Today was our first relatively easy trek. We drove up the valley that Thimphu the capital city sits in to the end of the road. Our guide Tenzin, pointed out a monastery sitting high on the mountain ahead of us. I didn’t hear him say that is where we are trekking to. We cross a small bridge over the icy river and then started following a trail that switchbacked its way up the side of the mountain. We stopped for a breather at a chorten on the way up. A chorten is a shrine or a stupa, and inside are usually relics, but you can’t get inside as its often sealed or a concrete structure.
Once we reached the monastry it was a beautiful sight with wild and tame mountain goats hopping around eating grass and licking moss. One even decided that drinking its own urine was tasty! It doesn’t seem like my own proverb/phrase/saying has caught on here yet. But as a wise me once said “The daring goat gets all the tasty moss”.
We went inside for a spiritual moment that I couldn’t photograph or talk about. then we hiked down the mountain at rapid pace, it would have been slower if i jumped I think. We had a nice lunch, which we have noticed a pattern. Rice plus multiple dishes or all sorts of things, some tasty, some spicy. The food is nice and filling, but by the end of the week I’ll be craving the Thai food I’ll be eating next week!
In the afternoon we visited the Takin reserve,where the national animal of Bhutan hangs out. Looks like a half goat/half cow. It was pelting down rain so we viewed it from the car at a distance. We also visited the National Library of Bhutan to see the worlds largest book. It wasn’t as impressive as I hoped. Yes it weighs 65 KGs and is apparently 1.7m tall, but it was laying down in and enclosed case so it was hard to get the scale of it. We also visited a craft school with students learning skills in things like weaving, carving and sculpting.
We are going to see a cultural display tonight and tomorrow we are off to another valley for 2 nights.