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Published: March 31st 2009
Day 709 (08.03.09)
With some of our adventure team, Nat, Liam and Vic, having left the night before, we hooked up with some other canadian buddies we had made at the hostel for an early morning Bungee Jump. With us and the other guys a little slower to get going than planned (they a least had an excuse having gone out the night before) 6 of us jumped into two taxis.
Chrissie was not planning to jump having decided on a more serene paragliding adventure for the afternoon, however was eager to come along to see us plunge into our impending doom and capture it on camera for posterity.
Arriving at the bridge we soon witnessed that this was not just any bungee, the bungee bouncy band was simply tied onto the bridge and the rudimentary method of retrieving the bungee person was clipping another rope to the person and the other end to the bumper of their car to ´drive´them back up to the bridge. Mmmmm not the classic bungee set up and it had a few people's knees wobbling perhaps a little more than they had been.
Strapping himself into the harness, Mark, bravery personified,
had volunteered to be guinea-pig for the system. With a quick verbal and ´charades´style talk as to how you should jump he found himself standing on the edge of the bridge rail with only the bungee cord to stop him from hitting the river rushing beneath.
1, 2, 3 jump ... and Mark was off. It was amazing, but after a very graceful swallow dive possibly not what you would call a perfect jump with him including some rather spectacular somersaulting into the bounces.
With the other guys jumping one after the other we got through most of us before Chrissie piped up and said "actually, i´d quite like to have a go at that!"
Before she realised it Chrissie was strapped into the harness and stood on the edge of the bridge with the thinking now along the lines of "actually, maybe this isn't such a great idea!" Legs shaking a little but in her own time Chrissie didn't just step off, like some nervous bungee people, she launched herself into the canyon (albeit accompanied by a very girly scream) Coming back up with the biggest smile she admitted that it was the scariest thing she'd
"Does my bum look big in this?"
done on the trip but was beaming having jumped and loved it!
Having all jumped we made our way back to the hostel with huge smiles and stories confirming yet another 7 quid well spent!
The afternoon rolled around and Chrissie's paragliding adventure was about to begin. Mark, having previously leapt off a mountain with nothing but some fabric attached, opted to sit out and play photographer.
After a drive out into the countryside above Curiti and a short climb up a steep hill the tandem paragliding guide set about laying out the canopy and before long was strapping Chirssie into a harness come seat contraption. With the winds pretty high on the top of the hills it took only a few steps before the chute with it's two passengers was lifted into the air.
During the fantastic flight Chrissie was able to admire the views of the rolling countryside below with its winding roads and tobacco and coffee plantations and in the distance Colombia's largest canyon, the Chicamocha. Large birds flew at the same height as the canopy and it truly felt like gliding through the skies. Apparently the saying amongst the paragliding community goes
that "Only paragliders know why the birds sing".
Part way through the flight Chrissie was asked if she liked adrenalin. Not quite sure what the result of her answer would be she hesitantly said "yes". The result was that the guide began to perform a side to side swinging motion with the canopy that made the stomach go rather like it does on the pirate ship ride at Alton Towers - excellent. To introduce further swinging manoeuvres and a very fast spiralling action the guide would simply ask "La adrenalina?" to which Chrissie of course answered in the affirmative!
After an amazing flight Chrissie bumped gently back to the ground with another large beam on her face. What a day!
Once back in town we made a quick visit to the gorgeous riverside Botanical Gardens Gallineral where we wandered around the little paths admiring in particular the silvery spiderlike plant which hangs in vast net-curtain sheets from the trees in the park giving a rather eery but distinctly beautiful effect.
Before we knew it it was time to grab a bite to eat and head to the bus station for our bus to Santa Marta up
on the coast.
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