In this country, there exist five kinds of people;
1. The ones who spend their weekends/holidays watching pirated movies & TV series
2. Ones who spend hours playing video games and crushing candies on Candy Crush
3. Ones who spend the whole day doing laundry and cleaning the house
4. Ones who party all night and sleep all day and,
If you fall under the fifth/last category, I bet that you'll fall in love with this gem in Rongai - Diguna Tightrope Walking cum High Ropes Challenge.
The ropes takes you through 10 stages with the highest points being approximately 10 metres above the ground.
This is what the first step is all about, climbing up these suspended logs that somehow resemble a ladder or an old-age staircase. If you get scared, you can have someone hold the logs for you - to make them more stable (though technically, that would be cheating).
Stage two goes by the name tremor bridge or the dance floor. Based on my own experience, it's the scariest part of the challenge. These wooden planks are randomly placed - they aren't fixed. To complete this course, you will need to walk halfway while holding on to the rope in front of you.
Then, as soon as you get to the middle, you'll notice that the rope you've been holding onto has become too short hence the need to bring it to the back. To do this, you'll have to tightly hold on to it and gradually pull the rope downward till it forms a U-shape.
At this point, you can step over it and hold it from the back or, turn around (which's a lot harder) and continue holding on to it.
At stage three, you can choose to slackline over a thin wire - a wire that's the size of Kenya Power electricity cables or, take a detour over medium sized logs.
I presume that stage four is simpler for those who opted to take a detour in stage three. It requires that you tightly hold on to the rope above as you find footing on these tiny planks of woods. If you have never had sweat drain down your face, trust me, this course will see you sweat off at least one liter of sweat.
But, if you find it too hard, you can show a white flag and 'zip-line' all the way to the end.
Stage five - the staircase, is the easiest. The wooden planks are attached firmly, are well spaced and, there's even a rope to hold on to as you climb up high. This also happens to be the 'surrender' point as it's after taking the stairs that most people give up their will to continue.
Only the strong willed continue to stage six. It consists of I guess eight U-shaped ropes with a plastic pipe thingy at the bottom. It took me like 10-15 minutes to make up my mind whether I should go on or quit. I'm happy to report that I'm not a coward. I did it!
At stage seven, you'll find more walking platforms, perfectly fixed, not easy but manageable.
Stage eight is what almost everyone claims to be the hardest, for you'd have to walk with your rear facing the crowd and your eyes enjoying the not so magnificent and visible views of Kenya's capital - Nairobi.
Stage nine reminds me of my worst childhood nightmare. You know those rural rivers that have no bridges, so the locals cut down a tree and let it fall across the river and voila, there goes a brand new bridge! During this course, you'd have to walk over a wooden log (a very thin wooden log). that's 10 metres above the ground.
The final stage isn't really worth being called a stage. Having completed the entire course, here's where you have the Diguna people ascend you to the ground at an insanely high speed (super exciting yet frightening).
PS: After every course, there's a landing point where you can rest. Each of these platforms can only hold a maximum of four people at a time.
- If you want to complete the course, try not to be an attention or sympathy seeker. I heard lots of 'that course requires someone with good muscles' or 'I didn't bring in a good pair of shoes' or 'I just want to take a good photo' or 'there's always another time.'
- No matter how scared you may be, just keep repeating these words 'I won't fall, I can't fall.' If at all you end up loosing your grip, the worst than can happen is remain suspended in the air.
- I found these kind of shoes - with a good grip and a small heel to be excellent. As you can see, they perfectly held on to the rope.
- Don't be in a hurry to finish…the more composed you are, the higher the chances of you finishing.
- Don't look down or backward. Instead, keep your eyes fixated on the next step.
- Know why you came - to participate, not spectate.
- To participate, one has to be over 10 years old, not be more than 110 kgs and no less than 4' 2".