A Japanese woman who was missing for 12 days in the Himalayan mountains of Nepal told how she survived by eating bamboo shoots and drinking water.
Makiko Iwafuchi, 49, left her hotel on May 25 to trek to a nearby lake in Gosaikunda, a religious site for Hindus located at an altitude of 4,380 meters (14,370 feet).
But she lost her way in a forest and was only saved when a group of pilgrims finally found her by accident.
“The trail seemed pretty clear and I thought I would not get lost. I was confused and took the wrong trail,” Iwafuchi, an experienced trekker, told reporters in Kathmandu.
“For two days, I didn’t move. (I) stayed in a small cave. I thought about the food I would like to eat when I got back,” she recalled. “I ate leaves, bamboo shoots and drank a lot of water.”
Iwafuchi, a former jewellery trader who is now a full-time traveler, appeared exhausted and had minor injuries to her feet, but otherwise suffered no serious effects from her ordeal.
“When I heard the pilgrims, I felt it was like a miracle. I thanked God for saving me,” she said. “Now on I won’t trek alone. I’ve learned a lesson from this experience.”
Nepal hosts thousands of trekkers and mountaineers annually. The country has eight of the world’s 14 peaks over 8,000 meters, including the highest, Mount Everest, at 8,848 meters.
Yeah, not too bright!