Sunday, May 2, 2010

and to bring you right up to date

I got a call from Robin to say they got into the town called whatever-it-was about 11 last night but were hoping to be trekking any moment! His departure from India was delayed yesterday because neither he nor the driver realised there was an immigration checkpoint about 3 kms from the border - so they just drove straight past it.
His sat phone is playing up again (it did this last year too) so I am busy firing off email Exocets to all and sundry trying to get it fixed. The usual response is buy another sim card - not too easy when I am in a different country to Robin, and the country I am in does not allow civilians to carry a sat phone, therefore I can't buy anything for the phone. Hmmm - problem. Stay tuned for solutions, I hope.
Other than that I got bored so wandered up to a local cafe which had rather good pasta and a nimbu pani (lemon juice), bought some beer (ooh shameless) and some peanuts and wandered home past the piles of police. Who of course are just there for my security and peace of mind. The intelligence reports that the authorities received list several market areas where foreigners (including me) hang out so I am staying in again tonight. Lucky there is T20 World Cup on soon, India is the first match followed by Australia.
Well it is actually drinkie time now, but Robin just rang to say they are at a place called Tashi Yangtse Dzong (fort) which is now a gompa with a princess walled up inside to stop the local traders being eaten by an evil demon.
His tent is an A frame that he can stand up in (he isn't the tallest chap around!) and it has a carpet, there is a dining tent for him and Raj the guide with chairs and table, and the kitchen tent has lots of little kittens running around. Sounds good! They have to go from 1700 metres where they are now to 4500m in a couple of days as they have to hurry their plans up as Bhutan TV want to see them and the King is even interested! WOW. I'd better pack a decent frock.
Since it is 25 past drinkies I will now leave you all in peace.  Off to the cocktail cabinet.

the cutest Himalayan Black Bear

And a flat out red panda.......

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