January 14, 2003 GMT
Falling off a bridge, in Laos.

Today I did something really stupid.

Arrived in Laos yesterday and had 200kms of dirt to do
today to get across to a town on the 'main' drag.
160kms on and everything is going well. The conditions
are perfect and I'm really having fun riding this
beautiful dirt track. I get to the umpteeth river
crossing and it's another long one which I can't see
the bottom of. I am just about to get off the bike for
a look when to the left I see a disused log bridge 2m
above the water. The last few meters of planks are
missing but I think I can ride it on the logs at the
side. Too lazy to get off the bike again. So I start
off but decide to stop half way for a look. I put my
foot down but the plank just falls away and before I
know it I'm falling of the bike, helmet first into the
river. For a split second I think the bike has somehow
managed to stay on the bridge but then there's a big
splash and the bike tumbles in on my back. The water
was only about 18 inches deep but I find myself
pressed to the bottom face down. I really struggle
hard but can't get free and then I think I am going to
drown. I put my hands under my chest and with all my
strength I do a big press up and stretch my neck as
far as I can. My helmet is still full of water and I
don't know whether to try for a breath. I have to, but
as well as some water I also get some air. I cough it
out and push up again. This time it's all air, so it's
back under water and I manage to get a knee up and
twist out from under the bike. I can't describe the
feeling! I was so elated. The bike is upside down in
the river but still running. I get the bike up, and
feel that soon it's going to hurt. I work to get the
bags and boxes up on the bank, have a quick look to
the bike - the clocks and mirrors are damaged and the
rack is broken, a few marks but it all looks OK. I use
the remaining adrenalin to dig a track up the river
bank and then wait for help. After 45 mins 2 men turn
up on a rotorvator, and after laughing their heads off
we set to to drive and push the bike up the bank. I
tip all the water out of the boxes and my boots and
slowly strap everything back to the bike. I give the
guys 10 dollars each, a lot, but I feel so grateful to
still be here I could have made it 100.

So tonight I have a 3rd arse cheek growing on my back
and I ache everywhere else. The bike will be OK.
Nothing I can't fix. Stuff will dry out, but
unfortunately my camera's had it. I hope when I get to
a shop they can save the film as I finally took some
pictures of the bike in a long-tail boat when we went
across the Mekong.

So the moral is: If you're travelling alone in remote
places on a motorbike, don't do something stupid.
Tonight I feel very, very lucky.

Posted by Jason Homewood at January 14, 2003 11:13 AM GMT

Streuth Jason!

I heard BMW used to make aircraft - not 'U' boats. And glad to hear you didn't flood the thing too badly, is this now a Weblog or a Waterlog?

In all seriousness, sounds like a scary one, could have been far worse.

I've had yet another change of plan as the run from Phnom Penh to Chiang Mai saw the end of another cylinder head stud. So, no Laos, back at Yut's BKK for repairs then head South for Aus. Bugger.

Look forward to that jam session next time around!



Posted by: Sean Kelly on January 27, 2003 08:02 AM GMT


Posted by: Lolita on October 11, 2003 02:07 PM GMT
Sorry, due to heavy form spamming, Comments are OFF.

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