Reaching New Heights
Trip Start Apr 15, 2010
30Trip End May 06, 2010
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
I am languishing in this beautiful hotel in Paro giving my aching knees and back a bit of a rest while the others head for a 4 hour trek to the Tiger's Nest. I would have loved to join them but my joints were having none of it.
Having become a connoisseur of mountain walking... or mountain scrambling.. I have made a study of the Bhutanese method of traversing te mountain trails. It seems like an almost Zen-like movement the way they walk up the mountain. It is a slow and measured pace, each step purposefully placed and while both feet are on the ground during the stride they have a nonosecond pause before taking the next step. I would love to walk beside one of these people to hear how they breath because I'm sure there is a definite way they breath while walking
We, on the other hand, have places to go and spectacular sights to see. The schedule that we had for our treking was a bit pressed. What is usually a 4day/3night trek was scheduled as a 3 day/2 night trek. I guess our tour agent thought we could all stand to lose a few kilos. So the first day was 6 hours of hiking, the next 7 hours of hiking and the 3rd 6 hours of hiking. Now you have to remember that hiking means plodding up the side of one of the himalayan mountains so you can get to points about 11,500ft above sea level. It was amazing, both for the scenery and the personal challenge.
I learned early on that I am a good starter while going up hill and after the first day took on the role of lead mare in the pony pack. I can trudge up the side of a mountain like nobody's business.. going down... now that's another story. On the downhill both my knees would protest with loud pops and grinding and I would ultimately be the straggler at the end of the day. The last day of 6+ hours mostly downhill was the killer!
The last day also saw us scampering along goat trails that were a little scary, but I will leave it to Jaye to talk about that.
But, the scenery was incredible and the company has been superb. The company that looked after us treated us all like the Raj while we were "camping". The horsemen and cooks headed out to the next site and had everything set up for us when we arrived tired and aching. You wouldn't think that 5 star meals could come from a campfire but you would be wrong! The food was amazing and the guys who were looking after us would not let us go without anything that we wanted. Of course we all wanted a pony, but that's where they drew the line.
The one thing that has become apparent while spending the last 3 days walking through the country side is that nothing is wasted. Our first night camping in the yak pasture we side stepped numerous poo piles. Before winter the locals will collect this and use it as a fire fuel through the winter. The cows that were house in the leantos, were bedded down on pile of pine needles that are abundent in the area. And the ever present dogs are the local version of the food composter. They scavenge anything that is left over and they all look pretty well fed.
So, tomorrow we leave this amazing country to see where else we can find an adventure. But this has been an incredible experience and anyone who is keen for some serious hiking should definitely think of coming here before TV, and the internet change the country forever.