RSS Social Icon Facebook Social Icon Dig Youtube Social Icon

Down under in Akbakai…(6/1/05)

(Click here to view the complete list of diary entries) Just a quick update to let you know that I as yet have not moved on. For almost two weeks I have been in and around the gold-mining village of Akbakai. My horse’s abscess passed through alright and I celebrated the New Year on the street in minus twenty, ducking for cover from dodgy chinese fireworks. However, then it was my turn to get sick. I came down with a flu and cough on New Year’s day and have been rugged up ever since. I am staying with ‘Baidak,’ the man who rescued me from the cold and served me fried eggs all those days ago when I first arrived on Christmas eve. His house is partly underground and I have nicknamed him the ‘Big Marmot’ which has stuck- the locals call him this now. It has been an exhausting ‘rest’ here. At every celebration from the birthday party to new years I am considered the guest of honour and am obliged to give toasts every half hour. Vodka has been on drip feed and I have constantly offended people by not drinking the full shots and only taking sips. Every time someone walks in the door they are quick to address me with the running joke: “Lie down, rest! We haven’t let you go yet. No problems, we will find you a wife! You are staying in Akbakai forever!” Meanwhile the herder who is looking after my horses at the winter hut continually tells me: “Tim! My advice is that you sell the horses, go back home for winter, come back in March, and buy a camel!” Everyone tells me that I am mad to be travelling in winter, particularly without a gun. This is the first real break that I have had since starting the trip seven months ago, so it is probably no surprise that I have become sick. I can’t wait to get moving again. I just hope that this break doesn’t mean that my intended rest period in February will be shortened. Hope all is well. The Tsunami disaster is really bloody hard to comprehend from here, so far from the ocean. Makes our little problems on the road so insignificant. Best wishes in the New Year, Tim. (Click here to view the complete list of diary entries)