Africa

My Fear of Heights

— 13 Sep 2011 —

I think I may have mentioned this before but I am scared of heights. Terrified to be precise. I’m so scared of heights, I’ve actually tried to conquer it a few times. Climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge, walking the plank on Auckland’s tallest building, getting a paragliding licence, jumping on cable bridges in NZ… and you know what they say about doing things to help conquer your fears? Well, THEY DON’T WORK for me.

So I decided to try again. And yes, I’ve been told I’m stubborn. Many times.

First up, the Gorge Swing. And it is as scary as it sounds. Let’s just say it took me 3 attempts to finally step off, scratch that, fall off the side of the gorge. And you know that feeling when you want to scream but can’t because your throat seizes and your heart beats so fast that you think it’s going to short-circuit? That’s exactly how I felt. But I’ve gone and done it, and live to tell the tale.

A panoramic of the gorge. It looks as scary standing on the edge as it does in the picture.

With my feet firmly on the ground, I took a stroll around the Victoria Falls grounds.

I took the Rain Forest and Boiling Point routes. And check out what I saw on the way. Victoria Falls is truly a natural wonder of the world. During the wet season, there is 550,000 cubic metre of water per minute flowing over the edge. Amazing.

The Knife Edge Bridge is where you’ll get spritzed with the mist coming off the falls. It’s amazingly refreshing on a hot day like yesterday.

This is the Victoria Falls Bridge. It serves as the border crossing between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is a steel arch bridge with many truss components used as bracing. And it took only 14 months to construct. It is now used as the spot where (crazy) people go bungee jumping. Crazy I tell you!!

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Two interesting things I discovered on my second hike.
1. Baboon poop is huge. It is the size of a golf ball! Who knew?!
2. Baboons bark like dogs when they’re chasing and fighting with each other.

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Later that afternoon I went microlighting. It was windy and I was scared shitless. AGAIN. But the views of the falls from the air were totally worth it. The pilot took me up the Zambezi and we spotted crocodiles, hippos and elephants. We even saw a hippo carcass that the crocodiles had (apparently) been munching on for 1.5 weeks. So awesome. We’re not allowed to take a camera up, which was for the best as my knuckles were white holding onto the bars, so photos will follow when I get home.

All in all, a pretty adrenaline packed day. I am still scared of heights.

Next up, paragliding!

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