GUEST ARTICLE BY BRIAN MBUGUA
I am in a new country for the second week, trying to adjust to the slow island life and one night in my musings, I decide to google “crazy things to do in Mauritius.’’ The adrenalin rushing through my body thereafter is tremendous. The one activity that particularly caught my eye (or my adrenalin) was parasailing. Given the fact that it involves speed boats and parachutes, it was a definite yes from me. So I psych up some of my friends and surprisingly it was as if they were all waiting for someone to float the idea, everyone was in! Having made so many acquaintances with the locals was one of the best decisions we had ever made, since we got to pay almost a quarter of the tourist rates, best keep this in mind next time you are out there.
And so the day finally arrives, the journey to the parasailing platforms is in itself very interesting as you have to take a ‘pirate’ boat to an island called the ‘ile aux cerfs’ almost an hour away from the mainland Mauritius, they call this boat the Catamaran. Everyone on the boat is going through some trepidation as we all have no idea what we were about to get ourselves into, the crew was relentlessly trying to give us assurance that everything was going to be alright but this only made it worse as they described the details of the activity assuming it would make any of us feel better.
We arrive at one of the most spectacular beaches I have laid my eyes on, make our payments swiftly in great anticipation of an activity which I know very well that my mother does not approve. In less than 15 minutes, we were all on the platform, after 10 minutes on a speedboat moving at 100kp/h (trust me it feels worse in the sea than on the road).
So it is eight of us on the platform, parasailing is done in pairs, a sort of tandem. Who was going to go first brought such contention that we settled on doing the rock paper scissors, sadly my friend and I lost and had to go first.
One minute you’re doing the rock paper scissors next minute you’re getting strapped into your life jackets and very tight hugging harnesses with a long 400 meter rope attaching you and the speedboat and a large chute behind you. The instructors, assuming were pros, blabber some instructions quickly in French and says okay go!
This was the true definition of caught off guard, suddenly the guy on the other end starts the boat and we budged into the sky. The feeling is surreal, there’s adrenalin rushing through every single part of your body. The view from 200 meters up in the sky is something else, definitely etched in the mind forever.
Five minutes into the ride, we are moving so fast that you can literally feel the skin on your face moving. Suddenly, we start to descend in the middle of the sea. Something was off because in less than three minutes my friend and I are totally submerged in the deep sea for like 10 seconds, my heart stopped. Then just as fast as we had been submerged, we got back up in the sky, apparently its routine, just not the routine any of us expected.
The landing was the greatest anticlimax, as I mentioned earlier, we barely understood the instructions given to us, so it was a total crash that had everyone on the platform laughing at us, our colleagues faces were filled with bewilderment. Wondering whether it was really the right decision to go up the sky and get totally submerged. For me, it was an experience of a lifetime, a true test of courage!
Guest: Brian Mbugua