He was drawn to Nepal by its mountains and valleys and it brought him back for the second time. But now, this lover of Nepal says he will never return to Nepal.
"This is my last visit to your country," said the Russian trekker, Sergei Kyamikali with moist eyes from his hospital bed, "I will never return." Kyamikali is a radio engineer in Moscow and had come with a friend to Nepal for a trekking trip and was on his way to Kodari in a taxi last week. The taxi ran over a Maoist landmine at Chehere.
"I will tell the world about what the Maoists did to us," he told Kantipur, "and I will tell them not to go to Nepal." The explosion wounded the 43-year-old tourist gravely on both feet, although his friend and the driver were ok. He was immediately airlifted to the army hospital in Chhauni where he is still recovering. "If the army hadn't airlifted me, I'd not be speaking to you now," he said.
Kyamikali's wife and two children are waiting for him to get well enough to fly back to Moscow and the Russian Embassy is taking care of arrangements. "My wounded body is in Nepal but my heart is in Moscow," said Kyamikali, who says he can't wait to get back.
Kyamikali reserves his strongest words for the Maoists. "What had we done to them that we deserved to be bombed?" he asked. The tourism industry, reeling under a serious drop in arrivals, is worried that news of this unprecedented attack on tourists will make things worse.