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Flying South

Know your limits

SOUTH AFRICA | Monday, 20 January 2014 | Views [254]

This morning I found my limits. During the course of the trip so far I have jumped off the gorge at Vic Falls (3 different ways), been white water rafting down the Zambesi and even done a free falls tandem skydive but this morning I hit my limit. It wasn’t the bungee, I’m still hoping to try a bungee sometime and maybe to even come back and try Bloukrans again one day. No, it definitely wasn’t the bungee, it was the trip out to get to the jumping point that got me.

For those of you who don’t know, Bloukrans Bridge Bungee used to be the highest (longest drop?) bungee in the world. I think it currently ranks number 3 now, behind places in Switzerland and China. It’s a 216m (approx.) fall which gives you 5 seconds of free-fall on the first drop. Yes, the first drop, you bounce enough to get a couple of mini bungee’s thrown in for free! While I admit to being nervous about this one I did want to try it once. I figured the bragging rights alone would be worth it back home!

Unfortunately for me, and my undoing in a way, is the route you take to reach the centre of the bridge where you jump from. I’ll try and post a picture of the bridge but for now I recommend a quick Google search. Found it, good. You jump from the centre of the bridge on the curved section below the main road bridge. To get there you traverse a hanging walkway secured to the under-side of the bridge. With me so far? This walkway has a metal ‘mesh’ floor enabling you to look down through it into the, very deep, gorge below! That is what got me.

Some of you who have known me a while may remember the trouble I had with a certain gorge bridge in the mountains behind Neuschwannsteain castle in Bavaria. This was like that only a thousand fold. By the time we got across the walkway I was already a gibbering wreck and, as Travis was going first, spent the wait for my go trying to calm myself down with slow breathing etc. I did really well. When I was called I walked across to the seat and got strapped in and ready to go. I even stood and shuffled into the area just before the edge where they hook you up. I was still concentrating on my breathing and doing anything I could think of to calm down but at this point my body over-ruled my brain, my legs turned to instant jelly and to say I got tunnel vision would be an understatement. In the end I was left no option but to cry off and make my very shaky way back across the walkway to terra firma!

The aim of adrenalin activities is to make you face your fears and feel the rush but it also lets you find your limits and this morning I found mine. I’m not worried by this. Everything else I’ve tried here I’ve done, fear or no fear. As I say, I’ll probably try a bungee one day but not necessarily Bloukrans. I need to do a lot more work on my general fear of heights before I come back here again. That said, the views from the bridge were stunning! ;-)

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