Riding Shotgun

A mountain pass makes mincemeat of my gear

Topping 60 and things get a little dicey as I traverse the mountain road to Bokor National Park; it’s not the speed however that upsets my balance, more so my limited attention span. In a split second I’m riding shotgun, watching the grey Tarmac and white lines zipping closer by, welcoming me to the fold.

crashbang
You really couldn’t make it up. As I plummeted towards the tarmac my Nikon started firing, capturing the scene without me even noticing. It even caught the bike on its side just in frame, before I hurtled off the road into the undergrowth.

The trusty D700 hits the road first, quickly followed by my elbow, D4, and finally my hip. I momentarily become an amalgamation of tarmac, Nikon and exposed flesh as I roll off the road onto soft, wet grass, coming to a final skidding halt somewhere in the jungle undergrowth. Nothing but heavy breathing and the quiet ticking-over of the bike now 15 feet away, laying on its side like a sleeping horse. Wiggle toes, check. Fingers, check. Neck seems good, the helmet didn’t even touch the ground. The D700 is laying in two pieces, the 28-70mm once attached now appears to have multiplied into three, and the D4 is looking at me like it wants to die, or possibly has and then revived itself just to show it’s disgust at my driving. Sighing, I heave my shaken body back to the bike and begin to pick up the expensive black debris scattered all over the small mountain pass, and as if on queue it starts to rain a heavy wet season monsoon. Assembling matching parts with Gaffa tape and cable ties, I pack my gear into the only waterproof bag I have, and scuttling back to my groaning steed I get back to the day at hand; shooting Bokor National Park.

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