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Michael Palin - HimalayaVanessa Courtney, iron fist in velvet glove, negotiated us brilliantly through the choppy waters of security-ridden Pakistan and India, and the manic delights of Bangladesh. Claire Houdret soothed frayed nerves in Nepal, Nina Huang Fan was a tower of strength in China and Havana Marking and Natalia Fernandez kept morale up in the rarely trodden pathways of Nagaland and Assam. No-one could have looked after us better in the high Himalaya than Wongchu Sherpa, Mingmar Dorji Sherpa (who reached the top of Everest on 17 May 2004) and Nawang Dorjee Sherpa. Migmar was both on-screen and off-screen star in Tibet.

Life on the road would not be complete without Basil Pao, gastronomic adviser, menu translator, peerless photographer and, I suspect, closet trekker.

In the front office, the experienced hands and cool heads of Anne James and Mirabel Brook once again set our journey up with speed and great efficiency. Anne watched us through to the end, whilst Sue Grant stepped into Mirabel's shoes with aplomb. Natalia Fernandez worked tirelessly throughout the series, counting us out and counting us back. Lyn Dougherty and Steve Abbott took on the care of finances, and kept us both above the law and in the black. Paul Bird has done just about everything for us, short of coming on the journey, and Alison Davies has been wonderfully encouraging, as ever, as well as uncomplainingly taking on perhaps the worst job in the world deciphering my sound tapes.
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  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Acknowledgements
  • Country/sea: England
  • Place: London
  • Book page no: 286

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