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Travel stories - Jodhpur zip line

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

I stopped about twenty meters before the finish line. With flapping legs, swaying gently on the wire that danced restlessly under my weight. Above me was the sky, and below was a lake that spread a hundred meters below my trembling, frightened body. For a moment, the information I read a long time ago crossed my mind, that falling into water from a certain height has the same consequences as falling on concrete. Does that refer to a hundred meters? Bad thought. Fucking brain. Someone shouted something at me. Unintelligible. In English. Which I mostly understand. When I'm not afraid. Fucking brain. He shouted at me again. Now I understand something. Something to do with slowly turning and pulling myself with my hands towards the safe edge. To do it myself? I?!

In the beginning there was a group. About twenty Indian tourists and two non-Indians. My wife and me. Rehearsal and training in the yard. Posture, movements, receiving and signalling. We can do it. In a group of normal people. No adventurers. That somehow comforts me. One large and loud alpha male, two to three backup contenders for the same spot, and the usual amount of water carriers. I even liked them. I guess because they are Indians. In Croatia, my home land, I would arrogantly despise our domestic players after the first 3 minutes. After ten minutes of intensive training, we are ready. That's what the leaders say. And that somehow comforts me. I guess those people know. This was followed by a walk to the exit of the fortress with a view of the beautiful surroundings. From the walls, we can look down on the city and the lake below us. We were also looking at the wire, which we can hardly see the end of. It goes through that beautiful landscape across the lake. That wire is there for us. We need to cling to it and then let go. And chase. And scream. Of joy, of course. At the sight of the wire, the group's enthusiasm subsided. We all instinctively shortened our steps and slowed down because suddenly nobody was in a hurry. Everyone would enjoy the view a little longer. Personally, I wasn't feeling the best. I don't know why, but fear regularly spoils my mood. Those few hundred meters of wire seemed much, much too far to me. And I somehow didn't like those more than a hundred meters in depth either. During training in the yard, the wire was fifteen feet long and placed at a height of not even two meters. I really felt adequate and adventurous there. Like I can do that. And it's like I feel comfortable at a height. From a meter and a half. Even with that ultra-slow step, we reached the beginning of the zip line track. In the meantime, no one got sick, and the weather didn't turn bad, so there was no reason not to start. One of the two leaders got hooked and just let himself go into the abyss without saying a word. Fuck!! He sped off at a fascinating speed and stopped elegantly somewhere and started waving. You couldn't tell, but I'm sure he had a big grin from ear to ear. A fucking marine! The other presenter turned to us and his broad, smug smile was clearly visible. Which obviously meant it was our turn. The only question was who would be the first to fall into the abyss? Fortunately, the alpha with a hundred kilos respects his position in the group and takes the lead. Kudos to the master, I thought, almost delighted with his decision. The leader attaches him to a wire, gives him the last instructions and lets him go. And the alpha leaves with his face frozen in a not very flattering grimace, becoming smaller by the second. I look at him with mixed feelings, In one variant I am a sociopath and I remain alive because after his fall due to the breaking of the wire, the further zipping stops, and in the other I am still terrified, but still encouraged because the wire has supported his weight and he seems to me to be cheerful waving there somewhere from a distance. It turns out variant two. Of course. Who will go next? I turn around and see that others share feelings similar to mine and no one is willing to approach the cruel guy on the edge of the abyss. I believe that Mia, my wife, would have started without trouble because she feels comfortable at heights, but we agreed that I would photograph her during her flight and approach to the landing point. Next time I'll be smarter and take a photo of her from behind. Three seconds of rest somehow sometimes last for minutes. Suddenly, I move towards the already impatient leader. Honestly, that step was not taken by the real me, but as it sometimes happens to me, by the me that I would really like to be. Well, sometimes I turn out like that because of my robotic character while I respect the decisions made earlier. As the marine number two attached and gave incomprehensible instructions about the importance of pose when stopping, I try to look cool and disinterested like Javier Barden in No Country for Old Men, but I'm not sure I succeed. And at that moment I understand why the callous acts like that. So that people don't have time to change their minds! And I realize that just in the blink of an eye when without warning he give me a little push leaving me with no option but to scream as I suddenly rush towards the other end of the wire! And so the first of 6 zipline tours in Jodhpur started. By bare survival.



Stao sam dvadesetak metara prije cilja. S nogama koje lamataju, blago se njišući na žici koja je uznemireno plesala pod mojom težinom. Iznad mene je bilo nebo, a ispod jezero koje se širilo sto metara ispod mojeg drhtavog, preplašenog tijela. Na tren mi je glavom prošla davno pročitana informacija da s određene visine pad u vodu ostavlja jednake posljedice kao pad na beton. Jel' se to odnosi na sto metara? Loša misao. Jebeni mozak.

Netko mi je nešto viknuo. Nerazumljivo. Na engleskom. Koji inače uglavnom razumijem. Kada me nije strah. Jebeni mozak. Opet mi je viknuo. Sad sam ponešto razumio. Nešto vezano uz polagano okretanje i samostalno povlačenje rukama prema sigurnom rubu. Samostalno!? Ja?!

Na početku je bila grupa. Dvadesetak Indijskih turista i dvoje neindijaca. Supruga i ja.

Proba i trening u dvorištu. Držanje, pokreti, primanje i signalizacija. Možemo mi to. U grupi normalni ljudi. Nikakvi avanturisti. To me nekako tješi. Jedan krupni i glasni alfa mužjak, dva do tri rezervna pretendenta za to isto mjesto i uobičajena količina vodonoša. Čak su mi bili simpatični. Valjda zato što su Indijci. Naše domaće jednostavce bih arogantno prezreo nakon prve 3 minute.

Nakon deset minuta intenzivnog treninga, spremni smo. Tako kažu voditelji. I to me nekako tješi. Valjda ljudi znaju.

Uslijedila je šetnjica do izlaska iz tvrđave uz pogled na prekrasnu okolinu. Sa zidina gledamo odozgora na grad i jezero ispod nas. Gledamo i na žicu kojoj skoro da ne vidimo kraj. Ide kroz taj prekrasan krajolik preko jezera.

Ta žica je tu zbog nas. Trebamo se zakačiti za nju i onda se pustiti. I juriti. I vrištati. Od radosti naravno.

Pri pogledu na žicu, oduševljenje grupe se stišalo. Svi smo nagonski skratili korake i usporili jer se odjednom nikome baš nije žurilo. Svi bi još malo uživali u pogledu.

Osobno se nisam osjećao najbolje. Ne znam zašto, ali strah mi redovno kvari raspoloženje. Tih parsto metara žice mi se činilo puno, puno predaleko. A ni tih više od sto metara u dubinu mi se nekako nije sviđalo. Na treningu u dvorištu žica je bila dugačka jedno petnaest i postavljena na visini od ni dva metra. Tamo sam se baš osjećao adekvatno i avanturistički.

Kao da to mogu. I kao da se ugodno osjećam na visini. Od metra i pol.

I tim ultra sporim korakom smo stigli do početka zip line staze. U međuvremenu nikome nije pozlilo, a vrijeme se nije pokvarilo pa nije bilo razloga da ne krenemo.

Jedan od dvojice voditelja se zakačio i bez riječi samo pustio u ponor. Jebote! Odjurio je fascinantnom brzinom i tamo negdje se elegantno zaustavio te počeo mahati. Nije se vidjelo, ali siguran sam da je imao široki smiješak od uha do uha. Jebeni sposobnjaković! Drugi voditelj se okrenuo prema nama i njegov široki, samozadovoljni smiješak se dobro vidio. Što je očito značilo da je red na nas. Pitanje je bilo samo tko će prvi u provaliju?

Srećom, alfa sa stotinjak kila poštuje svoju poziciju u grupi i preuzima vodstvo. Svaka čast majstore, pomislim skoro ushićen njegovom odlukom. Voditelj ga prikapča na žicu, daje mu zadnje upute i pušta. I ode alfa s licem zamrznutoj u ne baš laskavoj grimasi postajući iz sekundu u sekundu sve manji. Gledam ga podvojenih osjećaja, U jednoj varijanti sam sociopata i ostajem živ jer se nakon njegovog pada uslijed pucanja žice daljnje zipanje prekida, a u drugoj sam i dalje prestravljen, ali ipak ohrabren jer je žica izdržala njegovu kilažu i on nam, čini mi se, veselo maše tamo negdje iz daljine.

Ispade varijanta dva. Naravno.

Tko će idući? Okrećem se oko sebe i vidim da i drugi dijele osjećaje slične mojima i baš nitko nije voljan prići okrutnom tipu na rubu bezdana.

Vjerujem da bi Mia bez beda krenula jer se ona ugodno osjeća na visinama, ali dogovorili smo se da ću je fotkati prilikom njenog leta i prilaska točki doskoka. Drugi put ću biti pametniji pa ću je fotografirati s leđa.

Tri sekunde mirovanja nekako ponekad traju minutama.

Odjednom, krećem se prema već nestrpljivom voditelju. Iskreno, taj korak nisam donio pravi ja, već kao što mi se to zna događati, onaj ja koji bih ustvari silno htio biti. Pa ponekad takav i ispadnem zbog svog robotskog karaktera dok poštujem ranije donesene odluke.

Dok me bezosjećajni kopča i izgovara nerazumljive upute o bitnosti poze kod zaustavljanja, pokušavam izgledati hladnokrvno i nezainteresirano poput Javiera Bardena u '' No country for old men'', ali nisam siguran da u tome uspijevam. I u tom trenutku shvaćam zašto se bezosjećajni ponaša tako. Da se ljudi ne stignu predomisliti! I to shvaćam baš u trenu kad me bez upozorenja malo pogurne ne ostavljajući mi nikakvu opciju nego vrištanje dok odjednom jurim prema drugom kraju žice!

I tako prođe prva od 6 tura zip-line u Jodhpuru. Golim preživljavanjem.


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