How to Fight a Tiger in Nepal
As Navy Land took over Nepal recently, we endeavored many of its exotic gems.
We rose at 5:30 am to hike atop a hill just to catch the majestic Nepalese sunrise. Alas, little did we know of the Nepalese fogs of late October.
Nevertheless, we didn't let the lack of sunrise views cloud our day. We went on to take a stroll through the ghetto streets of Thamil, and drown in its debauchery.
We sang, we laughed, we shopped.
We created a sexy audience
Or visiting a beautiful graveyard
Or watching dead bodies toast in flames at a local temple
Not for the faint of heart
A very valuable lesson embraced by Navy members would be: How to fight a tiger - for dummies.
All we had to do was go for a hike in a Nepalese jungle with our local guide Raj to discover that a tiger can be fought using nothing more than a hiking stick and a torch!
As we started our longest hike during the trip – 14k up and 14k down and through a jungle, whose name I forgot in all the excitement, Raj made an unexpected announcement: Beware! Soon we may face wild beasts, it is a jungle after all.
His sage advice was to remain as one big group, because wild carnivorous animals tend not to like to have too many food options all at once, so the more of us who stick together, the more we would increase our chance of survival.
With 33 of us on board, we were confident that the tiger would be appalled by the size of the open buffet in front of him and turn back once he saw us, so we decided to proceed with the hike.
We walked side by side in one rhythmic gait, joking and chanting army rhymes - to scare off the tiger of course.
Then suddenly, our veteran beast @itsabdulbaby saw the tiger peeking down at us between the bushes.
We were quick to take action, Abdul quickly grabbed the ultimate tiger-fighting armament – the hiking stick!
And so did all the guys in the group, we all stood in one cozy embrace as the armed members of the group pointed their sticks towards the bushes.
We stood in silence ready to counter attack the evil tiger.
Our military formation was too overwhelming for the tiger - he did not dare to approach.
Nonetheless, we continued to walk in that beautiful defense structure until we passed the bushes where Abdul saw the tiger.
But that was not the end; the tiger was bound to make a comeback.
As we continued to hike up the trail, Raj suggested we take an alternative trail through the jungle to make it more exciting.
As we started to go up the stairs among the jungle trees, Abdul instructed us to all hold hands as we went up; after all if the tiger sees us as a group it won't attack - that was our anti-tiger safety 101 technique. Maybe the tiger would think we're too cute to be eaten as we strolled like Teletubbies.
Indeed we made it safely through the jungle protected by our cuteness. I finally understand what they mean by 'Survival of the Fittest'.
But the real adventure began after we reached the peak, took awesome pictures and a dramatic video sponsored by Abdul.
As the sun started to go down, and we descended in groups the mood was light and the jokes were high.
It was pitch dark, silence filled the air, nothing can be seen or heard aside from our footsteps and magic torches.
Raj suddenly told us to stop, took a few steps forward and leaned towards the jungle side. He put his hand behind his ear listening to something unknown. He jumped back and tried to listen to the trees again, before he made his way backwards arms extended as if to protect us from an inevitable danger.
"We might face a tiger," he said in a shaky voice.
"When the tiger comes just attack his eyes with your torches and hold your hiking sticks up.
"Walk in one group slowly by its side, and it won't attack," he said.
At that point in time, we had no choice but to believe that our iphone torches would protect us from the tiger.
We walked the rest of the way with one hand holding the torch, and another holding the stick.
Time passed slowly, and the silence was deafening. But we certainly made it to our bus safely, and the tiger was exempt from our combat torches and sticks.
Many adventures followed that dramatic day in the jungle.
Our friend Tony broke his arm while wrestling fellow champion Obayda. You can trust a team of 35 people to make a mexican soap opera out of the situation: Sanaa cried, Chris fainted, Roberta trembled - #realtimetv
Thankfully, we managed to get Tony an ambulance and we all supported him like the Navy family that we are.