Adrenaline Rush to the Max!

My second weekend here in Zambia has lived up to what I hoped my trip would bring me, that being adventure. Saturday was a bit more relaxed as I got to sleep in, made breakfast, and listened to music as I hungout by the pool before heading into town with Louise for a bit in the afternoon. We stopped by a local spot for a small snack/lunch which consisted of samosas—delicious! Then we headed down to the Zimbabwe Market, which basically consists of a lot of goods that have been smuggled into the country from neighboring Zimbabwe (only about twenty minutes from Livingstone). Because of the poverty here, the police tend to turn a shoulder on the illegal selling that is going on as little money is better than no money. So, we walked around the market (which had everything from plumbing supplies to electronics to clothing, etc.) and I ended up finding these little cubes of beef that were cooking over a grill. It cost 1,000 K for a stick of beef, which is roughly about twenty cents in America. I was a bit leery but tried in anyways and the beef was delicious—almost like beef jerky, but with a twist… definitely a favorite find of mine so far here in Zambia. I may have picked up what seems to be a bit of pink eye—probably from the dirtiness of everything over here… oops—so I stopped by the pharmacy on the way home to pick up some medicated eye drops. It is quite convenient that everything is over the counter here and the pharmacist seemed to have pretty good knowledge on what he was suggesting, so I went with it! We’ll see what comes of it in the next few days, hopefully nothing too serious, but I’m not really worried! Louise and I stopped for ice cream (only 50 cents… score!) before heading back to the hostel and enjoying crepes and afternoon coffee. I did a lot of reading and writing Saturday night, catching up on my journaling and taking the opportunity to read for fun—what a crazy idea as it doesn’t really happen during the school year! Banda, the chef here at the hostel, was barbequing for the night so I decided to eat here and once again it was fabulous… if there is one thing they perfect here it is barbeque! I was also able to Skype my parents, Jenna, and Ryan that night so it was great to talk to all of them, letting them know that I am still alive, and get a bit of normalcy back in my life.
Sunday was basically unreal as it was the day of adrenaline and adventure. Louise and I both booked a bungee jump over Victoria Falls at the bridge between the Zimbabwe-Zambia borders. Of course we were both stoked as neither one of us has bungeed before but to do so in such a beautiful place was breathtaking. Other than the plane, it was my first actual time to see the falls and they were gorgeous—even from about a mile away you could feel the mist in the air. When we checked in they offered us their “special” which basically added on the gorge swing and zip line for an extra $35 compared to the published $155 for the two… so they talked both of us into doing all three for the combo package—and I’m glad they did! First up was the zip line over the gorge. I’ve done many zip lines in my life and compared to bungee and the swing, the adrenaline rush was pretty minimal. However, it allowed for picturesque sights (and I was actually able to take my camera as I zipped!) as we crossed the falls from the Zambia to Zimbabwe side. Once we “landed” we were handed a mini-harness and had to walk across a “mini bridge” to get back up to the main bridge where we would swing and bungee from. This was actually probably the scariest part of the entire day as this little rope that we were attached to was suppose to hold us if we fell off the platform that was only about a foot-and-a-half wide. There was a railing on one side but nothing else on the other and being that the bungee itself was 111 meters tall, we were about 100 meters above the water with only a little rope and a plank to walk across… ahh! Next up was the swing, which I didn’t think was going to be all that scary. In reality though, it was probably the worst as you just stepped off the side of the bridge and went into a freefall but the freefall was in such an awkward, sitting position that it was nothing like I expected it would have been. Luckily, it picked you up into a swing-like motion once you hit the bottom and you were able to enjoy the rest of the ride, swinging back and forth taking in the views around you. In the gorge you could see a perfect 360 degree rainbow—one of the coolest things I have ever seen! The last adrenaline activity was the bungee and we saved the best for last! I’ve never been bungee jumping before so I wasn’t sure quite what to expect but I was definitely feeling the nerves as he wrapped towels around my ankles along with the bungee cord… and that was all—so these towels and one rope were suppose to catch me as I dove face-first more than one hundred meters… but I figured they knew what they were doing and others had survived, so of course I did it anyways. I had to jump to the side of the bridge (as my feet were tied together) and he counted down from five. The scariest part was the initial jump as I had to jump straight out until gravity pulled me down into the diving position. Once I was in the diving position, the jump was a lot of fun! You were given a spectacular view of the falls as you fell and the bungee portion at the bottom was smooth—no whiplash or anything so a very successful jump! I would do it again in a heartbeat! I bounced a few times before getting lifted back to up to the top of the bridge—that was probably the worst part, being held upside down for so long and all of the blood rushing to your head… but it wasn’t for too long. Louise and I headed back to the top and ended up talking to two guys from South Africa for a few hours—we went to the nearby “Bungee Bar” where you had a great view of the jumpers and they told me all about South Africa—what to do, where to go, etc. so it was really great talking to them and basically spending the afternoon getting the inside scoop about Cape Town, where they are from and where I will be studying in the fall! Then we headed to the village market—essentially the souvenir stands where the locals sold their handmade items… it is ridiculous what they are able to craft… so, so neat! As we passed through customs and entered back into Zambia, there were baboons running around at the entrance everywhere… they were running around in the streets, climbing on trucks, and seemed pretty unbothered by all of the humans around… very interesting and very fun to watch! We caught a taxi and headed back to the hostel for the night, made dinner, and I am currently working on my lesson plans for class tomorrow.
Overall, a very successful weekend and some daredevil experiences I will never forget! Anyways, I survived the bungee and I am looking forward to the last full week I have here in Zambia!
Miss you all,


1 Comment

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One response to “Adrenaline Rush to the Max!

  1. Veronica Urbik

    dear susan,
    i love creepin on your blog, it is wonderful and it looks like you are having SO MUCH FUN! love you and miss you xoxo 🙂

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