Day 13 (2-9) - Saturday, November 09, 2019 - Overland to Paro; Hongtsho Settlement; Kyichu Temple; Time to Explore Paro
Our departure time was at 9:00 so we had plenty of time to finish packing our bags and have breakfast. Five of the group had gone ahead with Jamyang and the luggage van making lots of extra room on our bus.
Wangdi reminded us of the day’s adventures even though he always gives us a written itinerary each evening at dinner. It was not long until we were back on the bus and driving on the National Highway on our way to Paro. Our morning climb would take us from 4,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level.
Yenten made a special stop so we could take a photo of the highest Himalayan peak in Bhutan. Gangkhar Puensum is 24,840 feet above sea level and it remains unclimbed because the Bhutanese consider it a sacred mountain.
Our morning stop was at Dochula Pass at 10:30. There was time to use the rest rooms and climb to the top of the mountain of 108 stupas again. We took photos of the prominent Bhutanese Himalayan Range. The central peak, Masagang, was so incredibly beautiful at 21,621 feet.
As today was Saturday, there were so many more tourists there than a few days before. We picked up the morning hikers and Jamyang and Yenten transferred the luggage from the bus back to the luggage truck.
Just past the immigration station at Honggtsho, we stopped to visit a friend of Wangdi, named BJ. We had a coffee and tea and were able to talk to him about his family’s Nepalese background.
He shared his perspectives of the people from Nepal who dissented against the government in the1980s. There were problems with discrimination because his family never had citizenship even though they were born in Bhutan.
BJ loved western music and played his guitar and sang a few songs for us. It was noon when we thanked BJ and started back down the pass.
Wangdi explained that because we have had so many Bhutanese meals that he would like to try a new restaurant that served a variety of foods from grilled sandwiches, pad thai, to pizza.
The lunches were great and the service was excellent. In addition to the restaurant there was a little gift shop. Gennie found post cards, the first we have seen in the country.
Our next learning and discovery was the 7th Century, Kyichu Lhakhang Temple. Wangdi gave us an overview and we had time to take photos of the gardens and enjoy the serenity of the ancient prayer hall.
Yenten took us directly to the hotel and after checking in, we met our group at 4:30 for an orientation walk in Paro. Gennie was able to buy some stamps for the post cards she bought earlier.
Back at the hotel, Wangdi gave us an overview of our hike early the next morning. We took time to look at our photos and finish the journal.
Tomorrow is the hike we have been training for, The Tiger’s Nest. The wake-up call will be at 5:00 and we will depart the hotel at 6:30 to avoid the crowds and the heat.
Meals included: B, L, & D
Accommodations: Spirit of Bhutan Resort
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Well now you have made me very nervous. You all be very careful tomorrow and if you do not get to the top, then you climbed as far as God would allow. If its too much, then please stop and be so very careful. As usual, loved the journal and photos.
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What an exciting day! Will never be there, but thanks to you, I saw the Himalayas, (almost in person), the Paro Fortress at night (incredibly beautiful) and the market -- same everywhere, huh? Your guide was very thoughtful to give you a change in the menu for lunch or dinner. Thanks for the pics. God bless
Just before we were to go on our first journey of 2020, the COVID-19 virus hit and the world shut down for travel and adventure.
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