Myles Harrington

An Illegal Border Crossing and a Wild Snow Leopard

In India on June 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Sadly, of the two most exciting things to happen in the last 72 hours I have a picture of neither. I do have lots of lovely photos of flowers though because we (we being me, the German bloke and the British guys I met on Thursday night) went on a two day trek.

The beautiful flowers of the Darjeeling hillside

The crazy bloke we booked the trip with seemed to be on cocaine for the whole time we were with him. hespokelikethissobloodyquicklyitwashardtoworkoutwhathewassaying. Although he showed us his new swanky office in the centre of town I am half unsure whether he’d arranged a trip before. We arrived on Saturday morning and took over this poor native family’s house, don’t have a clue where they slept considering we took all their beds. On the car journey there we stopped off and picked up a chicken for lunch. It was still alive and it kept flapping under Barney’s seat. The two fellow tour guides that came along for the ride had a great laugh at the scared westerner. From the smell that filled the car shortly afterwards I think it shit itself too, poor thing.

Lunch - Nepalese style

After a couple of Darjeeling chais we set off on the main attraction of the trek, a walk down an extremely steep hill, via a non-existent village to a tea plantation we were not allowed to visit. We hung around the river at the bottom for half an hour taking more picture of flowers and the occasional snap of the stream and trekked back up the hill for more chai and the poor chicken’s insides cooked to a traditional Nepalese style. boiled in its own juices with rough amounts of chili, garlic and random brown spices. I think the coke head boss kept the breast for himself.

A post dal lunch nap ensued and we were so desperate for coke (not the boss’ favourite type) and chocolate upon awakening we managed to persuade one of the Nepalese blokes hanging around he should drive us to the nearest village so we could stock up on some supplies to see us through the night. After buying Red Bull, Coke and various types of cheap Indian chocolate we were shown to the border point the town was based on by our guide. It was just across the otherside of the street under some unguarded barriers, the type that are normally at level crossings, so we tentatively took a stroll towards them and ducked under into Nepal. Our guide was a bit worried to say the least and kept muttering “this is very illegal” “this is not allowed” but we survived without a bullet in the head so that was good enough for me. Then the journey home got even more exciting as half way back on one of the numerous bends, a grey and white animal, roughly the size of a big fox, sprinted lowly across the tarmac in front of us. Our guide informed us it was a snow leopard. It looked much happier than the one we saw at the zoo on Friday. The guide didn’t get my sarcastic remark about going back to the house to get the gun.

Once back at the wooden house the camp fire was in full swing, so we sat around sipping the home brew wine, whiskey and coke and chewing on yet more burnt chicken for dinner.

The next day we took a trip to a small village monastery, that the guide eventually found. It was built on a beautiful spot and the drive was quite cool. The locals loved seeing us too and they made some great postcard style photos. Back to the house for yet more chicken.

Feiste inder (Max came up with this caption)

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  2. […] a trek for the last eight months and never really got around to arranging one. There was the Darjeeling two-day ‘trek’ which was more like a disappointing walk. So when I discovered Luang Nam Tha in north Laos was one […]

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