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Author Topic: 10th May: Shorts on Mt Blanc and the hunt for sheep  (Read 2882 times)

Romke

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Noel and John had climbed to a small monastery on the hill yesterday afternoon, so Lorenzo & I decided to follow their recommendation and go there as well. Before the sun hits the town, we are out for our hike. Not even 9 in the morning and it is warm enough to wear shorts!
Lorenzo goes up with great speed (14 vertical meter per minute) and after 20 minutes we reach the red sanctuary. We feel good and decide to scramble along the ridge and some time later we get a most amazing view of the pass we crossed when coming over the first time and Everest and Cho Oyu on the other side.
We notice a cave onto p of the ridge with a huge eagle circling above, so we continue up until we can get no further. 4860m, more than Mt Blanc and we are wearing T-shirts and shorts!
Everest looks deceivably easy from here, no snow plume, but the wind is just so dry, there is no moist to condensate to form the otherwise recognizable cloudshape.
We scarmble down the direct route towards the village and have t find our way downsteep rock faces, sharp ridges and sandy slopes. It is great to feel sharp rock on my bare hands again and we have a great time.
After going down some gullies and racing down the scree face we end up in the fields surrounding the town.


Taschi Dzom

The people only have a few months per year to get their crops grown, so entire families, male and female, from young to old are working in getting the potatoes planted.
Still they have time to talk to us and are very interested in the digital cameras. Sometimes they ask for money, but mostly they just like to look at themselves in the little screen, creating great photos.


Children in Taschi Dzom

Lorenzo and I have not eatenanyting yet, so we head out to the only small restuarant we have not tried yet and are being treated to a huge bowl of noodle soup each with fresh tomato, egg an cabbage. Delicious!
Noel, Lynne and John join us and after a great meal and of course another game of cards we head back to the sunroof for a deserved snooze in the sun.
But after only 2 songs on my Ipod, Alex comes up. He arrived yesterday late, after riding on the back of a motorcycle for 50 km and asks me to come along:
"Harry, we have to catch sheep!"

John is interested as well and we head out into the village with a local, but there are no sheep to be found, all are out in the fields. So we hire a care with driver, an old tractor with a cart behind, and rumble along the bumpy roads until we spot some sheep. The woman working in the fields points to the biggest one and seems to mean it is hers.
Alex, John and I walk towards her, but the sheep knows what is coming and runs away. We form a triangle and try to catch it, but every time the smart animal finds a way out.
Just when she finds a way between me and John, I take a huge dive and can just get one hand in the fleece and it immediately goes down. We got it!
We bring her back to the tractor, where the woman let's us know that is not hers and she does not know who it belongs to... Guess it's the sheeps lucky day! We let her go and she jumps back into the fields, confused.
We drive around and do find some decent sheep. John catches one as well and the negotiiating starts while the children flock around us.
We bring two big sheep back and find some more smaller ones in the village when we return.

As Buddhists cannot kill anything, but they need meat for their diet, there is a person in the village, sometimes traveling, who kills animals. Thiis makes him the lowest of the lowest in the community and he lives in a tent just outside of town.
As a western citizen we mostly never see any meat before it hits our plate. All the gruesome details between the fluffy animal in the fields and the lambchops in the restaurant are noormally hidden fromour view and minds.
I do not eat much meat myself and normally have no interest in seeing animals getting killed, but it is is really fascinating to see how a sheep is killed in Tibet.

The butcher takes the sheep and turns it on it's back. This is not comfortablefor the animal of course, but the sheep hardly potests. Then he makes a small slice in the skin of the sheep's belly, not deep and only about 8 cm long. Again the sheep did not seem to notice the sharp knife cutting.
But then the butcher enters the sheep with his arm, goes to the heart with a second and does something with the aorta and heart and the sheep seems to simply fall asleep without any movement or noise, likely from lack of blood/oxygen to the brain.
Somehow the blood is being captured in the stomach and when the butcher dismembers the sheep within 5 minutes there is no blood at all, everything is amazingly clean.

Still the liver dish that Alex is preparing does not sound appealing to most and we rather return to our favorite restaurant for some Chinese/Tibethan food and another game of cards.. Another strange day in our large Everest adventure..

Song of the day:
Phil Lynnott & Gary Moore:
"Out in the fields"
« Last Edit: May 13 2005, 23:12 by Romke »
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