Friday, 2 October 2009

Bhutan update

So let me tell you how this holiday works. There's 13 of us. We have a planned route of things to see and places to go. We have limited time in Bhutan (6 days), we have an English tour guide (David) and a Bhutanese tour guide (Thimley) (he's only in the Bhutan part of this trip of course). We are staying in hotels, we have buffet food breakfast, lunch and dinner. We go round in a little bus driven by my new buddy Uygen who's very smiley and i think he thinks i'm hilarious.
I seem to be one of the youngest tourists in Bhutan at the moment. Bhutan likes tourists, but not too many.
You can't get in to Bhutan as a tourist unless you go as part of a group.
I don't care about your backpacking bravado, i'm a girl on my own and i'm safe and sleeping well, and i have limited time. This suits me fine.
I'm the youngest in our group by 10 years. I dont mind at all. Infact i love it, I have many adopted mums. There's a zoologist and 2 vets in our group, they're very interesting. We stopped and saw wild monkeys in the trees, and birds of prey in the air, and i get to hear all about them from experts. We went to the "zoo" which was actually a nature reserve with 2 animals in enclosures, deer and Takin. The old King once let the Takin out thinking it was mean to keep animals behind bars, but they wouldn't leave and created a nuisance in the roads, so now there's about 10-15 Takin in the park and they're very odd and interesting, and i got a detailed explanation from 3 experts. Interesting!! ;-)
No. Really. I love looking at animals.

Bhutan has exceptionally beautiful countryside, so unspoilt. And because all houses have to adhere to these traditional styles, everywhere looks so picturesque. Traditional dress, traditional houses, traditional deities and guardians in the temples too. Which get very confusing. I can spot Manjushri, Avaloketishvara, Buddha (of course), Tara (even some of her 21 manifestations) but then i come a bit unstuck. I can now tell Guru Rinpoche too, and the "Divine Madman" (normally cause he has a big phallus near him) - but the other 100's... i'm still stuck.
I have visited many of the places i was hoping to in Bhutan that are in the earlier blog's photos. But tomorrow we go up to the Tiger's nest monastery. It's about a 2.5 hr trek. I'm going to do some of it on a horse, just because i want to ride.
We travelled back from Punaka today to Paro where we started in Bhutan. Tomorrow is our last day (Saturday) as Sunday morning we're back to Kathmandu, and then hopefully Tuesday morning we're into Tibet. Fingers crossed.
It's 9.15pm here and we leave at 7.30am so i'm going to get going.

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