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Himalaya

Day 17: The Shandur Pass

Michael Palin - HimalayaChitral come across as the gentlemen amateurs, with an altogether more happy-go-lucky approach to their polo, but the mood at the camp today is subdued. Gilgit won the 'B' game this morning, though one of their horses collapsed and died of a heart attack at the end of the first chukka. Neither side wants this to happen, and Sikander admits that this is only one of several such deaths over the last few years, grim reminders of the demands of such a physical game at such a high altitude.

He concedes that Gilgit's 'A' team are the favourites. They are unchanged from last year, and unlike Chitral's series of misfortunes, have had no casualties among their horses. I ask about the rumours I've heard about black magic and spells being put on the teams.

He shrugs.

'I never used to believe it, but now since everyone does, I've also started believing it.'

'You think it's more than just coincidence?'

He nods.

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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 17: The Shandur Pass
  • Country/sea: Pakistan
  • Place: The Shandur Pass
  • Book page no: 39

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