How I Survived Voluntary Kidnapping
This time however I decided to spend 24 hours in the middle of nowhere on a mountain with a bunch of locals.
The easiest way to explain the evening is ‘camping’. To a largely western audience any place with wild animals, fire as the primary source of heat and light, and an outhouse is ‘camping’. This however is known locally as ‘every single day in a village’.
The whole thing is essentially Matt’s fault, he has a friend in town whose friend’s cousin lives in a ‘resort’ so we decided it would be fun to spend a weekend there. This resort will have, next season, fruit trees, local vegetables, and a beautiful field of grass.
As of now it is mostly mud. It was raining hard, and thus was mostly very slippery mud.
Anyone who knows me is aware of my near magical ability to fall down while wearing a five point safety harness, needless to say I spent the majority of the evening muddy and wet.
We started the whole evening by grabbing 2kg of what I assume was pork from a roadside butcher and then driving for almost an hour, which in Nepal translates to about 25km as the roads lack… well, road. It’s mostly gravel with the occasional cement stretch complete with small dog sized potholes, one does not tend to drive fast.
Upon arrival we hiked up a darkened stretch of muddy path while our local friends did their best to assure us that we probably would not be attacked by a leopard, I would honestly have felt safer without the constant assurance, mostly because I do not generally anticipate being attacked by a leopard if no one mentions the possibility.
When we arrived we sat at a table in a stone structure without a door or window, although it did have holes for the future placement of these things. We found a large chunk of plywood and leaned it against the doorhole to keep the wind and presumably leopards out, it was of little use in either scenario sadly.
The pounding rain meant we could not go outside and sit at the firepit, so we made a fire inside and roasted pork, like marshmallows, over the fire. The porkmallows and I were both generously seasoned with local herbs so a good time was had. Then came a local beverage which I cannot pronounce, it tasted like grain alcohol mixed with equal parts jet fuel, but it was strong so one didn’t need to consume much.
At this point someone decided to cook a couple of chickens, which were very tasty, although I did literally end up eating a face. Ordinarily I prefer not to know my food had a face, let alone consume it specifically, but this far into the evening I was beyond caring.
Ujjwal brought out his guitar and proceeded to entertain us in the now heavily smoke filled room, I would anticipate the atmosphere was over 60% campfire smoke, and at least another 10% smoke from other sources, so it was somewhat difficult to breathe and many tears were shed.
Some time past midnight, long after the darkness had settled in quite nicely outside, we decided to call it a night and head to where we planned to sleep, luckily, in a rather leopard proof house. The trek through invisible paths no more than six inches wide and covered in slick mud was an adventure in and of itself.
When morning came we walked back to the camping shed for breakfast, someone had wisely put the unused pork from the night before on spikes hanging from the roof, unrefrigerated certainly, but it wasn’t overly hygienic in the first place, so we gave it a liberal visit to the fire and proceeded to eat it anyhow.
Luckily for me I, like sharks, possess a nearly indestructible digestive system, so when offered local water I consumed that as well, to no lasting ill effect. Full of food of unknown provenance and safety we walked around looking at the future site of things other than mud. There was then a thirty minute climb up a mountain to see a field. I opted out having the previous evening fairly ruined my knees ability to bend in one of my many falls into creeks, fields, and assorted water filled holes.
The entire event was from start to finish complete madness. I will be spending as many weekends as possible in the foreseeable future visiting this place.