03 May, 2013

Zambia - Day 7 {Bungee jumping and animal watching}

⌃⌃ A sneak peak of who we met that afternoon ⌃⌃
I woke up with butterflies, the day was here. But, typical me, I pushed the thought out of my mind and forced the butterflies to stop fluttering; "it's fine, it's just a normal day". We had breakfast and Kat attempted to hype me up but I was having none of it, staying calm as I knew that any excitement would quickly transform into fear! I'm really not great with heights (I think I get it from my mum - all the women on her side of the family have quite severe vertigo) but for some reason I gain a kind of satisfaction from challenging my phobia and would never miss out or quit something just because of the height. But still, I'd never done anything quite as daring as throwing myself off this 111m high bridge...

It was only when we actually arrived at the bridge, and they started strapping me up that I let out, in a small voice, "Oh **** I'm scared!"

The coordinators are so brisk and straight-forward with you though, so as not to give you any opportunity to back out. He strapped up my feet and connected the elastic rope, whilst explaining that he couldn't push me off and that I would need to dive out as far as I could. He then told me to stand up and helped me shuffle over to the edge, my feet bound together, and instructed me to put my toes over the edge. My legs would hardly move though, as if my body was rebelling against this blatant disregard of my survival instinct. My instructor somehow coerced me forwards though but by this point I was uttering numerous curses under my breath and clinging on to the the side bars so hard that my knuckles had turned white. I was ordered to lift one hand into a thumbs up and smile for the camera, though, which I did very reluctantly...

My instructor then philosophically stated, in a strong South African accent, "You just have to trust, if you have trust you have nothing". Although this made me roll my eyes, it also had the desired effect of instilling a wave of determination in me (or perhaps it was just a calm acceptance of my fate!) and I was able to raise my second arm up.

Five, four, three, two, one... BUNGEE!!!

I dived through a rainbow, screaming, but forcing myself to keep my eyes open and observe my incredible surroundings whooshing past me. I was headed straight for the turbulent Zambezi river below but, at the last second, was pulled back up by the elastic rope. I think that was the most enjoyable part of the whole experience, flying weightlessly through the air, suspended upside down like a rag-doll, with sheer amazement and disbelief flooding through me.

Actually one of the scariest parts was being brought back up to the bridge. A guy was lowered down, he connected me to a new rope from my chest brace and turned me the right way up. That transition feels very jolty, though, and then I was swinging from side to side, being pulled back up to the bridge with a full few of how high up I was and my legs shaking from the adrenaline! 

But soon enough I was back on solid land and feeling very proud of myself! 

Once I was a little less shaky and delirious, we decided to go for a drink at the Royal Livingston, a 5* hotel and Kat's dream wedding location. I have to say I totally understand her love for the place - it's absolutely stunning and exudes an old colonial style, with lush green lawns and decks overlooking the falls in the distance.

⌃ Do you see the spray of the falls in the distance? ⌃⌃

The river just flows along, oblivious to the adventure that lies ahead!

Two Bloody Mary's were ordered and sipped in the sunlight, whilst my heart rate calmed down and all I was left with was a warm, elated contentment. 

⌃⌃ Some cute african animal painted bracelets that I picked up at a nearby market ⌃⌃

The Royal Livingstone lies within a national park so they have wild animals just roaming around the grounds. After our cocktail (and some time spent visualising and acting out Kat's future wedding!) we went searching and found this gorgeous group of zebra.

Oh and then we spotted a couple of giraffes too... they're really such bizarre looking creatures aren't they! 

Exhausted after such an action-packed day, we spent the rest of the afternoon soaking up some rays on the deck of our hotel...

Another perfect day in Africa!

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