“Maji ukiyavulia nguo huna budi kuyaoga (If you strip off your clothes by the water, you have no choice but to bathe)”
Is a Swahili proverb that illustrates the importance of resolve and one that felt so appropriate as I sat buckled to the plastic seat of the Anaconda while my ego tried to rationalise my desire to attempt this roller coaster ride. About 5 minutes earlier, I was standing at the side rails and this activity didn’t look like anything I would enjoy. I had just seen how riders were tossed feet facing the sky and head dropping to the ground while screaming their lungs out as the roller coaster carriages went around the giant metallic loops at a speed that can only be measured in seconds.
‘Are you good?’ the ride operator asked as he inspected every rider. I just shot him a nervous smile.
‘We should have sat at the front that’s where all the fun is,’ my young sister tried to convince me once more to move to the front rows. I slightly nodded my head with my eyes looking straight ahead and my slightly sweaty hands tightly clasped to the harness I wondered how my sister had talked me into accompanying her and how I ended up sitting as one of those thrill seeking addicts.
Don’t get me wrong! I love adventure but I love it most when I can calculate the risks. This was not one of those calculable situations. ‘Buzz!’ finally the operator signals the start of the ride, the brakes are released and the train accelerates on the track. The next thing I know I am laughing and screaming at the same time as I watch the scenery around me alternate between upside-up and upside-down. As the ride progressed my screams were dwarfed by everyone else’s. It felt amazingly scary but so beautifully exciting, I guess that is what thrills are all about.
The Anaconda was the first ride we got on, we attempted four more rides after it and here is our thrill level rating of the rides in Gold Reef City:
With a number of loops, hills and coils around an artificial mountain the Anaconda provided the right combination of suprising twists and turns. The train carriage loops on the outside of the rail making the inversion all the more thrilling. You will be screaming and holding tight from the very start. Once you get used to the feeling of being tossed upside down at high speeds you start looking forward to it.
Thrill Rating: 8/10
Location: Thunder Mountain
The Golden Loop
Unlike the Anaconda the golden loop train goes in the inside of the track of a much higher and giant loop. Sitting at the carriage you have time to realize how insane you are to be looking at the world bottom side up.
Thrill Rating: 7/10
Location: The Cove
The UFO is a giant horizontal wheel that looks like a sleeping ferris wheel. When we entered the carriages of the UFO we were quite surprised to the fact that there were no seats and we just had to remain in an upright position. The rides begins to spin while gaining height. Things get intresting as the UFO begins to spin on its side more like a toy top.
Thrill Rating: 5/10
Location: Lost Reef
Composed of a 2 row giant seat hooked to two arms more like a giant swing. Once switched on the arms swing over like a 360 degrees pendulum. When you get to the top the seat is inverted and riders are left suspended at that position for a few seconds. For some reason we were laughing through out the ride.
Thrill Rating: 6/10
Location: Lost Reef
We were lifted to the top of a 50m tower. The carriage was then held at the top platform for a few seconds and then released dropping vertically down. At the stop the head feels fuzzy and the ears blocked.
Thrill Rating: 9/10
Location: Dizzy Heights