Trongsa Dzong and journey to Bumthang valley

Trip Start Jun 11, 2005
Trip End Dec 22, 2005

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Saturday, October 8, 2005

The journey from Wangdue to the Bumthang valley was long and windy taking about 7 hours. Tcheko's driving was very safe but quite slow in our comfortable minivan. Bhutan is 70% covered by forest and the houses became more spread out as we ventured east. The people too are a little different and more traditional.

We visited another Dzong at Trongsa, again really atmospheric. You are not allowed to take any photos inside which is a shame (though understandable) as they are decorated so beautifully. The temples are different to those we saw in Tibet, which are much darker and full of pilgrims making offerings. In Bhutan there are fewer people but they are in much better condition and the paintings and statues are really colourful. We often discussed the similarities and differences with Tibet with Phub who educated us really well on Buddhism, though it remains really complex to us as there are so many images of the same deities. At least some of it makes sense now though.

Phub also proved to have a fantastic memory for western film stars and pushed Jerry hard with his knowledge of English and European football. When Maggi allowed (!) Jerry and Phub debated Pompey's prospects for the season at great length!

By this time we had decided to change our itinerary to include the Bumthang Cultural Trek and Rainbow Tours had told us about a festival that was taking place at Jakar Dzong the following week that we could see after the trek. A great bonus.
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