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Life in free fall


AARTI BASNYAT at the LAST RESORT


The terms of reference given to us were: jump off a bridge 160m above the Bhote Kosi with a cord tied to you and swing like a yoyo.

Oh yes, the cord is able to sustain 4.3 tons and it is all safer than the bus ride to from Kathmandu to the Last Resort. (That's not saying much, given the number of road accidents on Nepal's highways these days.) Still, all the pep talk did not prepare us for the sheer fear of jumping into the void to swing like Tarzan (or Jane) on a vine.

Waiting out our turn, we watched how the others did it. They walked the plank to the edge and jumped into the canyon below and swung back-and-forth on the bungee cord. After lunch, we were asked to sign a form stating we were fully responsible for our actions. It felt like we were signing a death wish but we signed anyway. Like sacrificial goats we were weighed, our weights written on the back of our hands and then we were led down to the bridge where the never-ending wait began.

Unlike the bungee cord, the rope for the swing bungee is not attached underneath the bridge but on to a steel cable approximately 140m downstream. So, unlike a standard jump you don't just go down vertically but also swing horizontally over the river. Fear crept in, every cell in my being rebelled against the idea of stepping off into nothingness.

The queue for jumping was not according to weight, as we had initially thought. Some had just lost their nerves, so I pushed to the front while I had some of my carefully built-up courage left. The weather was wet and cold, it was difficult to figure out whether I was shivering from the cold or from fear. Walking the plank, my survival instincts kicked in though there was no turning back now.

The world was a blur, my mind was blank as I plummeted 110 metres in five seconds to within nine metres of the boulder-strewn rapids. Why resort to meditation when you can jump off a bridge? Then the cord caught and the swing began, the adrenaline rush and euphoria that follows is hard to describe. Swing bungee maybe scarier than bungee but the swing factor adds more fun and pizzazz to the experience.

Travelling at 160 kmph, the thrill is prolonged. The swing adds a feeling of flight, rather than just a fall. They say once you have done it you are addicted to the adrenaline rush and you gain more confidence. After all, if you've jumped off a bridge 160m above a raging river and survived.you can do anything.

Swing bungee is $80 for tourists and Rs 3,000 for Nepalis. Extra swings cost $25. For a fee of $15 and Rs 700 for Nepalis you can go and watch. The Last Resort is located on the Kathmandu-Lhasa highway 100 km from Kathmandu.

Contact : The Last Resort
Tel: 4700525
email:[email protected]
website: www.tlrnepal.com



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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