BHUTAN: A ROOF ON THE WORLD

1 Tiger Pray 0249

Taktshang Goemba, Tiger’s Nest Monastery

AT THE VERY TOP OF THE EARTH IN BHUTAN, TIME IS RELATIVE. Your clock is six hours ahead of London, 30 minutes ahead of Calcutta, 15 minutes later than Katmandu. And it’s half the world and 500 years away from wherever you are right now. Imagine Britain during the Elizabethan era: men are wearing white ruffles at the neck, puffy knickers to the knee, dangling swords, hats with brims and feathers. Women wear plunging square necklines, jumbo jewels, leopard skins over silk, and kirtles. Today in Bhutan, men and women still wear what their ancestors wore when Queen Elizabeth began her Golden Age.

2 Stairs Man 9612A Bhutani man wears the traditional gho, a one-piece gown with long sleeves folded back at the wrist, a kilt-length skirt held at the waist with a kera, a sash that forms a pouch above, for carrying a stash of incense or ngultrums. Traditionally, a knife was worn in the kera, but has now been replaced, perhaps sadly, by cellphones. The women wear a kira, a long sarong, topped with a tego, a long-sleeve jacket with lapels, all very colorful in stripes and plaids.

The Elizabethan Age was also Bhutan’s golden age. Before the early 17th century, the land of Bhutan existed as a number of small, fragmented fiefdoms doing what people always do: fight constantly with each other over land, women, yak cheese. The Tibetan lama and military leader, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal—say that three times real fast—unified the tribes and built a number of dzongs (fortress-temples, silent “d”) to help protect the land from the invading Tibetans. The dzong walls—at 8 feet thick (2.5 meters)—were impenetrable. They were built near rivers and had underground tunnels leading to the water, so they could sustain a long siege. The dzongs were built solely from the land: rock and dirt and wood. No nails were used (nails wouldn’t be invented for another couple hundred years). On the roofs, wood beams were notched to fit together, and bamboo poles, lashed. These supported slate or wood-beam shingles. Large rocks were placed on top of the wood shingles to help keep things in place. One might wonder about the efficacy of this, and I have no answers, but perhaps there are no strong winds in Bhutan, or they’re rare? Or, you make do with what the earth, or universe, gives you?

3 Wall&Wood 9559

Structure of traditional masonry with massive wall and wood beams. Tiny, personal Buddhist stupas are placed in sacred places like this, along with prayers for peace in the world and happiness for everyone. Their prayers are never for personal gain.

4 Trashi Chhoe Dzong 6414

Trashi Chhloe Dzong in Thimphu Valley at night. (not the best photo because it was hand-held at 1/30th sec).

4b Rain Spout 9529

Stone wall with rain spout for drainage on a traditional home.

6 Architecture 6379

Traditional architecture with stone stairs, hand-carved wood and brightly-painted designs, protected windows.

Bhutan is a land-locked country, borders no bodies of water, and is surrounded by mountains. Virtually all of Bhutan is mountainous with elevations running as high as 24,600 feet (7500 meters). Some broad valleys dip down to 300 feet. A number of powerful rivers originate in the Bhutan Himalayas and wash through the land; they are crystal clear and clean enough to drink. As a natural gateway into the mountains, the plains lying between the immense Brahmaputra River and running up to the foothills are known as duars, the Sanskrit word for “door or gate” and the origin of the English word door.

5 Cedars 9708

Cedar is the national tree of Bhutan. At every turn you’ll find forests brimming with them; if it’s raining, some may appear to look like a Monet painting.

7 Terraces House 9711

The lay of the land in Bhutan: terraced mountains for agriculture.

8 Valley House River 9543

A room with a view in a traditional house in the Paro Valley along the amazingly clear Shaba Lam River.

9 Water Wheel 9675

Water-propelled prayer wheel with slate roof, virtually in the middle of nowhere. The mud-colored bottom of the structure speaks of high water rushing through this valley in the past.

10 Mtn Mist 9666

While traveling through this land, you might find yourself in the middle of nowhere many times—you might quite often want to stop and smell the roses, or famous blue poppies, as well as the blue pine and cedars that rise into clouds for miles, with no smog anywhere.

11 Mtn Flower 9681

At this elevation, say 10,000 feet, many plants grow small and hug the earth, like these dainty, but hearty, forget-me-nots.

12 Takin Herd 9623

If you’re lucky and it doesn’t rain, you might happen upon a clearing in the forest and view a herd of very rare takin (rhymes with knockin’), Bhutan’s national animal, which some say resembles a cross between an ox and a goat. To me, it has the horns of a wildebeest, nose of a moose, tail of a bear, and the body of a bison. Some also say the takin inspired the legend of the golden fleece (caveat: don’t believe everything you read…this land is not only half the world away from you, it also lies half the world away from Greece, and there’s no mention of “Argonauts” in any Bhutani myths or history books–although they do mention “thunder dragons” flying in the air).

Sometimes when it rains at these elevations, it may easily turn to snow or hail, big hail.

Advice du jour: if you are going to hike in these mountains, wear sturdy shoes and make sure you are fit enough. And maybe hike with an umbrella. On visits to Bhutan, you’re required to be escorted by a guide and driver. Let your guide carry the umbrella up the mountain. And your daypack. He will beg to carry your bag for you, again and again—perhaps to facilitate your hiking, perhaps so you don’t look like one of those odious backpacker types. Or perhaps because he believes it’s part of his job: I saw one guide gleefully hustling down the trail carrying an obviously-defeated preteen girl on his back, her mother and father trailing woefully behind. And this: if your guide buys you a slug of dried yak cheese so that you can say you tried the local cuisine from this land…don’t.

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NOTE: as you can see by the widget at the top of the page, I am once again about to depart on another journey, and once again having difficulty making a decision as to where to travel next. And the departure date is looming. I have once again waited too long for discounted airfares. My question today is this: do they make a pill to transform you into a Type-A person? Or at least a person who can decide which road to take out of Dodge? Or, maybe a pill to make you just not give a hoot what happens next?

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If you’re considering a visit to Bhutan, I recommend booking with Bridge to Bhutan — a highly-respected, local and low-key tour company operated by two very interesting and highly intelligent brothers: Fin Norbu and Lotay Rinchen. They offer trips of three to 30 days, and will make you feel like an honored guest in their home. They can set your itinerary, or you can create your own, or change it while on the move.

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You can find more entries to WP Photo Challenge here: Earth

You can find more entries to Lucile’s Rehab here:    Photo Rehab

 

189 thoughts on “BHUTAN: A ROOF ON THE WORLD

  1. There’s nothing finer than finding one of your posts in my Reader! Especially when you’re in Bhutan. What a place! Your opening paragraph made me smile because my daughter has a tendency to swan around in period costume whenever she can.
    Thanks for sharing the incredible beauty. Here I sit at the dining table with my Polish family and a teething 11 month old creeping around. A different world indeed! Safe and I’m sure interesting further travels x

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hola, chocomate! I’m loving these posts on Bhutan and becoming even more interested to visit it. It’s so surreal.
    Did you come across anyone who had lived or visited other ‘modern’ countries, and what would their impression had been? Are these people really happy?
    It’s delightful to read your posts. I’m already looking forward to hearing news about your next trip. Thanks for choosing May 26th, the best day of the year, to start your new journey.. Don’t forget to drink a glass of champagne, wine, whatever you like (except for dried yak cheese) for your chocomate. 😉

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  3. like the stairs the most – and the forget-me-nots – oh and the video was a great touch because I felt like I was there – and this my friend is what I love about blogging – the culture rich stuff folks share –
    however, I just checked my pill book and have not been able to find suggestions for the pills about TYPE A (and by the way – did you know there are also Tpype C and D – I always thoughtit was Type A and B, but there are actually 4 – even though they are not the most comprhensive assessing tool overall….)
    and cannot see the widget from the reader/app – but best wishes deciding –

    and why did you say don’t

    on the yak cheese?

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    • I like that stairs shot, too. And right…love the rich cultural stuff you find on blogs…it’s almost as good as going yourself sometimes.
      I didn’t know there were other types…so I’m pretty sure I’m a Type D…the farthest away from A, I’d guess?

      Liked by 1 person

      • well here are the types (cut and pasted) and again, there are reasons why psychologists do NOT use these types as an inventory – they are very anemic and not comprehensive. However, what I like about them is that the basic two (type A and B) can easily help someone describe an overall demeanor – like you did here. So it has much value… and I will be back with the inventory I like better then this one:

        Type A personalities are competitive, high achievers and have a high sense of time urgency. As a result of these combined traits Type A’s are always found to be busy working on their own projects.

        Type B’s are the opposite of type A’s. They are relaxed, laid back and not easily stressed. While type B can be achievers too still they won’t be as competitive as Type A’s. Tybe b can delay work and do it in the last moment…

        Type C personalities love details and can spend a lot of time trying to find out how things work and this makes them very suitable for technical jobs. Type C are not assertive at all and they always suppress their own desires…

        Type D personality traits
        D stands for distressed, Type D’s have a negative outlook towards life and are pessimistic. A small event that is not even noticed by type B can ruin type D’s day.

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        • Gawd…that’s comprehensive. I am definitely no Type A. Definitely Type B. I just looked up Type B in the dictionary and there was a photo of me! As you can see right now….I’m waiting till the last moment AGAIN! I can do most anything I want, but my back has to be against the wall.

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      • Hi again, this is the one I like –

        Isabel Briggs Myers developed Jungian preferences with four possible pairs of personality traits:

        Introversion (I) or Extraversion (E)
        Intuition (N) or Sensing (S)
        Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
        Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)
        and here is a cool site that gives you a decent quiz to take to see your type. There is a longer version people take (which is professionally administered) but I like this easy ten minute one for informal assessing…

        https://www.16personalities.com/personality-types

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        • I took the Meyers Briggs test years ago. I forget what I am, but I think it’s: INFP. Which means I’m pretty weird, especially when you link it to a Type B.

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  4. I don’t suppose they’ll allow the odious backpacker to set up camp and start a farm, would they? I believe I read somewhere recently that only one westerner has ever managed to gain residency?

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      • Quite an interesting story. William Mackey was a Jesuit priest who established a couple of schools in India but was booted out. He was instead invited to Bhutan to help build its education system (but was banned from engaging in any religious conversion). He was finally given honorary citizenship. I’m not sure if there are any other cases like that. I came across the story when my partner challenged me to find out just what it would take to live in Bhutan.

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  5. Ahh Bhutan… even its name sparks my imagination of a tranquil land on the slopes of the Himalayas covered with lush forests and undulating terrains. Your photos manage to convey that feeling. It must have been a stark contrast between Thimpu and the previous city on your trip, Dhaka!

    As for your next destination, hmm… maybe Africa? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bama…HA! YOu are the only one who has made THAT connection: Bhutan right after Dhaka!!! Yeah, quite the 180 degree turn about right there.
      Africa…OK, now that’s on the list of possibles. I actually would like to visit South Africa, and this is the time of year to go. Hmmmm….

      Liked by 1 person

  6. First, I do plan to hike in Bhutan, so thanks for the tips! Second, why do you need a pill to make you not give a hoot what happens next? You seem pretty good at that already, and that is a compliment. Third, please go check out the ‘Stans; they are on my own wish list, and I always like a preview from a good traveler and writer. Finally, thanks for the lovely post on Bhutan, the place I love the most and have read the most about that I’ve never visited. It’s just so far and expensive, but you have re-lit the fire and I am off to read about your guide brothers right now. (Have a good end of the semester! Can’t wait to see where you go!)

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    • Lex…you’ll love hiking in Bhutan, but I doubt you needed any of those tips!! And right….I guess I’m pretty dang good at not knowing what is coming next, but lately I’ve started to worry that maybe I should know…if only to get a decent airfare. I highly recommend BtoB, I learned about them from another blogger who used them.

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  7. Maybe this particular trip to Bhutan has filed you to the brim. It certainly is a spiritual journey. How amazing to be able to just decide at a whim where to go. You can toss the names of possibilities into the air, and grab one. Let the universe decide. Will await your choice.

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  8. This looks like the perfect place to run away to when the rest of the world just gets too much to bear … like right now. I want to go right this minute….

    As usual, you tell a great story with great photos. I’m most impressed with the decorated wood stair banisters and window coverings. Wow!

    In my family, most of us are serious cheese foodies. There is no such thing as too much cheese and everything is better with cheese – soft, hard, stinky, mild … it’s all good. So now you’ve got me curious about this yak cheese. Mmmmm – cheese …

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  9. Beautiful pictures! Now THIS sounds like a place I wouldn’t mind visiting. I’ve learned so much reading your blogs, BF. Talk about being an armchair traveler. As to where to go, where haven’t you BEEN yet? That ought to narrow it down some. You realize that if you EVER come back to the states you will wither from lack of stimulation, right? {{{Fish}}}

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    • Armchair traveler…well, yeah, maybe that’s what all this blogging about travel is supposed to do. Not everyone can go and go and go. Or even just go. Somebody has to do it, don’t they?
      And right…I would like to go to someplace new, if only to write about it. But Bali does keep creeping back into my thoughts. I feel so at home there.

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        • Dang GOOD choices! I love Australia, would go there in a flash. But I wanted to go some place where I haven’t been before. China would be cool, though I have been there…I haven’t really seen much of it, and I do want to see the Great Wall and ride the train to Tibet. And buy an OCCO phone.

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  10. What a fabulous post. I soooooo want to go now! I always did, but this makes me *really* want to go. Don and I have very vaguely floated the idea of a 7 month RTW starting in November and could possibly fit it in with that. We’ll see. Favourite photos: the man in traditional dress, and the takin. That’s a great shot!
    Alison

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    • Alison, I guess if it makes someone want to go someplace, then a post is working, eh? So…thanks so much. Cool that you’re planning a RTW, and spooky because just the other day I thought that’s what I might do for summer, since I couldn’t decide and everything was so far away from every place else I thought of visiting. But that’s as far as I got in deciding anything.

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      • Well we just looked at the climates of various places, and other logistics, and the RTW is out. ATM it’s possibly going to be Nov-Feb in Yucatan/Central America, then May-Sept in Eastern Europe. But it’s not more than an idea at this point.
        We have to spend the summer in BC to maintain medical coverage.

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        • What I don’t like about RTW is that it’s so structured. You have to fly when you say you will. I’ve traveled a lot in Mexico, but I’ve never been to the Yucatan. Friends of mine went there before it was made into the Trap it now is. You’re lucky you have that medical coverage, and it’s kind of cool you get to return to BC.

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    • Indah…I get that about you! However, their streams and rivers are so clear, you could see for meters and meters…if you want to photograph tadpoles and trout!

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    • I had one room in Thimphu that was absolutely outrageous—big room, big windows, big deck, big vista. Loved it.
      Headed? Honestly, I have not made a decision. And I have three months off. Cuba & Bahamas might make the cut?

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      • Your Thimphu room sounds perfect. Love it when you get a nice surprise like that when traveling. Cuba & Bahamas sounds amazing! Go, and then tell me all about it because I’m pretty sure I’m going to Cuba in July. I’ll follow in your footsteps this time!

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  11. First with all of these big trips you make Dave and I look like we stay at home. Secondly if you had less money you would find it easier to decide on destinations because the economy of air fares would be an issue. There I solved it for you. 🙂 You should be coming to Canada!

    I have fallen in Love with Bhutan through your posts. I wanted to go before and now I am desperate. Thanks so much for the link to the company which I shall come back to. also appreciate the heads up on the yak cheese. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, no—none of my trips make you look like you stay at home at all. And you’re right, if I only had less money, things would be so dang much easier. I think you’ve solved my problem. I need to quit my job, collect Social Security, and move to Canada and learn to make maps.
      If you go to Bhutan, BtoB is perfect, and way less expensive than some.

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  12. Wow!! The things you’ve seen, badfish! What an amazing place and out of this world photos. I would love to be able to stroke the fur of a Takin and just touch that beautiful prayer wheel in the middle of nowhere. Thanks so much for sharing your travels with me. 🙂

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    • You are so right….touching a takin would be so great. I did not get that close to him, so I didn’t touch him either, but would love to. All that thick hair. I have touched the scales of a Komodo dragon, though…I’m not bragging, because that’s just a plain stupid thing to do.

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  13. If only I had such troubles as deciding where to go on such short notice. I think you should let me pick since I never get to go anywhere!! 😉

    I think I’d pass on yak anything, because well, yak sounds just yak–what you do when your stomach is upset.

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  14. Beautiful post and I too would love to visit and hike. The low growing vegetation reminded me of that found on the higher peaks, above tree line in Colorado. In fact much of it reminded me of Colorado, scenery wise that is minus the edifices.

    I thought it interesting too, that you say, “Tiny, personal Buddhist stupas are placed in sacred places … along with prayers for peace in the world and happiness for everyone. Their prayers are never for personal gain.” yet early on you point out how “they fought constantly with one another over the usual…” I see them as always peaceful, but as you (perhaps inadvertently) point out, not all is or was as once perceived.
    Good to know they are “human” and it gives me hope that if they can attain peace then perhaps one day the rest of humanity can achieve it as well. Beautiful post.

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    • Yeah, you’d like it there. You’d feel right at home hiking. You’d feel more at home climbing those mountains, maybe?
      Tiny stupas…right…well, see this is what they do NOW, as Buddhists. 500 years ago, who knows what they were, or what they thought, before they were organized into Bhutan. Things change, maybe?? But yeah…good to know they were and are human, eh?

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  15. Sometimes I do not know what to say with your posts, they are ALWAYS great and the pictures spectacular, so I feel like I’m repeating myself!! Once again, you take me away to the places you have been, I feel that once I go senile, I will tell stories of my adventures…and they will be yours because I lived them through your blog…

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    • Keli…well, thanks so much. I’m so glad you enjoy this stuff! And just so you know, there is no copyright on memories of blog posts, so you can tell your grandkids, and folks in the nursing home, anything.

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      • Having driven across the Nullarbor last year we would love to repeat the experience on the train one day. I doubt they would let you on the train with a firearm though, let alone have you shooting roos along the way! Unless you’re thinking of shooting them with a camera of course!

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          • True! It took us three days to cross the Nullarbor because we kept stopping to look at things. There were signs all the way along warning of roos, emus, cattle and camels and we didn’t see a single one of any of them, so you might be a bit disappointed. The other thing about driving is that the highway tracks the Great Australian Bight so you see the fantastic Bunda Cliffs whereas the train goes inland. Did you read my crossing the Nullarbor posts? They might inspire you.

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          • You didn’t see ONE? Jeesh, so I guess I just leave the semi-automatic at home, eh? I’m not sure I read your posts, I have read some, but now don’t know if they were yours. I can’t find them on your blog, I just looked. Where are they?

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          • Well, you must have read them because you left comments!! If you search on the blog for “Crossing the Nullarbor”five posts will come up. At least, they did for me! Good luck and book that train trip asap!

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          • Well, I do remember reading posts on the Nullarbor….I just wasn’t sure they were yours!! But yes…! And such great photos, too!

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  16. I have enjoyed your Bhutan trip, quite out of this world and a place so different. I’m pleased they are sticking to their principles of keeping out back packers and multi nationals that is maybe why their GNH is so high. Do they have TV? I’m waiting to hear where you plan to go next. It seems the world is your oyster and I will happily follow along in cyber space with my virtual back pack (though I left it behind at the Bhutan border)

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  17. Hey Badfish, a very thought-provoking post with wonderful shots. I will have to do some research on the takin but I do agree with your assessment of it being made up of spare parts. Can’t wait to hear where you are headed!!

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  18. Fascinating post, as always. It is amazing to think of people walking about in costumes similar to those their ancestors wore in Elizabethan times. I’m not sure whether my favorite fact was the bit about “duars” (which I’m looking forward to casually dropping into my next conversation at work) or the discussion of “takins.” I’m pretty good with animal names generally speaking, but I’d never even heard of these before. The picture of one is fascinating. What is that! It almost look like a clever forgery, a bit like those desiccated monkey carcasses that someone attaches to a fish tail and then sells in an antique shop as the remains of a mermaid. 🙂

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    • Bun…yeah, interesting, but the odd thing is they wear those old-style clothes, but they wear new-style shoes, penny loafers, wing-tips! Very odd! I think they used to wear a boot-like thing on their feet.
      The takin is like a platypus to me…all those different creatures in one body! Or that fake mermaid…

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  19. Excellent photos and post BF. I’ve never been to Bhutan, but have only heard good things about it. These isolated cultures are always interesting to me, and when combined with Buddhism, I’m sure that Bhutan must be other-worldly. BTW, you may have noticed that things have been quiet at Gallivance lately. Terri blew here knee out and had to have a total knee replacement surgery recently, so as you can imagine, her recovery and care have kept us both pretty busy. She’s progressing well, but it’s slow going. We haven’t forgotten about our friends and look forward to things getting back to normal. In the meantime, thanks for continuing to follow along. ~James

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    • Thanks James. Whoa, sorry to hear about your health issues, but things happen, things wear out. Good you are getting them fixed! Sad you are stationary, but maybe that’s a blessing, too (well, if we look at it that way). Give Terri my best…sending healing energy your way. Hope you had insurance!!

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  20. That first picture is worth a million words. What a place!

    I will not be traveling to Bhutan so this is as close as I would come. I’ve been in utterly quiet places and they do really make one de-stress. I just need the ones that don’t require going so far and living so spartanly (although I have done it in the past).

    Nothing comes to mind as a suggestion. You’ve been to all the places that intrigue me. If I were to suggest a destination it might be New Zealand and thereabouts. I love Indonesia and you’ve been there. What is that string of coral-rich islands in the Pacific? I’ve forgotten but it might be good to go snorkeling there before they all disintegrate. Or a visit should be paid to the Sami in Sweden/Finland.

    Looking forward to your decision.

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    • You’re right…as I walked up and saw that guy sitting there in front of Tiger’s Nest, I almost felt like I was impinging on his privacy. But it was too good not to snap the shot. I love that guy.
      Glad I could take you at least this far to Bhutan! It’s an OK place, not for everyone, I’d say. You’d like it.
      Ah…NZ…I actually have been there, but a real short visit, didn’t see much. I do soooo want to return. I just keep not going there. Great suggestion…I’m thinking about that now!

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      • OK, I finally thought of one but it may be too far: Madagascar. I have always wanted to go, but it might make me too sad. You could handle it better than I.

        I think that Tiger’s Nest picture is one for National Geographic or whichever is the best doing that kind of thing these days. An award-winning shot, imho. 🙂

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        • Leave it to you!!! You know, Madagascar and Zanzibar (and maybe South Africa) were actually my first option way back in December…because that time of year is rainy season down there, so I went elsewhere. Then got side-tracked into some other places. Now…who knows. AND shoot, maybe I’ll just go to Madagascar since you brought it up! And for me…it is not that far. About as far to fly as from NY to Oxnard. Oh man, now I AM thinking about it.

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  21. Ah, Bhutan… that magical kingdom which remains off-limits for those of us who tend to travel on a budget. What an enlightening post this is, Badfish. Did you end up buying a gho for yourself? I mean, maybe it wouldn’t work for Abu Dhabi but you could always wear it at home. The idea of 8-foot thick walls is mind-boggling, and I’m scratching my head about the rocks on roofs. That could never happen here in typhoon-prone Hong Kong. I did not know about the Sanskrit origin of the word “door” so I also appreciated that fascinating little tidbit.

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    • I know…off limits! Jeff asked the same thing…I wanted to buy a gho, but they didn’t have one in purple!! Maybe someone has to climb up on the roof every now and then to straighten things out? And right, I find it fascinating where words come from. And interesting that the door to the mountains is a valley!

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  22. I think you know that I already have ‘location envy’ and this post only deepens the desire you awakened in me to want to travel to Bhutan. I want to walk those terraced mountains (in a good pair of shoes) and meditate in one of those traditional houses at the top. And oh how I wish I’d taken the picture of the monk at the monastery or the man wearing the traditional goh.

    I hope you can find the pill to make you ‘just not give a hoot what happens next’. I am trying to live my life like that right now and find that I am far from disappointed.

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    • I WANTED to buy a gho, but I wasn’t going to wear it everywhere! But it does have the biggest pocket in the world, goes all the way from the front to the back and back to the front.

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  23. I decided to take the cable car down the mountain this time.
    First, the top pic, the header (is it?) is where I want to live. I wonder how cold it gets there? Does it get cold? or is it way warm? I wouldn’t think warm in the mountains, but what do I know. Though I understand quite well the snowing on the mountain (Rocky Mountain Overlook (?) Trail, when it was somewhere around 85 and bright and shining down in Estes Park.

    I LOVE the look of the structures, and prefer that to any modern glass encrusted skyscraper! I’m not sure I can make the stairs though.

    I pretty much guarantee you that Mr. Quantum would wear a gho, and everywhere, everyday. He says it’s the freedom. Kilts are his favorite daily wear. Me, I’m just a jeans and t-shirt/sweat shirt gal. Talk about an odd couple.

    Did you mention what the crops were for the terraced agriculture? I didn’t see it there. They’re gorgeous! And what a beautiful being the Takin is! I want one grazing in my back yard. It would be an honor to share the land with them.

    Now about this: “I am once again about to depart on another journey, and once again having difficulty making a decision as to where to travel next. And the departure date is looming. I have once again waited too long for discounted airfares. My question today is this: do they make a pill to transform you into a Type-A person? Or at least a person who can decide which road to take out of Dodge? Or, maybe a pill to make you just not give a hoot what happens next?”

    So I begin with a question: When you were traveling before, did you not just get up and go? Or did you like making us feel that you were a free-wheeling man? I always thought you went where the road took you.

    I don’t see you being a Type-A personality. No how, no way. I don’t see you necessarily caring which road took you out of Dodge, just that you got out of dodge, when it was time to leave. Isn’t it more fun to not care what happened next? That is the adventure of life, isn’t it?

    Thank you, as always, for bringing us along with you on your journeys.

    Peace Out…

    Like

    • Fim Noir, the first pic is fairly high in the mountains, at least a two-hour hike up the mountain where you begin at 8000 feet or higher, and go up, up steep. Pretty much like Estes Park. So I’m assuming that although it’s warm in summer, we’d see snow there in winter.
      Yeah…no Type A happening in this head no time soon. And right…before, I had no deadlines. No structure. And I was younger. Now…things change. But usually I could always come up with SOME answer. Nothing is “coming” to me now. Is THAT the answer?

      Like

  24. Nice post, as always. Hey, the night shot – it looks like the camera was really confused about the exposure. The 1/30 sec was probably not the issue. The best way to understand how things like that happen is that with digital camera it’s no longer a camera, it’s a computer taking the picture. Explains a lot – I think.

    Like

  25. Okay, Badfish, so why shouldn’t you eat the yak cheese? I’m sure there must be a story in there, right?
    I’ve had yak butter milk tea whilst travelling here, and actually liked it! 😀

    Great photos! (as always)

    Like

  26. Beautiful post BF, with so much detail in photos as well as in words. I can see why no other destination excites you after this. We almost went in April, I even wrote to BtoB, but they never responded for whatever reason. Something else came up and we had to change plans anyway, so I didn’t follow up. Hoping to make it later this year or early next.

    Like

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