Day 14 (2-10) - Sunday, November 10, 2019 - Tiger’s Nest Monastery at 10,232' ; Local Farm for Hot Stone Bath
The wake up call was at 5:00, followed by breakfast at 5:30. We left the hotel at 6:30 just when the sun was also getting up. Told to dress in warm layers, we complied and were grateful that we did as the temperature was 37 degrees and the humidity was 88%.
The sky was very clear and we were able to drive a little beyond our Tiger’s Nest trailhead to have photos of the snowcapped Bhutanese Himalayas. The views were incredible but we could not linger as today was devoted to the trek to the Tiger’s Nest.
Wangdi had Yenten stop again so we could see the Tiger’s Nest nestled high on the mountain ledge. Officially, it is over 3,000 feet above the valley and the river below. Also known as Taktsang, this site has been considered the holiest in Bhutan.
There were very clean restrooms near the parking area and after collecting our belongings and warm clothes; we started the ascent at 7:30. Wangdi planned for us to be there early to avoid the crowds and to escape the hot sun that would be shining on us soon.
The hike was divided into two segments, the first; to the Tea House was about two hours. Eleven of our group chose to ride the available horses up the first climb so it took awhile to get us all mounted up and ready with our Bhutanese handlers.
We were all very happy to have a ride up the bottom of the mountain, but we knew we would be climbing down on our own later in the day. The three that chose to hike the whole distance left a bit early and we met them at the Cafeteria or Tea House at about 8:35.
It was already getting hot, and after thanking our horse guides, we dropped off a few layers and continued the steeper climb. It took us more than two more hours climb to the top, at 10,300 feet. The monastery has been named as a UNESCO, World Heritage Site.
As we got closer to the monastery we could hear the mantras being chanted by the monks. After taking photos and admiring the views, we headed back down the trail. It was 12:10 when we reached the bus parking.
Of course, it took Gennie a little more time to walk through the gauntlet of vendors selling everything Bhutanese. Wangdi warned us that most were trinkets from China and to be aware of the phony handicrafts.
Back on the bus we shared stories of our adventures and then Yenten took us to the Taktsang Village Resort where we had a delicious lunch. We have really appreciated that this trip almost all of our meals have been served family style so we can try so many different dishes.
We did not get back to the hotel until 3:00 and most of us were pretty stiff and sore. Wangdi had just the plan for that – at 4:30 we boarded the bus again and he took us to a hot stone bath.
Common in Bhutanese homes, a wooden tub was filled with hot water and super heated stones were used to heat the water even hotter. Then medicinal herbs were added and we had a relaxing, soothing soak. The minerals from the hot rocks and the herbs made us all feel so much better.
Dinner was at the hotel and we all thanked Wangdi for a marvelous day. We should all sleep well after the strenuous hike and the comforting mineral bath.
Meals included: B, L, & D
Accommodations: Spirit of Bhutan Resort
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Sounded like a beautiful hike and trip up the mountain. The whole day sounded lovely, hot bath soak included .
Well that is for sure my favorite photo of you both. You can always think of the Monks chanting and that gorgeous day when you look at it. What a beautiful trip this is for you both, and such unforgettable times.
What a GRRRREAT day. I was tired just reading about the adventurous day. That hot stone bath sounded wonderful too. That place "Tiger's Nest" is , It is unbelievable!!! Is this someone's residence or a place of worship or what. I may have missed your explanation. Love the pics, God bless
What an adventure you’re having!
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Have enjoyed the photos and journal of your trip. Looks like the weather has been great and glad you made it to the Tiger's Nest. Enjoy the rest of the trip.
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