Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Paro, Bhutan

I've been amazed at how often I have been able to blog from everywhere on this trip. Of all the places I was doubtful about it, Bhutan was tops on the list. But we are staying at very nice places and the internet seems to be pervading even the most remote corners of the world. From halfway around the globe, I have been able to communicate what we are experiencing.

Today was spent touring around numerous locales in the Paro Valley. Bhutan is about the size of Switzerland, or Vermont and New Hampshire combined (about 18,000 sq. mi.) and has 18 major valleys that run south out of the Himalaya. About 25,000 people live in the Paro Valley and we met a few of them today.

The Paro Valley looking north from our hotel toward the high Himalaya. The trees all around us are a species of pine.

Dropping down into the town with the fortress and the high peaks peaking through the clouds. It was supposed to be 80% chance of rain today but it never materialized and the sunshine was nice.

Finally seeing some rocks! This is a mica schist that we get out onto tomorrow on the hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery.

We visited a local farmhouse in the morning

Front entrance is on the second floor

Part of the interior

View of the south fa├žade

A single piece of wood was used to make this ladder to the roof

A colorful scene

Next we visited a small school located up in the valley

We were able to interact with the students who were learning English, the second language of this country and many people are learning it

TCS and Starquest Expeditions made a nice contribution to the school and many of our guests also opened their wallets to support the programs here

When the students got out for lunch, it was a great time to get out the camera

No one in this country of 700,000 people that I have met is afraid to have their picture taken

An extravagant lunch was set up for us and for the first time on our trip we had some home cooking! Today it was fried chicken, cheeseburgers, and apple pie. They did it just for us.

Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and we got a chance to try our luck with it

THen there was some very colorful traditional dance pieces after lunch

I cannot explain any of it but it sure was colorful

Masked dancer



High up on the hill is our hotel, the Uma Paro. Tomorrow is the big hike to the monastery. Check back then for the photo's.

1 comment:

Gaelyn said...

Great to be introduced to the local culture. This is such a great tour. Sure glad you can post on this trip so almost real time. Makes up for me staying home this winter.