Enjoying Victoria Falls at one end, I could only look at that 100-year-old bridge and think what fun it may be to jump off as in on a bungee, like people from Vanuatu had been doing land diving from vines! “Today is a good day to die” I recall a Kiefer Sutherland movie 'Flatliners' begin with these words as the opening unfolded! The movie is about a bunch of medical students trying to do experiments to figure out whether there is life after death. With those words ringing in my mind I strode up to the other end of the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to participate in what can only be described as pure madness, yes!
The bridge above and the river below, you can jump off from the bridge into the river, but not advised! A jump off Victoria Bridge into the abyss below, all 111 meters of it by length! My mind was made up and I'd already paid up $150 as the Jump Fee. I knew things were going to get exciting and I knew I wanted to be a part of it as it went down! I walked all the way across to the border just on the bridge where the guys from the Bungee were waiting for me to jump to my grave. I went to the hut. First, I did the usual formalities of signing forms and getting my weight taken. I was 99 kg and the limit was 120 kg, so I was fine there. I took some pictures of the fall and the gorge below as people were enjoying kayaking in the waterfall.
With all my confidence intact, I headed to get strapped up by my instructors en route to 'the pit', the place where I would be thrown. The jump of my life!
The instructor took me to the edge and as my toes began to hang, I put both my hands up, took a deep breath and looked up towards the heavens and made a small prayer. I said, "God, if this goes wrong, at least let it be as good in the next life!" You do not do it every day, this sort of a jump off. A leap to the beyond or what have you, but you do need it that once always ever and more!
Then I let go and it was a rush like nothing ever experienced - straight to the head! I was suspended in mid-air in a free fall. Off I went into the rocky terrain that lay below with gushing water flowing into a gigantic steam from the Victoria Falls. Suspended in freefall is not a happy sight. Some people have been known to shit themselves!
For almost 6 seconds I was suspended and then the thud, the relief that "yes, I made it". I am hanging free after a bit of a free flight. You do get yanked around a bit but then you get to see the river below, so close yet so far! As the bungee pulls back and as one is yanked from corner to corner, I was paying for all of this to be filmed live by a trained bungee jump film crew!
The film and the associated shooting with crew cost me $50 plus another two $50 to the other costs. Whatever that were but not unique to Africa in terms of extras as payable! Man, I had sweat pouring out of my brows as I reached back to the safety of land. It was a rush, no doubt, straight out of that Thumbs Up 'Taste The Thunder' ad back home.
That great fall, yes, it will be a flashback moment! I got one to prove that I had been there and with my Certificate tucked in my bag, I raced back towards the border to grab a taxi. The taxi took me back to the Cresta Hotel where I was staying for the night. The experience is still fresh in my mind and in my bones. It was a great fall, no two ways about it!