Friday, April 18, 2008

Do not wear shoes when bungee jumping and other things...

So the story that finally got me off my fat lazy bum to blogging is this:

And just because someone seems convinced I am bila boobs, here is proof:

Bungee Jumping. That is what I was up to last Saturday simply because a small kinyangarika was celebrating their birthday and was determined to face death halfway through her existence. I basically receive an invitation to go bungee jumping, without the option of saying no. So, come Sato, I started the day with a grand plan. Which is where I had it all wrong, including the one on shoes (seriously!).

1. To eat or not to eat, that is the question.
The first plan was not to eat. The idea being that if i didn't eat I would not throw up out of sheer terror, right? WRONG! The sensation of the jump is such that your faculties are too busy panicking, "What the....#$!$#!$%$%@%", by the time your puking faculties realise that they need to kick into action, you have passed out. Or are dead.
Lesson: Eat, no, hog like it's the Last Supper. It could be!

2. Sagana is only a few hours drive from Nairobi.
Not if you are relying on the only vehicle with a speed governor in Kenya. This was not just any slow vehicle - this was the slowest. The last straw was when we were almost overtaken by a donkey-cart. We resorted to threatening mass action on the driver although much good that did us. So to pass time, we worked on the popcorn we had bought at Nakumatt on Thika road (these are so fresh and yummy). Of course, my dilemma a the time was in the fact that each mile meant a step closer to...er...death. And the very thought made me wanna pee every time it occured, which was continuously.
Lesson: The road to Sagana has no "pee-bushes". Carry a pee bag, the size being dependent on what choice you made in 1 above.

So, it was with a big sigh of relief....

...and a big gulp of apprehension to see these:


3. A 60 meter jump is ok, after all Zambezi is 110 meters....
...or is it? Let me break it down, remember those annoying rulers we used to have in primary school that had 12 inches one side and 30 cms on the other side and had this annoying habit of breaking in your school bag despite you carefully storing it between two A4 books? Now, imgaine lining up - and I mean, UP literally. Think of lining up 200 of them up into the sky. That's a 60 meter jump. Nope. A 60 meter jump actually looks like this:

Lesson: That picture tells only half the story. That is only 30 meters (gulp!)

4. Bungee jumps are usually off a bridge, a cliff, maybe a desk? Easy peasy stuff.
No. At Sagana, it aint so easy as walking to the edge of the cliff and jumping off. At Sagana, they get you all trussed and girded up:

then they make you climb up....

.....and up...

....and up until you get to the cage. Yes, the CAGE of no return.

Lesson: You have no one - no one but yourself to blame for your jump. At Sagana, you prove intention and determination (misplaced as it may be) to jump before you jump.

5. I can always back out.
Not if you have just climbed up 60 meters of steel on your own. Not if climbing down will take more time than swinging down. Not if you've already paid for the jump. Not if you have only 15 minutes to make up your mind. Not after you have seen someone else jump - it looks so easy. And fun!
Lesson: Do NOT approach the jump if you do not intend to jump. Put down the harness and walk away from it.

But truth be told, I am glad I did it. I was asked to describe the sensation in one word and the only one that came to mind was, "Death". Whether that's a good or a bad thing is a story for another day. One minute I was in the cave and the next I was saying stupid stuff like, "It is now or never", "Let's get this over and done with" and then my brain clicked and I realised that I was airborne. And I discovered gravity does exist. About this time terror kicked in - I know I am jumping, I know there's a chord holding me, but I can feel the wind whistling past my ears and it is whistling past so fast, I swear there's a tune somewhere there. I get a fleeting thought on the speed an asteroid falls to earth to create enough friction to ignite because I am moving fast!


I am definitely moving fast! And it's at this point that it dawns on me that the person screaming at the top of their voice - decibels so loud that those pop idols dudes might envy me - that screamer is me! So I stop screaming and start laughing and what do I hear? Bloody #$@!%$%$% They are cheering! The ones on solid ground are cheering! I am screaming in terror and they are cheering?? But maybe this is not too bad. So I start laughing. I was beginning to enjoy it after all.

Then the first jerk. That's the worst part. The jerk.
Now, see the thing is, the bungee chord is elastic. Which means you are like a yoyo. You fall then once the chord is all stretched out, you are jerked back up and of course you have to fall again. I stopped laughing after the first jerk and started yelling again. After a couple of jerks and falls, i was getting the hang of it (all pun intended) and then got alarmed about something else....yep. Don't wear shoes when bungee jumping.

My shoe was falling off. Being tossed all over the place, managed not to throw up, managed not to pee or worse. And now my shoe was about to fall several feet down and sink 15 meters into Tana River? Now how? I was screaming now, not in fear for my life, but for my shoe! And i was mad. How dare the shoe cause a blight in my perfect jump.

So the relief I felt when I was finally reeled in was more because of saving my shoe than the end of the jump. And that's when the audacity of it all struck me. Ha!


So, who's down for Rhino Charge next?

23 comments:

Princess said...

Sounds like you had a fabulous time!

Seasons & Reasons said...

First, Am glad you are blogging again!

Secondly, I have always thought I should bungee jump and did not know one can do it in Kenya.

Thirdly,

You have given us tips... I will try

Fourthly,

You write very well

kenyandaughter said...

am sooo not bungee jumping now.and did u see the way river sagana was chafu as in if that rope had given in ,thats the end of that kawhite t-shirt u had.he he
def bring on the rhino charge that shud be easier than jumping off a cage ;)

M said...

Did u measure bungy cord length before jumping?

Anonymous said...

I salute you!

farmgal

mwasjd said...

Did it in January in Uganda, 44 m into the Nile. Most exhilirating experience ever. Glad you enjoyed it. I'm not sure about the shoes thing though...

bOMSEH said...

Recently I rode a mad swing boat and had those drops and sharp rises at high speed. I survived, but bungee jumping is something else. Something for, maybe never. Congratulations. You overcame ur fears, of both height and bloggins, seeing that u are now back.

thrretypesofcrazy said...

I think yo should do more "out of this world" stuff if it gets you blogging. This was a fantastic read.

Half n Half said...

First, YES its true the popcorn at thika road nakumatt is the best!
Ok moving on! W.H.A.T?
No way! Hell to the no!
What are the odd of the elastic stretching to break point?

Kirima said...

Bungee jumping is on my must do list before I die (may cause the said death however!)
I have passed by that sign several times but haven't gotten the nerve to go to whitewaters but when I get good company willing to die with me then I will give it at try.
Thanks for the heads up on the shoes LOL!!!!

egm said...

Me and bungee jumping? Nope. Not now that I have developed a fear for heights. I should have done it back then when I wasn't afraid of heights!

modo wishing said...

WHYYYYYYYYYY! to think i was...shucks! next time siwachwi. glad you enjoyed. great post too.

alafu, swali, your tee says 60M are they hanging that low...heeheheheheh

me said...

Modo, what?

Ichiena said...

@Princess: I was actually surprised that I did at all! You should try it.

@S&R: I can only hope the blogmojo will last this time. And yes, bungee jumping is available in Sagana, Savage Wilderness camp who also offer water rafting. Drop me a line if you want more infor.

@Kenyandaughter: Never say never daughter of mine. Never say never. Rhino charge we are on. I'll keep you posted.

@M: Would you believe it the thought occured between the first yell and the jerk, "aaaaarrrrrh - I should have measured this rope -hhghhhhh!!!!!". Seriously, this is one of those things you do or you dont. Period.

@Farmgal: Haha! I think you'd withdraw it if you'd heard the banshee wail I unleashed.

@Mwasjd: Exhilirating, definitely. And scary, terrifying, horrific.

@Bomseh: LOL! Fear of blogging. Mhmmm, maybe you do have a point there.

@3TOC: Wassup mami? I am gearing up for a life of normalcy come June this year, I think that's it.

@NusuNusu: Hey there! Wow, i feel it's been ages. I assured myself that since i fall in the lighter end of the 45 to 105Kgs weight limit, i'll be fine. And I let a guinea pig jump before i did, hehe!

@Kirimia: THAT, my good man, IS the spirit (without the bracketed words of course!)

@Baba Boi: First you dangle balls under my nose, then you now fear heights. This story could end very badly yawa. Veeery veeery badly.

@Wishing Modo: Hopeless K.A.Bi.S.A! 60m is the depth of the....why I even bother! Kwanza that T - they have them for dudes too so you can imagine as I am certain, without a doubt, you will!

@You: Haha! You couldn't resist, hey?

@All: I have missed you people! You've heard it here and you'll not hear it again, so relish it.

Anonymous said...

Woman whats with the name calling? 1st you call me a kinyangarika then you call me a guinea pig....mmmmhhhh but you did enjoy your jump

Anonymous said...

Good to have you back. Will make a point of going jumping someday.
PS
what happened to Baba Boi?? Let him know he is missed.

Anonymous said...

wow!!! That was cool. how much does it approximately cost? Feel like giving it a try.

ragskanyi said...

wow! you have so much courage.

Mo Ma said...

What a rush that must be; I can't wait till I get to go bungee-jumping. How much was it/person if I may ask?

Prousette said...

You are very brave I was feeling scared just reading your experience and am not scared of heights ebu see me kando for info on how I can get to do the same.

Question: has anyone actually died from sheer terror that it causes?

Unyc said...

Gal, just come back! I want to go to Uganda with my pals in September to bungee jump!
Always wanted to do that amd sky diving.

SirJo said...

Hi..Could you give me details. I'd like to go for a jump

SirJo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.