Bowled Over by Bhutan - 2007

wait for her and Kelzang right there with the wonderful views of the monastery. Micki,

having come from the base camp of Everest in Tibet just the day before, was fully

acclimatized and had no trouble at all completing the ascent to the Tiger’s Nest.After Micki

and Kelzang headed off to finish the hike, Kay & I decided to walk on up at a slow pace on

our own.

We had completed a couple of switchbacks upward when we heard thundering hooves. We

knew that tourists and pilgrims could make the ascent atop small mules/burros but that no

one could descend on their backs. The animals would be riderless we knew; however, we

assumed they were under the control of the guides or wranglers.

Where we were at the time of our burro encounter was at a divide in the trail around a

little hill of rocks. We hurriedly climbed up the coarse granite hillock, assuming that

the burros would flow around us as they continued to descend. That is not how one

of the animals saw his path at all! He decided to come right over the granite

rocks and go straightaway to grazing on the trailside. He jumped up and scrambled

over the boulders coming directly at Kay. His shoulder caught her backpack and lifted

her completely off her feet. She fell but luckily was not trampled by his flying hooves.

However, she rolled down the hill and landed face down on the gravelly trail. The

“attacking” burro was by that time calmly grazing on the vegetation that lined the outer

edge of the trail (those bushes and shrubs prevented Kay from rolling on down the

hillside).

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