Lesson for the week – if you want to get a snow leopard moving tease her about having a sleep! Perhaps I hit a raw nerve last week when I chided the snow leopards for taking it easy, because not only have they got cracking this week but they’ve also skipped past the wee monkeys in the process! What a yo-yo journey these two teams are having! And what a week, too – they’ve both now crossed from Iran into Pakistan and are separated by around 50 miles. Hopefully they’re enjoying the easier walking along the coast of the Arabian Sea, with more to engage them than just the desert that they’ve endured for so many weeks. It’s a great achievement to have walked the length of Iran, to say nothing of the rest of the journey they’ve made, and now, around 800 miles from the end, I hope there’s a renewed spring in the step, coupled with a New Year Resolution to get to Chaparda.
The wee monkeys spend this evening in the village of Naliant, a place that sadly suffers from a terrible shortage of water. To be so close to a major reservoir – the Sawad Dam is only 4 miles away – seems almost criminal and speaks of the lack of political will to find a solution for the 7,000 inhabitants of Naliant.
Ahead of them, the snow leopards are close to the much more populous city of Pasni, where water seems much less of a problem. It’s got some popular beaches and stunning cliffs, as you see from our featured image this week. It can be reached on a weekend trip from Karachi so it’s a popular spot. But it’s got it’s problem too, with the port having to close for lack of contracts, and the fishing harbour requiring serious investment if it’s to be allowed a reasonable chance of developing.
Having rushed so much this past week let’s hope the snow leopards can ignore these problems and take a bit of a break to enjoy an ice cream, or a paddle in the sea… or even a swim – it’s around 19 degrees in the daytime, about as cold as it gets in this part of Pakistan, so it shouldn’t be too shivery!
Shivery is exactly what it is, though, for our tigers. Bulgaria has a cold week forecast, with snow and freezing temperatures expected. On the south side of Sofia now, I hope the tigers can get some warm hospitality in one of the many monasteries that can be found in the surrounding hills. On Google Maps I count at least four; Draglaveski Monastery, Kokalyanski Monastery, the ‘German’ Monastery and the Lozen Monastery of the Holy Saviour. They all look to be very inviting and are no doubt beautiful at this time of year. But that’s maybe a bit too holy for some of our tigers,who might prefer a bit of skiing and apres-ski at the Vitoshko Lale Ski Track, maybe more the tiger style!
Cold weather of any sort is probably far from the memory of our peacocks, who, as we noted in our WhatsApp chat group, have now crossed into India and so are very much on the final leg of the journey. Tonight they’re in the village of Khavda, a small village with big dreams… it’s home to what by 2025 will become the largest solar and wind farm in the world. Covering a massive area of 726 km2 (that’s twice the size of the Isle of Wight) it will generate 30 gigawatts of electricity. To put that figure into perspective, it requires 4.5 gigawatts of energy to power London, so we can see that it’s a massive renewable project.
Being the ideal place for a solar and wind park means it’s not the ideal place to go for a walk! It’s a region of blazing sun and constant winds blowing over a vast uninterrupted plain. So we hope the peacocks don’t get sunburned or too weary travelling through. If they need an incentive, though I doubt they do, it’s now only around 300 miles until they reach the Jay Ambe Hospital. They’re in India, they’re in Gujarat, they’re in good form and they’re close to home…!
So there we are, all our teams in very different situations: the snowy mountains of Serbia, the drought-suffering and cooling seas of the south of Pakistan, and the vast plain of norther India. There has been a collective total of 435 miles covered in the past 7 days, which is great. That’s almost double the mileage of the week before.
What you might notice is that there are very few updates on funds raised, and there’s a simple reason for that – we’re not raising any! So maybe that’s an incentive to start rattling the collecting can under the noses of all those you know who had the new year resolution to give more to charity!
On the website this week there will be a review of the year and a look forward to 2022, as well as news of our ‘Acupuncture in Action’ grants. I’ll put a note on the What’sApp group when it’s ready.
Have a great week…