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Himalaya

Day 86: Lijiang

Michael Palin - HimalayaAs we come to the end of a roll of film he has time to get the news out.

'14-all! Extra time.'

What follows, as events in Lijiang and Sydney become inextricably entwined, are 20 of the more bizarre minutes of my life. Two rituals on continents thousands of miles from each other are approaching their climax, and as the Dongba becomes more agitated, Peter veers between ecstasy and anguish.

'17-14!'

It must be all over.

'17-17!'

It clearly isn't.

All I know is that the night air has turned very cold and the shaman, lit by a flickering firelight, is whirling around like a madman, eyes staring, sword in one hand and finger-cymbals in the other, as the news comes through.

'20-17! Whistle's gone!'
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 86: Lijiang
  • Country/sea: China
  • Place: Lijiang
  • Book page no: 203

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