Bungee Jumping: It is like daring the devil into a death game
Posted Sunday, February 3 2013 at 00:00
Four writers share their experience of bungee jumping on a recent trip to the adventure capital of East Africa, Jinja; three dared to take the plunge while one would not hear of it.
Martin Ssebuyira: Twice, I walked away, but I finally jumped
Having grown up hearing of bungee jumping and seen it in music videos, I started aspiring to try it out. Luck befell me when I was chosen to move with a team of journalists to go do just that at Adrift in Jinja.
I had previously slept at around 3a.m. after a company end-of-year party and the Adrift bus was setting off from Kampala at 7a.m. I, however, managed to make it and we set off to Jinja with some tourists and journalists.
We were welcomed by a one Gavin Fahey who measured our weights and advised us to put on only swim suits or other light clothing and we spared some time at the viewing point to see how bungee jumping is done.
One of the journalists said, “Wabula Tukookonya Walumbe” - ‘we are daring death’. Crossing my mind at that time were thoughts of how I would explain what I was up to in case I died bunjee jumping and how one can’t sue for compensation when he/she dies in the middle of the game. That partly killed my confidence.
I, however, regained confidence on remembering I was going to leave the site without having a story to tell and felt bad having a female colleague daring the challenge while I looked like a coward. “Who is the first to jump because this is 100 per cent safe and so exciting,” Mr Fahey asked.
Besides me was a printed notice reading ‘I would rather be scared to death than bored to death’. On not wanting to feel ashamed because a female counterpart was among the first people to try it out, I gained the courage to move up the Nile High Tower (about 44metres).
I, however, feared to be the first and waited for all my colleagues to first dive. On hearing from their experience, I sat down, had my legs tied with some speedy music making you feel at home.
I was then advised to move slowly to the diving spot. “Don’t look down, look directly at the watch tower (viewing point) and believe that you are going to fall there,” Mr Fahey said but I failed to hoodwink my brain to assume I was going to make it.
They counted thrice and told me to dive but I feared. They repeated it twice but still felt I couldn’t jump.Fearing I was wasting their time, I told them to untie their ropes from my legs. But they insisted I should dive. I surrendered, to either die or enjoy, but go and dive.
To date, I cannot explain what I really felt while diving because I felt half-dead until I hit the water hard immersing the upper body part and the rope pulled me up.
I felt endangered but later got over my fears and started enjoying the sky while the ropes lowered me to touch the Nile waters and up again. I couldn’t forget the times I felt like birds in sky while I draw near water and after go back up that are an exciting sensation.
The rescuers in a small boat after held me and took me to the main land giving me yet another thrilling experience that was so exciting. I felt very happy afterwards and ‘man enough’ for having successfully bunjee jumped at the adventurous Adrift Nile High Bunjee.
Brenda Banura: One...two...three...jump
Forty metres high up the River Nile, at the top of a set of metallic stairs, is the bungee jumping starting point. It is a room of sorts from which you dress into the bungee jumping gear. In the room is a chair, a scary chair even though it had crown like engravings. Gavin, the supervisor, calls it a throne. But as I walked to it, it looked and felt like I was seated in an execution chair.