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Himalaya

Day 111: Sharma Zampa to Paro

Sharma Zampa, Bhutan 
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Recording a breakfast interview with Doje at our camp at Sharma Zampa. The local cows canít wait for us to strike camp so they can carry on grazing.
Michael Palin - HimalayaI must really have been walked out yesterday, the result being a long, deep, wonderfully restorative night's sleep. Trekking beats any sleeping pill. Doje is tall, good-looking and, until he's had a drop of Special Courier in the evening, quite a serious young man. His mother was the Queen Mother's equerry and maybe that's where his rather dignified correctness comes from. So it's all the more gratifying to hear him getting quite worked up at the breakfast table. Admittedly, it's only about Bhutanese history, but there's a yelp of unalloyed chauvinism as he talks of the Tibetan invaders who used to come down trails like this.

'16th century, 17th century. I think there were nine invasions. And we trashed them!'

Doje shakes his head with relish, as if it had all happened yesterday.

'We sent them back. We sent them back!'

A herd of cows is crossing the river towards us. I think this verdant bank where we camped must be their grazing ground, for, once here, they tuck into whatever doesn't have a tent on top of it, including my jacket. The women who keep an eye on them are a feisty pair. While one looks through Nigel's camera in wonderment, another attacks one of our horsemen after he's made a joke about her, grabbing at his crutch, shrieking with laughter and revealing a perfect set of totally black teeth.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 111: Sharma Zampa to Paro
  • Country/sea: Bhutan
  • Place: Sharma Zampa
  • Book page no: 254

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