PUBLISHED ON VELA MAGAZINE.“Having a horse here is like having a motorbike in the city,” Bhupendra Sherchan explained the first day we rode out together on the flanks of snow-capped Nilgiri. The day was still pleasant and autumn-like, the light white, the winds as gentle as the sheep eddies in the town’s single unpaved street, but that would change. Come noon, the wind would rise and the daily Himalayan sand blast would begin.At least there were no motorbikes in Jomsom, not like there were in Katmandu. Not one. For motor vehicles, Jomsom had two tractors. Since the village can only be reached by foot or by air, those two tractors had been lifted in; I picture them dangling beneath a helicopter as the gusts over the ridges of the Annapurna Range flung them about like a ribbon on a kite’s tail, but more likely they arrived on the back of a yak, or perhaps piecemeal on the regular stomach-eviscerating, twelve-seat flight from Pokhara, as I had come.
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