Well, my journey to Bhutan truly started four years ago. When I went there as a 17 year old girl with Cap’n Nero as a tripper and never in my wildest dreams could I imagine that four years later, my Cap’n and I will lead two separate groups, at the same time.
I could write at length about the beauty of Bhutan, the sometimes lush-green and sometimes rocky landscapes, the mountains and rivers and lakes and waterfalls, the valleys, the monasteries, the rich culture and hospitality. But you can get that from just about anyone who has visited Bhutan. Our trip was as much about the people as about the places.
So much has changed in four years, or maybe nothing has. All the places that I visited in Bhutan this time reminded me of what I’d felt when I was there years ago. But I truly witnessed the magic of universe during Archery. Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and it’s one of our activities when we visit the place. Having been here once as a tripper, I was occasionally hit by feelings of Déjà Vu. This occasion was no different. As a tradition, you are supposed to dress-up in Bhutanese ethnics before you can hold the bow. I was the last one to dress and I was presented by only 2 options by the helper lady. I mindlessly picked up one of the attires, still soaked in the memories of events that had colored my life 4 years ago, only to witness that the destiny had brought those colors back to me once again. As I stepped out in a Bhutanese Wonju and Kira, I realized that these were the same color and shade I had worn all those years ago. I am believer of destiny and when such things happen in life, it makes me believe all the more in the power of universe.
Our original itinerary was Bagdogra-Phuentsholing-Paro-Thimphu-Phuentsholing-Bagdogra. On the second day of the trip, a few trippers expressed their desire to visit Punakha. Under a fixed and tight schedule it was tough. But one thing about me is that I love people. Seeing people happy around me gives me immense happiness. I love going out of the way and doing things for them.
So, on the 5th day of the trip, while all were chilling at a pub called Mojo Park in Thimphu, I was secretly waiting for my Captain Neeraj’s approval for Punakha. Our original plan was to cover Dochula Pass, Buddha Point, Post Office and Takin Sanctuary. I wanted to somehow squeeze-in Punakha too.
As soon as I got his confirmation, I informed the group. I can’t tell you how hard they yelled in delight on just hearing that “Punakha is a possibility”. I had to rush to get a permit for Punakha next morning meanwhile the group went to the Post Office. We visited Dochula Pass on the way and then Punakha Dzong and the Suspension Bridge. We also did some Rafting. It is tough to express what a happy day it was for me. The next day while going back to Phuentsholing we were able to complete our visits to Takin Sanctuary and Buddha Point too.
It’s for moments like these that I love to do what I do.
Until Next Time.