10/19/09: Livingstone, Zambia
My parents asked Kevin to look around in Africa and pick out something for my birthday from them. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), there isn’t really much around here to buy that is really practical for a birthday present. So when Marietjie told us that there would be a really nice spa right next door to our campsite in Livingston, I had visions of me sitting in a nice fluffy bathrobe with clean fingernails and polished toenails sipping a fruity cocktail, relaxed after an hour-long massage. I immediately told Kevin that’s what I wanted as my birthday present from my parents. You can see how well it turned out:
So instead of a manicure, I decided we should go abseiling.
And instead of the pedicure, I ran off of a platform into the middle of a gorge while hanging from a wire.
And instead of getting a massage, Kevin and I threw ourselves off of a cliff while attached to a rope.
This gorge swing was supposed to be the main course of the day’s events. When we got there and I saw the setup, I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it at all. I mean, I’m the kind of person who has trouble getting on a roller coaster. But for whatever reason – maybe it was the air, or maybe it was the fact that I had just been hanging from a wire 150 feet over the bottom of a canyon, or maybe it was because I knew Kevin would be falling too (and how could anything bad happen to me if he was going to be there?), I decided to do the gorge swing. Twice. The first time we did it, it wasn’t scary at all, surprisingly – just totally exhilarating and adrenaline-pumping. As soon as we got to the bottom, I decided I wanted to do it again – but still not solo. And I was so excited that I even agreed with Kevin that I would keep my eyes open the second time. So then Kevin and I walked the thirty minutes out of the gorge and back up to the top. We waited our turn and got harnessed and ready to go. The guide gave us the same instructions as before, telling us, “Stick your butt out like Beyonce, bend your knees, chin to your chest. Then I’ll count down and you’ll roll your feet back.” I panicked. “Wait, wait, you’re going to count down – like three, two, one, go – and then we’ll roll our feet back?” I asked. “Yes, three, two, one, go,” he patiently explained to me. “Ok, I’m ready,” I then said (I wasn’t anything of the kind). And then he counted us down for the second time. And we fell back a second time. And I immediately shut my eyes, I don’t care what Kevin and I had agreed. And it was ten times scarier than the first time. I think it was because of all the anticipation that my mind was just more aware of what was really happening to my body. But I’m really glad I did it – I wouldn’t do it a third time, and I am definitely not going bungee jumping, but I’m glad I did it. Thanks for an unforgettable birthday present Mom and Dad!
[Also, I just want to clarify that I know what a countdown is. I just wanted to make sure Kevin knew what was going to happen. That’s all.]
Picture of the Day: Fearless four gorge swingers