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Himalaya

Introduction

Michael Palin - HimalayaSomething began to tingle. I reached for the Encyclopaedia of Places and found the page I was looking for. 'Hillingdon, Greater London Borough', 'Hinckley, Urban District in Leicestershire' and there, snugly between the two, 'Himalaya. In Sanskrit, "Abode Of Snow". Vast mountain system in central Asia lying along the S edge of the Plateau of Tibet, enclosed by the Indus and the Brahmaputra Rivers. It extends generally ESE in an immense curve about 1500 miles long.' There wasn't a word in that brief description that didn't thrill me, and by the time I shut the book I knew what the next two years were going to be about. (No, not Hillingdon in 12 one-hour episodes.)

What the Sahara is to desert, the Himalaya is to mountains. Both share the same contradictory attractions, appealing and appalling, tempting and terrifying in equal, and ultimately irresistible, measure.

By rights I should have followed up Sahara with something easier. Perhaps I should have taken more seriously our sound recordist John Pritchard's suggestion of a series called 'Death By Luxury'. But it's the mind as well as the body you have to look after, and that's where the Himalaya seemed
to have the edge.
Choose another day from Himalaya

PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Introduction
  • Country/sea: England
  • Place: London
  • Book page no: 6

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