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Himalaya

Day 52: Derali to Machhapuchhre Base Camp

Macchapuchare Base Camp, Nepal 
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The worst night of the entire journey was spent here at Macchapuchare Base Camp.
Michael Palin - HimalayaThe porters, so ebulliently happy yesterday afternoon, are quiet and subdued. They crouch, huddled together for warmth, waiting to be called out, helped on with their baskets and sent on their way. They're Tamang people from Loswa district close to Kathmandu, all of them slight and wiry, as if honed down to the lowest body weight for the work they have to do. They will be paid $8 for each day on the mountain.

Though we have only about 1000 feet (300 m) to climb today, the path rises and falls in a frustrating switchback.

I've given up saying 'Namaste' to everyone who passes, but I'm momentarily cheered when I plod up to the top of yet another stone staircase and come level with two middle-aged American ladies. I see a look of recognition on one of their faces and hear a gasp of excitement as I pass.

'Oh, my God!'

I nod appreciatively, straighten my back and move on.

'It's Eric Idle!'
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 52: Derali to Machhapuchhre Base Camp
  • Country/sea: Nepal
  • Place: Derali
  • Book page no: 119

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RELATED LINKS

  • Health and Hygiene
  • Day 12 
  • Around the World in 80 Days
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  • Full Circle
  • Day 2 
  • Pole to Pole

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