How does it feel to lose something precious which doesn’t belong to you in the first place?
It’s amazing how sleep could be at its best when you’re not on your own bed, on a far away place and when you had so little time. Minutes of closing your eyes and losing yourself in an instant dream seems worth a lifetime. The pilots finally awakened me to leave at around 0515H. With everything ready and packed up, I just collected my things enough for the arrival of the driver of the staff van who knocked at our room telling us that the service is waiting. I was left behind to take care of the door lock as usual, and then I took the role of a tail scout to clear possible traces of mess left in our passing before I followed downstairs and passed the counter in leaving the room key. Checking out of the hotel, we dropped by at the hotel’s 24hr drive-thru restaurant annex near the parking lot to have our breakfast. I was having a slight headache as a result of last night’s drink, hardly trying to build up my appetite to eat. The pilots took charge of the bill however so that I made to consume an order of longsilog with relish that goes with something free. We boarded the van afterwards and arrived at the grandstand inside Camp Florendo to be reunited with the waiting helicopter that had spent the span of the evening in the open, out in the cold and soaked in the morning dew.
The relationship between man and machine works symbiotically as always. A helicopter is another machine that works according to that philosophical rule. You take care of it and it takes care of you, you take it for granted and it will sure take the matter for granted that you are a living passenger behind its back. And you will be amazed how you’ve been strapped behind a crazy horse on a rodeo with 3 axis of rotation at altitude. A single horse a cowboy rides on the ground against 650 shaft horsepower you’ll have to tame a hundred feet above. I reached out for the cluster keys at the pocket of my flying suit and unlocked the access doors and compartments. Climbing beside the helicopter to reach the engine cowl and exhaust cover I had them removed and folded them inside the cargo hold. I had the tail rotor lock pin taken and installed the battery to begin my pre-flight inspection. The dawn was just beginning to unfold and the surrounding darkness had been replaced by the morning light. It was a completely new morning, with fresh morning breeze swaying the branches of bamboo by the hillsides, a unique feature for a camp situated not on level ground but on a hilly surface allowing the seabreeze from the nearby coastline bounce and wander around. There are shiny bits of dew holding a miniature reflection of the world clinging by the trimmed grasses in the surrounding field surface of the grandstand. A column of fog scatter along the mountainside reminds me of smog on a typical morning by the Metropolis’ skyline. The only difficulty which posed a problem for me to savor the experience of this exemplary morning was the accumulation of moisture at the body of the aircraft which had me used up my store of used rag on the cargo hold. So much that when attempting to clear the windshield of the thing, I was obliged to use my scarf for wiping the remainder in clearing the surface.
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