Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Bungee Jumping 1: getting there

I'll start with getting there, because it was part of the whole adventure. For those who want the executive summary, the Great Canadian Bungee (GCB) site is in a limestone quarry called Morrison quarry ~ 30 km from Ottawa downtown, in Chelsea. The Greyhound should be your last resort, since it goes by there only once early AM and picks up after 3 pm, and is not the most reliable. Try to go on a weekday and take the city bus or else rent a car and drive.

The GCB site said it was in Wakefield, off hwy 105 North. The folks at the hostel i was staying at who went there either drove or took the city bus #1. The cab company was going to charge me $100 roundtrip, and a cab driver I was chatting up was ready to strike me a deal for $75, none of which I could afford. The only options were to rent a car (again, as expensive) or take the Greyhound bus to this small town Wakefield. After several calls to the GCB folks, I was told "just tell the bus driver you want to get off at the GCB, everyone knows". Of course, words you should never trust. :) I obsessed over it in the hostel, with everyone making fun of me that there i was all set to jump off a cliff 200 feet and was stressing out about taking a greyhound to get there. :) But what worried me more was getting off a greyhound bus in the middle of a candian highway, early on a sunday morning, not finding the place, and dealing with the disappointment of not getting to jump. There was no way I could find the exact street address of the greyhound bus stop in Wakefield and they never answered the phone. So I google-mapped the GCB jump site (using the co-ordinates they provided) until I narrowed down the exact two streets (very small nondescript streets) that the quarry was in between. Now from googlemaps it didn't at all look like it was in Wakefield, in fact it looked like it was in this other small town Chelsea that came before Wakefield. Armed with this knowledge, I reserved a cab for early sunday am to take me to the greyhound bus stop.

Overnight and by morning, my desire to go bungee jump was totally fortified, even more after all that researching and realising that getting there was not so straightforward. Now I had to crack this problem, and I really really wanted to jump, I had totally built it up for myself. :) I got to the greyhound bus stop in Ottawa, bought a ticket to Wakefield and asked the guy if they could tell me the street address of the Wakefield bus stop. He putzed around for a bit and then said..."Oh. its a flag stop". Which means, there's no stop as such. You just ask the bus driver to stop where you need to get off. Heh. Okay! I decided I will ask him to stop at "Morrisson Quarry" or the GCB site, as they told me. As I board the bus, the driver first talks in French, then tells me in English he has no idea what I am talking about or where it is. Hmmmm.. so I sit up front, eyes wide open studying the route like crazy. Of course he takes a different route than what I had looked up, but in any case, he had to get on highway 105 off which the quarry was, in between those two little streets "ch Carman" and "ch Morrison Heights". So I kept looking out once we got on highway 105 for these small street signs (They are really not even streets. I don't know what ch. stands for). But anyways I finally saw ch. Carman and then soon after saw the board for the GCB. It wasn't too huge... there was no huge billboard or anything announcing it. In the distance I could see the bungee jumping tower. Here Here! I said, and the bus driver stopped shortly after that. He told me i had to stand across the hwy when the bus returned around 3 pm and flag him down. Well, finally I was there and it wasn't so bad after all.

Later that afternoon after my jump I met a group of French tourists who were on the same bus as I. It seems they sat on the bus waiting to get to Wakefield. At some point, the driver stopped and said that all passengers to Wakefield needed to get off there. They had no clue where they were. They asked around for GCB, no passengers knew. Then the driver realised they were talking about the same spot I had gotten off. He called Greyhound to send another bus to ferry them back (they were now in Wakefied, about 10 km past the limestone quarry!). So there! - their story justifies all my mach mach. :)

OK more about the jump in the next post. I'll leave you with some photos of the quarry which was a beautiful place.


Sakshi said...

I wont believe you jumped until a picture of you hanging by a rope is seen.
Ok? k.

I hope Pri does not mind use of copywrited Ok?

Prashanth said...

Ulp. Not too many pics of the cliff TGFI, I am afraid of heights.

tgfi said...

heh. i don't have any photos of me since there was no one to take them.

i advise you to skip the next post. :)

Tabula Rasa said...

ahh, next time do the splash!