|Anna wooing the locals in Bumthang|
Quite some time later I got an e-mail out of the blue that I very nearly binned: it was titled "Mad Australian Woman". Something made me open the e-mail and that is how I got introduced to Anna's brother Eric Campbell. Eric is a presenter for Australian Broadcasting Corporation's news programme - Foreign Correspondence. Eric said that Anna had told him they needed to do an item on Ophiocordyceps sinensis. They were doing a shoot in Nepal in May 2011 and asked if this could fit with the Cordyceps season. Perfect. The Bhutanese government allow locals to collect in June. With my colleagues at the Renewable Natural Resources (Yusipang) we still maintain a yearly fixed-plot survey.
|From left to right: yak-hair tent, Marianne, Dave and Eric|
I would like to personally thank the Royal Government of Bhutan for all the support they have given to our project over the years - starting in 2002. And significantly, the support they gave in helping to get a film crew up into the rugged mountains. The logistics for getting a film crew to Bhutan and then looking after them safely fell to White Tara Tours and Treks and Nirvana Tours. The greatest logistical hurdle was keeping Dave's camera batteries charged up - there is no mains electricity in the mountains. We had a somewhat temperamental generator with us at first but when it looked as if that was beginning to suffer from altitude sickness a replacement was brought up - no easy task. Suffice to say that there was never an evening when Dave could not charge up his batteries and Eric could not charge up his electric toothbrush. That has surely got to be the first time in Bhutan (possibly the whole of the Himalayas) that an electric toothbrush has gone above the tree-line (4000 metres).