That Great Fall - That Great Leap of Faith!

Tripoto
Photo of That Great Fall - That Great Leap of Faith! 1/12 by Anuj Tikku

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!

Photo of That Great Fall - That Great Leap of Faith! 2/12 by Anuj Tikku
Photo of That Great Fall - That Great Leap of Faith! 3/12 by Anuj Tikku
Photo of That Great Fall - That Great Leap of Faith! 4/12 by Anuj Tikku

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.

Photo of That Great Fall - That Great Leap of Faith! 5/12 by Anuj Tikku
Photo of That Great Fall - That Great Leap of Faith! 6/12 by Anuj Tikku
Photo of That Great Fall - That Great Leap of Faith! 7/12 by Anuj Tikku

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!

Photo of That Great Fall - That Great Leap of Faith! 8/12 by Anuj Tikku
Photo of That Great Fall - That Great Leap of Faith! 9/12 by Anuj Tikku
Photo of That Great Fall - That Great Leap of Faith! 10/12 by Anuj Tikku

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.

Photo of That Great Fall - That Great Leap of Faith! 11/12 by Anuj Tikku
Photo of That Great Fall - That Great Leap of Faith! 12/12 by Anuj Tikku

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!

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