Kanchenjunga Expedition- Helicopter lands in Tapleyjung (Day 11)
The M1 -17 helicopter finally lands in the airfield in Tapleyjung.
31August-2004 (Helicopter lands in Tapleyjung).
We are to leave for Ramche today and all our bags are packed. One of our bags along with items that we could require only at the base camp are loaded into the tractors along with other food supplies, medicines, oil, fruits, vegetables and all the kitchen and hicking paraphernalia.
Gasoline and oil our provisions for the expedition lie to be uploaded in the helicopter.
The helipad is a walking distance from our hotel and quite scenic. It is within the army cantonment here. There are armed gaurds all over the place. The helicopter arrives but cannot find the helipad in the clouds. It lands in the football ground where we were yesterday. The Russian pilots and engineers walk back from the helicopter to the helipad. They come with a woman-one of their wives. She is reasonably attractive and all the jawans stare at her. They go back and come back with the helicopter lands successfully.
Ashok the poser, poses with the M1-17 helicopter.
I take a lot of pictures-almost one roll. We sit around doing nothing for most of the time. However the helicopter wont leave today. They plan to go tomorrow and if the weather is good all five sorties would go. Major Amit is bewildered by all the english we speak amongst each other and tries to make fun of it all by his crude Haryanvi comments. I warm up to him after he asks me to come to the village fair. They have it every Wednesday. It is a small affair with mainly women selling anything from pigs, hens, clothes, chang and toumbra-(a local alcoholic bewerage) It is along a slope. Major Chauhan, Major Amit, Captain Amit and I roam around buying nothing.
The local open market. In the picture women make the intoxicating chang.