Today was abseiling day so up we were at 7am feeling fresh. Well I was, Mark was hungover as he'd found a buddy to drink beer with in the hostel until 2am.
We were taken by a minibus into the jungle to start our day of adventure. Once there we trekked to the 1st abseil, my clean trainers were caked in mud. I hate mud! Even in wellies I avoid stepping in mud so that wasn't fun. Whilst trekking I was also being bitten to death by Mosquitos. I have such a bad reaction to Asian Mosquitos, the bites spread to an area the size of a plum.
We eventually arrived at the first abseil which was down a 15m cliff into a river that was only 2ft deep. At the top of the cliff I started feeling light headed and with my history of fainting this wasn't a good sign so I asked to move towards the front of the group. I don't know what came over me, I am fine with heights but I hadn't done any abseiling before so I think I was just freaked out about what to expect. Everything went fine, the instructors were great and really patient.
We continued trekking to the next abseil and on the way we came across the river where we could do some water sliding. I am not a fan of water at all! In fact I'd say a massive fear. I hate getting my face wet and feeling like I am stuck in deep open water. I looked at this slide and the water was running down it so fast. It wasn't a smooth slide as it was a river with rocks! The 'slide' was in the direction the water was flowing between these rocks. A couple of people went before I did and it looked like a bumpy ride. The fact we had to wear helmets and life jackets didn't fill me with any confidence but this slide was the only way down.
I led down feet first at the top, held my nose and hoped for the best. The slide only took around 3 seconds but it felt like the longest time going down ready to be pushed under the water. On coming out, I had a mini panic attack and couldn't breathe properly. Thank God Mark was there to calm me down. The instructors then asked if we wanted to go down head first. No way in hell!!
We trekked a little further before stopping for a delicious lunch of sandwiches, fruit and banana cake. I ate loads as it was drained from my panic attack and knew I had to build my strength for the rest of the day of watery hell.
Up next was an abseil down a 25m waterfall with a deep pool at the bottom. Great!! Before we went down we were talked through what to expect. We abseiled down the majority of the cliff, having to pose for pictures on the way down (the fakest smile ever) and then the cliff went away so we had to let go of the rope and jump 4 metres into the pool. It took me a while to compose my self taking a few deep breaths and I let go, again holding my nose. Surprisingly I didn't freak out, I think because the water in the pool was calmer and I was in charge of when I landed in it.
Again we kept trekking towards the next activity, cliff diving! Something strange came over me and I was ready to do it. I think it must have been a mixture of adrenaline and how proud of myself I was for jumping from the abseil. The cliff was 7m high into a 3m deep pool. So after composing myself, I went for it. It hurt my bum a little bit wasn't that bad. I didn't do the 11m jump though, I'm not crazy!
Finally we reached the 3rd abseil, nicknamed the washing machine. That name alone was enough to give me anxiety. The instructors talked us through what would happen. We'd abseil 13m alongside a waterfall, then would have to lower ourselves into the fast flowing water which would push us along through to the pool. That didn't sound too bad until they said 'you'll be pushed under water for 3 seconds'. My heart was racing. I really didn't want to do it but had no choice.
Mark went first, he did it and then looked up to me and mounted 'you're not going to like it.' That was what I really didn't want to hear right now. The group let me go next as by this point they knew I'd hate it and just want it to be over with. They were great.
All strapped in, I stood on the edge unable to see what was below me. I abseiled down the rocks, having the pose for a photo on the way obviously! Then the time came for me to lower myself into the water. Then panic hit me. I had tears in my eyes and was saying to mark and the instructor in the pool that I couldn't do it. It was too late to go back. I went into the water and took a few steps and then suddenly the strong water pushed me under. I didn't know where I was or when id reach the pool. Mark said he was shaking with worry for me whilst waiting for me knowing what I would be feeling. He took a few steps towards where I'd resurface, the instructor told him not to but he didn't listen. He wanted to be there when I got out.
When I resurfaced I had a mini panic attack mixed with pure relief, the tears came out and my breathing was so fast. It was horrible. Even those that likes water in the group didn't enjoy the washing machine.
Am I glad I did it? I'm not really sure. The abseiling was great but the water element spoilt it for me and I'm no closer to overcoming my fear.
Safe to say, I'd earned a few drinks that night.