Birthdays are a great time to get together with friends, and my friend Sara’s 26th was no different. Not being one for getting all dressed up for a fancy-pants dinner, Sara invited all five of her friends in Beijing to join her in a day trip to LongQingXia for some bungee jumping fun. All based on my blog post, no less!
Breakfast at Lush was early and included the usual exchange of gifts, and a surprise or two.
The metro ride was uneventful, but the two drivers we hired to take us to Longqing Gorge were confused. They ended up taking us to a section of the Great Wall. I think it was called QingQing, which is where some of the confusion started. (That and none of us speak Chinese.) Thankfully some local Chinese students helped us negotiate a (relatively) fair price for the trip further afield.
The enthusiasm of the day was contagious, and the gorge was, well…GORGE-ous. (I couldn’t resist.)
Jumping again was awesome. Especially since we had some extra friends along who agreed to take pictures of us all jumping. I knew what to expect from the whole experience, and there was decidedly less anxiety in the buildup.
Sara went first, and had her flip-flops scotch-taped to her feet. Hilarious. Check out that serious concentration.
I went next, and boy was it an adrenaline rush! I kept my eyes open this time, and there was a lot less screaming. There was a little more fear, since one of my shoes started to slip a little, and I panicked about what might happen if I lost a shoe. (My harness might slip off my ankle, I might dangle by one foot, I might drop… shudder.) I remember shouting as I stopped bouncing, “Where the f*%$ is the boat?”
The boat eventually arrived, with two workers and a young boy, learning the ropes I wonder. Being pulled into the boat with a bamboo pole is no less disconcerting the second time around.
Kerri jumped next, looking very graceful. Sara and I watched from down on the docks and cheered her on as she leapt. A tour boat happened to pass by just as Kerri was about to jump, and her cheerleading section increased ten-fold.
Last of the jumpers was Tom, highly visible in his neon pink polo shirt. Tom, unfortunately did not dive of the platform. As the last to jump, he didn’t really have a cheerleading squad with him on the platform. Also, he looked down. NEVER look down before you jump!
Slowly Sara, Kerri, and I made our way back up the hill to go and console Tom and check out the pictures and videos that Laura and Tonja had graciously taken for us.
Bungee jumping isn’t the only draw, there is also a zip line, which Laura took advantage of. At a quarter of the cost zip lining looked like fun, but it also seemed to me to be a bit less safe than bungee jumping. Maybe that’s just my own personal fear of heights getting to me.
So our day ended with a long drive back to NanShuo, and dinner at Grandma’s Kitchen in WuDaoKou. A fabulous birthday celebration for a fabulous friend!