Bhutan November 05

5th November
Time just flies by and every turn in the road brings another amazing view , wonderful temple, prayer wheels water driven by mountain waterfalls spinning and roadside stalls with local vegetables and roasted corn. Far too many things to describe in detail until there is more time. This afternoon we arrived at the Punakha Dzong. Situated at the confluence of two rivers it was restored in the early 2000s after being badly damaged in floods in the late 1990s. One river flows icy green the other darkly forbidding, one represents female the other male and then they combine and flow on down the valley. The Dzong is approached across a bridge and presents a forbidding face. It contains intricate carvings and, tranquil courtyards and the temple provided a place for inner reflection and quiet meditation. From the Dzong we set off for our farmhouse stay and it was clear when we arrived that this was to be yet another amazing experience.
We were welcomed in the courtyard of our farmhouse in the village of Nubgang with tea. There were chillies and apple slices drying in the sun, a dog wagged a greeting. Six of us stayed in this farmhouse and the other seven were taken to another nearby. Shaking out our sleeping bags in the upstairs room (approached by the steepest stairs!) and looking out of the window towards the high mountains capped with snow we thought what an ideal life it seemed. After settling in we then all grouped back together round a huge fire, ate a marvellous meal and prepared for an evening of song and dance – not by us – but by the local villagers. It was a beautiful clear night, a half moon and lots of stars and the songs and dances by the young children, an old man and our driver and guide were most appreciated. Our contribution was a round of Kookabuura sits in the Old Gum Tree and The Hokey Pokey but the best was Auld Lang Syne. We went to bed prepared for a good nights sleep.
We woke early before sunrise, our host though was before us welcoming us with a cup of tea. Eight of us went off to explore and found the village delightful and the snow capped peaks beautiful in the early light. Breakfast was good and we were presented with bags of dried persimmons by the host family, a most appreciated gift.
We then set off down the mountain, led by Pema and Yugen and when I say down I mean down. The track was slippery in places, stepped in others and the views all the way down of the Phunarka Dzong were spectacular. We met local Bhutanese in the fields in the lower reaches who gave us pears. We went ever lower until we reached the river.
In the afternoon and after yet another great lunch we visited the Divine Mad Monk’s Monastery after a short walk across the paddy fields.
Filed under: Adventure travel