Monthly Archives: August 2005

Nepal: Kanchenjunga–Dispatch 3

One night during a thunderstorm that would have made Thor proud we sat on a splintery wood bench in a mountain teahouse, where candle stubs cast weak puddles of yellow light. The teahouse was cavernous, its scruffiness hidden in a cloak of blackness, only to be exposed intermittently by a crackling bolt of lightening. From our perch along the wall we could hear quiet conversation broken now and then by a burst of laughter.

A man brought us each a mug of yak butter tea. In the spirit of taking what’s offered, I sipped the rancid-tasting brew, feeling happily authentic. Big mistake. By midnight my stomach was in upheaval with food poisoning and I spent the night vomiting my guts out in our tiny tent. I managed to stagger through the 7-8 hours’ walk the next day, then retreated to my sleeping bag, there to lie in the shivering heat of fever for another 12 hours.


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