zone I lost my smile, I really started to feel quite terrified. The bungee jump technicians started to work at lightning speed, probably to hasten what they know is a very difficult moment for most bungee jumpers. The lead bungee jump technician checked everything over and over again, then tightened the straps around my ankles and asked me to close my eyes and move towards the platform. As I did this, all my fears and anxieties from the past few months accumulated in mammoth proportions! I wanted to back out so badly and started to feel numb. Three men in my face and around my body in such close proximity, counting down and urging me to jump. No turning back they said and continued to count down and then I did it!
The jump itself is extremely short, wind rushing past your face and within split seconds the recoil takes place once, then twice and again before you simply hang like a bat upside down and wait to be lowered to the ground.
I don’t really know what to say about the Orlando Bungee. It was an amazing experience but not actually the experience itself. I am more proud of myself for overcoming the mind game of fear and for taking the plunge, but the actual plunge was slightly uneventful, horse riding is more fun and I’m beginning to think that so much of adrenaline has to do with the level of danger involved. Where there is no danger there is no adrenaline. For me the Orlando Towers Bungee Jump was definitely about overcoming boundaries within the mind and now I think I’m ready to make a crack at an expedition like Kilimanjaro lets say.
Written and experienced in person by Odette Butcher, Chief Experience Officer, Celestial Gift Experiences.
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