A prize trip to Bhutan

This post currently make use of the free Meow Gallery plugin for WordPress and the (not-free) WP/LR plugin which links pictures from an Adobe Lightroom repository to WordPress. Are these tools good? Well, difficult to say! This is a first attempt, and has left me with a few questions!

In 2006 we sat after-hours in our local Cotswold Camping shop. We were listening to a talk about trekking in far-flung places. As we left we were urged to fill out a form – personal data in exchange for entry into a prize draw. Some time later I learned that I had won! It was a trip to Bhutan.

It seemed strange at the time that this was a trip for one.

When I arrived in Kolkata I found that, even stranger, all the accommodation for me – hotel rooms and tents were arranged for two sharing. In my room I found the BBC’s Tom Service resting-up from his travels.

Tom is great on music as listeners to BBC’s radio 3 will now know very well, but I knew nothing of this then; I soon learned however that he is a loud snorer. We later managed to negotiate separate tents, with our Indian guide agreeing to some other arrangement for himself.

This picture guide should mostly be self explanatory. We start and end in Kolkata from where we fly to Paro.

The trek is quite short, around 5 or 6 days with 3 or 4 hours walking each day. We start near Paro and end at the capital Thimpu. There is a little bit of sightseeing before and after the Trek. If you have questions there is a comments section nearby!

The pictures are not quite in chronological order …

Half a day in Kolkata, before the plane to Paro in Bhutan.

We have a day to explore Paro before a trial walk up the the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Taktsang. This first day already hit one of our party with altitude problems.

Our first night on the trek was just a short walk from Paro.

The short walking days and low distances quickly became a bit frustrating. One lunchtime with the trek over for the day I headed for the hills by myself. There were some big footprints in the snow – impressive enough for me to find an AA battery to measure them against. When I returned to camp an hour or two later I found our Indian guide had gone searching for me! A bit of misunderstanding …

The trek ended at Thimpu where there was a bit more sightseeing.

A highlight for me was coming across this beast, not seen by me before.

On the bus ride back to Paro we saw migrants from India or Nepal working on the road with their families camped beside.

A night back in Kolkata left a few hours to explore some a graveyard.

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