maandag 5 oktober 2009

finally the trip to Bumthang

Leaving from Thimphu at 7o clock was the aim. Bumthang was the goal!
The evening before leaving we organized a last dinner with Campbell, our Australian friend leaving on saturday, back to his home town. We will miss him and our civilized conversations!

6.30, the time I wanted to wake up, Mr Tsirring was already standing in front of my door. The trip would be a trip of 300km, in Bhutanese norms, at least 8 hours driving.

Our first stop, dochu la which sadly enough was clouded, but not less beautiful. We continue towards Rukubji, THE city of Marc Dujardin. He lived here for two weeks, but analyzed the village during some time. A nice little traditional village, with some great houses. And dough even here sadly enough they start building in concrete. The easy way out!
The former town chief and friend of Marc invited us in his house. The house with the typical, way to steep stair, small dark little rooms and of course the altar with the pictures of the whole family.

the view on the way to Rukubji


We continue to Trongsa, to eat some spicy food, and head towards Yotong la (3425m), the second viewpoint of our trip. And again, bad luck, clouds everywhere. But Tsirring is still happy, is still in love with the King, and sings 'hey there delayla'!
The story about the king is amazing! I tried to record it, and hope to find a way to post it here because the theories are great! You have to know that they have a democracy since 2 years, and so the whole country had to vote. That rural people don't know that the world is round, that in Bhutan 95% of the people have at least 8 pictures of the King in their living room, and finally, that the Kings color is Yellow.
Knowing this the only possible winning party was of course the yellow one. This is the reason why they prohibited the parties to use a color. :-) These people are lovely!!

12 hours later, in Jakar, our final destination we reach our LODGE! A big mansion with 20 rooms, all empty, just for us! I chose a room, the guys chose a room for there conquests. 8 o clock, we go out for a drink and some karaoke, some pool, another drink and again some karaoke. I thought I was a bad singer, maybe here I found my calling.

Next morning, without a headache, but with some stomach ache (probably a reaction on all the spicy food we ate in the past weeks), we visit the Burning lake, Pema Lingpa's swimming pool.
And Tamshing Goemba. (Temple of the good message) Personally the temple I liked the most in Bhutan. Old, peaceful, nicely decorated (original paintings),...

Bumthang is as well the city of Guru Rimpoche. Known as the Guru who captured the demon of the early king of Bumthang and converted it to Buddhism. He meditated in Bumthang, leaving an imprint of his body in the rock, now surrounded by the Kurjey Goemba. Guru Rimpoche from Nepal who brought Buddhism to Bhutan.
Tsirring has only one goal while visiting all the temples, getting blessed and bring some blessed water home, to bless his baby. Next to this temple, Tsirring finally found his holy water, at the source of Kurjey. People walk 20km to reach this source, while carrying liters of water... We drunk from it and were again blessed for some hours. :-)

Jampey Lhakhang an other great temple, has some great stories and off course was visited by Guru Rimpoche and possesses an imprint of his foot inside. Inside there are three steps representing the ages. On of the steps, representing the past age, descended in the ground already. The next step, representing the present age is at the same level as the floor. The top step represents the new age. Bhutanese people believe that when the second step sinks into the ground, the gods will become human and the world as it is now will end. Wars and other bad things would not be from this world anymore. The temple is also known for its late night ritual dances. On of these dances are the naked dances, one of the famous fertility rites. (don't ask :-) )

We return to our mansion, for some ritual drink called 11000. Tsirring, away from home since 2 days goes crazy!
Talks about woman, beer, his past as a womanizer,... We leave the mansion for some food, and off course some karaoke and pool. Belgium against Bhutan, Belgium wins the first round, the second round was lost.
The next day we have a quiet breakfast... We start our trip at 11 O clock. After some emergency stops along the road we reach Trongsa. We visit the Trongsa Dzong and the defense castle, transformed in a museum. Pele la, the mountain top, clouded on the way to Bumthang, was now as clear as possible. Far far away we can see the Jomalhari (7314m), the highest mountain of Bhutan, surrounded by other great mountains.
We finally reach Thimphu at 10 O clock in the evening.

Jomalhari in de verte

We now saw almost whole of Bhutan.

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