Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bouncy Bouncy*

Bouncy Bouncy*

It was another Playa Verano at Climandiaro and Hotel Prado Mar. This is the beach right outside Barranquilla where I go surfing most weekends (not to be confused with Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, that shares the same pronunciation). This time the focus at Playa Verano was on fitness. My gym, Bodytech, had aerobics classes, dance classes, and my favorite the bouncy thing. I have no idea what the bouncy thing is called in Spanish or in English. Picture something between a trampoline revved up a few notches, to bungee jumping, to being on the flying trapeze, it was kind of a combination of the three.

Yoyi flips. You can see how high in the air we were here.

I was very keen to try this contraption. I got up on the trampoline and first was asked for my weight as they belted me in with the old car seat belts. The seat belt straps were attached to some carabiners that were then attached to several huge rubber straps (picture gigantic rubber bands) and these were hooked up to ropes. The amount of rubber bands needed depended on your weight. Then there was a machine that wound the ropes to the right amount of tension for optimal flying experience.

Getting strapped in with old seat belts

Up up and away!

I started jumping and the tension of the rubber bands would gently catapult me higher. It was fun, exhilarating, and a little bit frightening all at the same time. I wanted to do a flip, but when I was up there, literally about 40 feet in the air, I got slightly intimidated. Eventually I figured, “What the heck? I’m already jumping this high, I’ve seen other people doing flips, just do it!” And I did. It was great.

"OK, I think I'll do a flip this time."

The onlookers

¡Sí, yo puedo!

I was probably on the bouncy thing for about 10 minutes and wanted to keep going, but it a absurdly sweltering day, plus jumping like that was tiring. I had already attempted surfing that day with limited success due to the gargantuan size of the waves. See Wavelength. Now was the time for a lemonade frappé and spending some time in the shade.

I had no energy for dance or aerobics after surfing and jumping

Apart from fitness, there was also musical entertainment. My favorite group from Barranquilla, Doris Vespa, a reggae funk band, played a set after some of the dance classes. It’s always nice to see them. Another band went on next who played covers in Spanish, except for Clocks by Cold Play with a salsa beat. I’d heard this version of Clocks before – apparently Cold Play and Buena Vista Social Club played this together. I quite like the mix and would have never put the two together.

Doris Vespa

Only the best surfers were in the water that day. I acted as photographer for the pro surfers. Being at the beach is always great. That day the bouncy thing was my favorite part.

*the title for this piece comes from the Bouncy Bouncy song by the Mighty Boosh. Take a look and listen. It has nothing to do with my life in Colombia, but it really cracks me up.

1 comment:

  1. Hey!! I loveeee your blog!
    My name is Michael! I'm debating on taking a position in Puerto Colombia and I was wondering if you could give me some insight on your time there, and possibly about teaching in Colombia!! Please email me if you don't mind too much.... biehlmik@msu.edu