Bowled Over by Bhutan - 2007

(everything is cooked with the ubiquitous chilli peppers always decorating the rooftops

of the homes while they are drying), sought repose in surprisingly comfortable and

luxurious hotels, gaped at sublime landscapes, and attempted to learn something of

the amazingly convoluted history of the country and its unique practice of Buddhism.

We enjoyed the company of a charming and educated young guide, Kelzang, and our

excellent driver, Tschering, a man with 15 years experience in driving the treacherous

roads of Bhutan and Northern India. He was completely unflappable and never frightened

us even once!


So how did a burro get into the story? He actually appears during the first full day of our

stay in Bhutan.

After having flown through the alarming mountain maze that the airplane must thread to

reach the 6000 ft. Paro Valley, we had one night to rest before beginning our first hike to the

13,000 ft. Tiger’s Nest Monastery. However, our dreams that night were filled with the

memories of the glorious views we had of Mount Everest on the flight in. The mountain was

in clear view-- no clouds hiding its lofty head—against a bright blue sky. What a

view to excite the imagination and enter the soul of any lover of mountains!

The Paro Valley is a narrow defile and the low hillsides seem almost to touch the wings of

the Drukair plane as we passed. The hanging rags of clouds decorated the valley but also

added to the suspense of the approach to the airport itself. But the pilots for the national

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