In The Video Below It’s Me Making The Bungee Jump!
Olga and I hung on tightly to the hand ropes and carefully placed one foot in front of the other, as we navigated our way across the swinging rope bridge crossing the fast moving river Tana, at Savage Wilderness, Kenya, Africa. Half way across I stopped suddenly having spotted a large crane in the distance. My first thought was how out of place the crane looked amidst the unspoilt scenery, on further observation I realised what I was actually looking at was a bungee.
Olga and I agreed that we would do it, why not, it was right there, on our camp location. But this was the first day of arriving in Kenya, and we had a mountain to climb, a distance to cycle and a river to raft. So our plan was to finish our stay in Kenya with the bungee jump.
Eight days later we returned to Savage Wilderness, having climbed to the Lenana summit of Mount Kenya 4,985 meters/16,355f, cycled 120k over rough terrain and negotiated rapids on the river Tana. We were, tanned, tired, had lost weight but gained the confidence and elation that comes with completing such a challenge. We were ready to take on the world, so a bungee jump was not going to be a problem……
Seriously I believed that the bungee jump was going to be one of those experiences that I could tick off the list. I’ve done it but will never do it again. I almost backed out; it was the disclaimer we had to sign that really got my heart pumping. I reminded myself that I have signed many disclaimers and it is part of the course when taking part in adventure activities.
One at a time we climbed the 60m/200ft ladder to the cage where we would jump from. I chatted casually with John as he fastened me to the bungee cord and checked all the straps and fastenings. He told me not to look down (good advice) but rather to find a spot on the horizon and to jump out towards it. As I stood in front of the gate I looked out across the spectacular view. It felt like the whole of Kenya was stretched out in front of me. On the horizon I could see my Mount Kenya, the most challenging and beautiful mountain I have ever climbed. I found my peak, Lenana, and as soon as John opened the gate I jumped towards the peak I had spent four days trekking to.
I was jumping away from the old Vera, the Vera who was afraid to change, afraid to challenge herself, the Vera who was comfortable to remain unfulfilled, but not anymore!
I was jumping towards the new Vera, Vera the adventurer, strong and confident the Vera who is no longer afraid to do the things that make me happy.
I began to free fall, it was invigorating, liberating. As I rose back into the air I felt like I was heading towards the heavens. Two, three, four, five times, I didn’t want it to end. As I hung from my feet and waited to be taken back to the river bank everything became very silent, except for the sound of the tropical birds singing. I couldn’t help giggling to myself. Here I am, a woman in her 40’s, who spent her youth over weight and unfit, dangling over the river Tana in Africa. I became overwhelmed with the feeling of happiness.
Safely back on solid ground and I began thinking how lucky I am to have had such wonderful experiences. But it is not luck, it is the choices I have made that have taken me to this point, and somehow that makes it all the more rewarding.
I love bungee jumping. I cannot wait to do it again.
Don’t let fear stop you from having new experiences. Base your opinion on your own experience rather than your fear. You really never know until you try. You don’t know if it will make you happy, unless you give it a go. Be open to every new experience and new adventure that comes your way.
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