My short story goes back to 2009 when I had the privilege of riding with Alex Pirie for the third time in the Himalayas.
We were in Manali on our well deserved rest day, Alex was taking his team, me and the medics, Rob Mockett and Dave Lee to the old town to a Pizza joint he’d been talking about for days.
This involved a long walk up a steep hill, close to the top we all commented on a lady in her senior years stooped over looking frail but who seemed to be making better headway than us. As we paused to let her pass she looked up and smiled at us – probably chuckling to herself about the youth of today having no stamina!
We thought no more of it until we were sitting on the terrace of the little cafe waiting for our pizzas (Alex was still banging on about how bloody good they are). Suddenly we heard a mighty racket and watched a slate sliding down the roof of a building towards a crowd of people beneath. This slate was huge and had built up a lot of speed on it’s descent and launched itself into the crowd. To our horror it landed squarely on the shoulder of the old lady who we’d met on our way up.
She hit the ground and the crowd screamed and shouted. We all ran down, fought our way through the large gathering crowd, Dave and Rob offered their medical services to the poor lady moaning heavily on the ground. We were told we couldn’t help because she was afraid of medical fees. We had no choice but to leave her clearly in a lot of pain and who knows with what injuries.
A couple of hours later after our pizza, we were walking back down the hill and to our utter amazement the poor lady who’d been hit by the slate was walking towards us, and although clearly still in pain, she looked up at us, smiled in acknowledgment to Rob and Dave for their offer of help and carried on her way. Very humbling.
Well, I don’t need to point out to any of us, if this had happened in our cotton wool worlds how long the aftermath would go on. Not in India… you simply just get on with it. I think we could all do with dose of ‘just get on with it’.
WILL’S ADVENTURE TIP
Engage and enjoy the people, whose country you travel in.
ABOUT ‘ADVENTURER’S TALES’
A compilation of recollections in celebration of 10 years of Adventure Ashram, ‘Adventurer’s Tales’ is a true celebration of a decade of purposeful adventure by our charity partner Adventure Ashram, a small but mighty charity.
Complete with some great adventure tips, it not only provides handy pointers for when out ‘on the road’, but also some thought-provoking insights into the heart and spirit of adventure. Written with humour, passion and integrity, this wonderful book is a fine tribute to 10 years of Adventure Ashram. Click here to buy a copy.
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