There is a small coastal town in Russia, called Sochi. And just past that there is an even smaller town called Adler. This is where we were. The funny thing is it is actually home to the Russian Grand Prix and the Russian Winter Olympics. But, the town is not much to look at. And, unlike many ports I have been too, I wouldn’t encourage my friends to rush there too soon.
They have one great night club there, called the Mandarin. It hosted us for a brilliant night out, where we tested Russian Vodka’s limits and squeaked some takkie on the dancefloor.
We were working pretty hard there and only got one other day/afternoon off the boat. Which played out very excitingly for me. It was raining and a pretty mis’ day. I had very limited clothes and so dressed in everyone else’s clothes, we piled into a tour bus and headed towards Sochi. It was surprisingly green and lush, compared to the concrete and grey walls we had been surrounded by at the port. Taxi’ing there is a scary experience, it felt like everyone believed they were a F1 driver. I closed my eyes and hoped for the best.
We drove up a hill and landed up at an adrenalin park…a bungee and bridge swing. Apparently the second highest bungee in the world at 207m. I stand to be corrected though. Jumping off a bridge has never crossed my mind before. I always said it didn’t interest me. But, to be honest, the moment I stepped on to that bridge, I knew I would jump (assisted of course). Bryce is an adrenalin junkie and so his question was more if he would bridge swing and bungy or just bungy…ha ha. We walked across it and I watched someone jump and although I was really nervous, I really wanted to.
We were given a 50% discount through one of our crew’s contacts, which was also an easy sell. And so, about 6 of us in our group did it. There was one other guy who’s nervousness matched mine. Otherwise everyone else just looked like it was something they could do in their sleep. The longer I waited, the higher the bridge seemed and the less safe the equipment looked. Bryce jumped and he looked like he was born to fly off his bridges. Without hesitation, he posed for the cameras, grinned and pushed himself off the platform, plummeting 207 metres off the bridge. Easy.
Then, it was my turn, the last of the group. I told the guy I was incredibly nervous and he was so lovely, talking me slowly through everything. Speaking to me the way I need to be spoken to in these rare moments of madness. Again, I mentioned I was nervous. He held my hand and with my legs attached together, he helped me hobble to the end of the platform. His hand became my crutch, my connection to staying back on the bridge. As opposed to launching myself 207 metres off it. Dramatic, maybe. He started giving me the “okay, you ready” voice and I said no, Obviously. I held on to his hand, tighter. And tried to get out of it. he said, “Okay, Natasha, I am counting you down now”. And then he began,
2 (oh, you are serious)
1 (guess i’ll jump then…..aaaaahhhhh…..)
and there I lept, the most ungraceful bungee dive of them all, off a bridge, in the middle of a small town called Sochi in Russia, 207 metres down. And I loved it. Every second of it (there were only 43 seconds). As I closed my eyes and felt the air sweep past my ears, I reminded myself I needed to open my eyes and see where I was falling. Just as you wonder if your chord is gonna catch you, it snaps you up and launches you back a couple of metres and you start to fall down again. It was a magical feeling, I didn’t want it to end. i wanted to jump again, just slightly more gracefully this time.
I LOVED IT!