A walk in the mountains

Whilst out walking in the mountains of Nepal in 2001, I decided it would be a good idea to trek alone in the mountains. Permits for foreigners cost about 20 quid and beer in Nepal is so cheap that I thought that this money could be better spent. As I looked like a local I decided that i would be fairly safe, just walking through the checkpoints set up and decided to pocket the 20 quid and walk in the mountains on my own, no permit required, using the brotherhood of yellow to get me through.

Making sure that I looked like the local Sherpas, I strapped my bag on my head and took off my glasses, and made myself look a little more weary. The problem is that, well when I take my glasses off I actually can't see anything at all.


The first few days were fine. i walked past checkpoint after checkpoint without anyone batting an eyelid (My parents are Vietnamese so I have yellow skin)

On the third day I saw a large pair of pillars in the distance and thought "yelp - this is a big one"

So I took off my specs, muddied up, strapped my bag to my head and walked straight through the pillars.

Into the barrel of a rifle.

The little Maoist soldier yelled something at me in Nepali.

I reached for the sky and blurted out something about being an English Tourist and a little lost.

At that point I reached into my pocket and pulled out my glasses. I thought I was going to be shot.

Anyway. as I looked over his shoulders I realised I'd stumbled across a Maoist training camp hidden in the mountains.

Marching up and down to the sound of drums behind the rifle were a load of little Maoist rebels.

The man with the rifle suggested I turn around. I did. I thought he would shoot me as I tried to make good my escape. i didn't look back and ran until I collapsed. Then I spent the next 4 days with dehydration in a random Bed and Breakfast and the rest of the week, after having hauled myself out with a fever, in the tourist hospital on a drip watching Michael Jackson's "you rock my world" video on repeat. It was enough to make me wish the Maoists had shot me.

I won't be doing THAT again in a hurry...
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