During the first two days of stay in HONG KONG, our cousin was planning our trip, telling us about various tourist places and which all we should not miss. One on this list was Macau.
Macau [recently was in news, this year’s IIFA awards took place in Venetian Macau] is a small island country under China, just 90 minutes ferry ride away from HONG KONG. It is set on Vegas pattern with big Casinos and hotels; the difference being it is bigger and better than Vegas [this is what my bro told me after visiting Vegas and I take his word for it]. Initially we were not sure about Macau, looking at big hotels didn’t caught our fancy. But the moment our cousin told us about the world’s highest Bungee Jumping spot, at 233 meters height, in Macau; it was on our not to be missed list.
After the cancellation of Macau program on Friday we [especially me] didn’t wanted to miss it at any cost [afterall how many times you get a chance to jump off a 233 meters high tower]. On Saturday, despite again getting up late in the morning, at 12 noon we left for Macau with ‘Aloo ke Paranthe’ [one of my friend after reading the earlier post about HONG KONG, asked how exactly did we managed food there. We had a veg-sandwich at subway once and one coffee at Starbucks. All credit for the food goes to our Bhabhi, who in the morning before leaving for work made us some delicious Aloo Ke Paranthe for lunch].
The fast moving ferry to Macau was nothing less than an exciting ride; the frequent bumps on the waves it was giving us made it a sort of roller coaster. But it was comfortable and better, atleast than the Air India flight.
The moment we reached Macau, our first destination was Macau tower [the bungee spot]. Receptionist there told us that for bungee there is a waiting of 2 hours. So I bought the ticket and went up, and the younger lot went out for Macau darshan, with a deadline to be back within 2 hours. Actually they were not jumping that day; not because they were not interested; but due to some miscommunication with Delhi [the centre of all affairs] they didn’t get the permission.
After reaching the top, all excited and fired up, I got the formalities done as soon as possible [emptying all the pockets, wearing the bungee t-shirt, checking my weight] and sat down in the queue waiting for my turn. The plan was, I’ll get in the queue and wait; by the time it’s my turn to jump they will be back; but my plan seldom works. I was on the jumping pad just within 45 minutes [I don’t know how the receptionist calculated wait time of 2 hours].
While in the queue I was feeling excited; but the people around me [the other tourists] were more thrilled; they were smiling to me and giving me thumbs up. For all the week I was waiting for this moment but now I don’t know why I was not thrilled nothing close to afraid [many saw my jump video, and all had different things to say about my expressions. Some said I was cool and others, I looked afraid]. Might be because this was not the first time; but then back home I had not jumped anything close to 233 meters; just 150 feet.
With the safety harness and bungee rope tied to me slowly I walked to the edge of the jumping platform and looked down. It was the moment I was waiting for. I felt thrilled and afraid at the same time; I became numb. The guy behind me was giving final instructions; but all I could hear was sound of blowing wind, all I could see was the vast span of sky, all I could think of was nothing. And when I came back to my senses on looking down from the edge the thought in my mind was ‘What the heck are you doing dude? Paagal hai kya! Leave it forget it!’ this was the moment I got scared to death. This was the feeling I was waiting for. But before I could think of anything else the countdown had already begun. 5-4-3-2-1 and I was falling freely with the speed of [if my math is right and I correctly remember the physics fundas] 67 meters/second or 241 kilometer per hour. Then a swift rebound, I was floating in the air and then again a free fall. This continued for some time [don’t know exactly for how long, lost the track of time long back] and when it finished I was hanging upside down with a big smile on my face.
On my way back to the top of the tower, everyone was smiling to me and asking how was it? It made me felt special, for the moment I was a star. The post jump feeling is great not just because of all the thrill and adrenalin pumping, but due to the sense of achievement, a feel good factor of conquering my fear.
Although the jump from the tower was good but the element of fear was meagerly for few seconds; and this is where the jump from the tower loses some of its charm.
Unlike while jumping from a bridge or a crane, on the tower you are not allowed to jump; just lean forward and the guy holding you from the back leaves you and you fall [because if you jump, you will crash into the tower]. My first jump in India was through this leaning technique. But second time I did the actual jump, no leaning this time. The instructor there told me to jump. I thought you gotta be kidding me! My heart actually skipped a beat on the thought of jumping on my own from this height. I forgot that am tied to a rope, I forgot about all the fun it was, only thing I remembered, how can I jump from this height. Second time was scarier than the first one. But once I jumped it was more fun and the feeling of conquering was even greater.
When my bros were back we went to Venetian Macau, a grand hotel built on the Venice theme. Saw the biggest casino floor on the planet there, and tried our hand at gambling; eventually end up losing 20 HKD. We were running short of time as we were supposed to be back home by 11, so rushed to the pier and took a ferry back to HONG KONG.
Next day we were leaving HONG KONG a memorable journey was coming to an end.