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Himalaya

Day 50: Chomrung to Dovan

Michael Palin - Himalaya'Bondo,' he repeats, smiling broadly. 'The Gun.'

'Ah, yes.'

'Ask anyone on Everest for Wongchu, they may be confused. Bondo Wongchu everybody know.'

He drops bits of information at regular intervals, as if I need food for the mind as well as the body. Did I know that the tip of Everest is limestone, a seabed pushed five and a half miles into the sky.

I ask him what he thinks about the situation in Nepal.

He looks around with a shrug and an expansive sweep of the arm.

'Nobody in charge of the country anymore.'

We climb over a spur and begin moving down through thick rhododendron and then bamboo forest. The way becomes increasingly dark, overgrown and claustrophobic. The sun has disappeared behind the mountains and a white mist is descending over the forest as we reach our overnight stop at Dovan. There are three of the long, grey, stone buildings with their blue, painted, tin roofs to choose from: The Dovan Guest House, the Annapurna Approach Lodge and Restaurant Hotel Tip Top. All are identical and all are full. In the courtyards a largely Western crowd of trekkers is resting, washing, snacking, lolling and generally looking knackered.

'Tourism,' mutters Wongchu, contemptuously. Though of course he makes his living from it.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 50: Chomrung to Dovan
  • Country/sea: Nepal
  • Place: Chomrung
  • Book page no: 112

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