21st. October 2019 – Sue & Richard Winkworth – HIMALAYAN KINGDOMS

It is often refreshing to be able to enjoy someone else’s holiday or visit to a distant and exotic place through an expert commentary supported by images taken at that time.
Last night our club enjoyed such a journey from two intrepid walkers with enquiring minds and the courage to step “off the beaten track”.
We were shown 5 distinct elements to their holiday, lasting three weeks, some years ago:-

Part 1 – Touring Kathmandu.

This reminded our speakers of India with wandering cows, exotic smells, thousands of trades carried out on the roadsides and smiling responsive people.

Part 2 – Walking in the Annapurna range.

This trek avoided Mt. Everest but challenged Sue and Rich to walk for up to 6 hours per day through steaming open valleys fighting off aggressive leeches, across dangerous bridges seeing rice and corn grown under paddy fields on steep sided conditions. We were feeling exhausted following their descriptions.

Part 3 – Searching for unicorns.

This evocative title saw the explorers looking for the one horned rhino which bathes in swamps in the national park, where the only means of transport is elephant. A unique and surprising wildlife experience.

Part 4 – Land of the Thunderdragon.

Walking in difficult conditions up to 13,000 feet in Bhutan amongst friendly people. The men virtually all attend the monastery at some stage and are always in evidence. Vast amounts of chilli seem to be grown and are harvested and dried under the roves of most houses.

Amazing to see the national sport of archery carried out under dangerous conditions for the spectators. The population have a Tibetan “look” and seem to thrive on rice and yak’s milk cheese amongst few roads in a country infested with un-owned dogs!

Part 5 – Roof of the world.

Who wouldn’t be thrilled taking off in light mist from Khatmandu Airport to see Mt Everest from every angle in bright sunshine against clear blue skies
A very special holiday, not for the feint hearted!

We look forward to seeing Sue and Richard again (next year already booked) !

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