I can highly recommend Killiecrankie as a convenient jumping off point if you happen to be travelling on the A9 between the Central Belt and Inverness. It just so happens that Garry Bridge, over the Killiecrankie gorge, is one of the two places in Scotland that you can go bungee jumping. It’s run by Bungee Jump Scotland, with the other location being the Titan Crane in Glasgow, now a little more famous given its prominent role in the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.
I’m now half way through my ’14 for 2014′, the list of challenges I set myself on New Year’s Day. The 14 challenges were intended to provide a variety of different experiences, some new and some I’d done before but wanted to do again. Jumping off a bridge with a length of elastic tied to my ankles falls into the second category; I first went bungee jumping off the Kawarau Bridge near Queenstown in New Zealand fifteen years ago. This time I went with my niece and it was her first time.
It was a gorgeous day – 28 degrees, which is about as hot as it gets in Scotland. Bungee Jump Scotland were well organised and very safety conscious. After several briefings of what to expect we were all set to go !
I wanted to do a big jump – not just timidly fall off the bridge – so I went for it ! The fall only lasted about three seconds but what a fantastic flight it was. When the elastic becomes taut it gently slows you down; there are no sudden jolts. I bounced about half a dozen times or so before a rope was lowered for me to attach to my harness and which then winched me up. This was the worst bit – hanging upside down for a minute with the blood slowing flowing to my head. But before long it was all over I was back on the bridge.
If you have a head for heights I’d strongly recommend it – it’s a unique experience and a huge, huge adrenalin buzz.
I’m using my 14 for 2014 to help raise funds for the Naomi House Children’s Hospice in Hampshire. Naomi House cared for little Chiara, the young daughter of a friend and ex-work colleague who died of an incurable brain tumour on the 21st January. This case study tells the moving story of how the life of this energetic three year-old was tragically taken.
Naomi House clearly made a real difference to the last few months of Chiara’s life, and that of her family, and so this is why I want to use my 14 for 2014 to raise awareness and additional funds for the great work that they do. If you have enjoyed reading my blog – and you think I’m daft enough to deserve it – please consider giving a donation to this extremely worthwhile charity. Every little counts.