Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy!
14.10.2016 - 14.10.2016 21 °C
The temperature felt a little cool to start today, but warmed considerably when the sun came out this morning. So far we have found Bhutan fascinating but today it shone with the addition of a little sunshine.
Heading north out of the city we drove towards the Tango Monastery which is perched high up the side of a mountain. We had a few stops along the way to view huge prayer wheels powered by water running down the mountainside and an amazing rock art image of Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism.
As we neared the starting point for the hike to Tango Monastery, a miracle occurred....the sun started to shine. What a difference it made to the scenery around us. Our hike up to Tango Goemba took about us about an hour. Being quite steep we needed to take several breaks to catch our breath along the way and of course to take photos. Tango Monastery functions as a university of Buddhist study for the monks and there were plenty of students around the complex when we arrived. Traditional white washed buildings and towers form the monastery complex which unfortunately were undergoing some repairs with bamboo scaffolding around the site. Removing our shoes, we stepped into the darkened interior of the temple in the complex. The temple's interior was decorated in traditional style but we were not permitted to take photos inside so you will just have to take my word for it. Before departing, we were blessed with holy water so hopefully this will protect and guide us on the rest of our trip. Walking down was much easier for me but John's knees preferred the upward climb. Despite the tough walk, we both thoroughly enjoyed the hike, especially with the first good weather of our trip.
Took a while to get back to town due to a significant landslide which had occurred not long after we drove up. The recent heavy rains have contributed to the many landslips occurring on our travels but the driver we have is very reliable and drives with extreme care.
Today's lunch was a Yeedzin restaurant where we were served many dishes which was way too much for two people. Following lunch we drove to the Buddha Dordenma, a huge 50m tall statue overlooking the Thimphu valley. Built in China, funded by Hong Kong and constructed by Indian workers, the Buddha is supposedly the biggest in the world.
There were some crossed wires about our next destination. I thought we were going to a textiles handicraft centre but it turns out it was a Textiles Museum. It was OK but it did not fire my imagination and it's hard to imagine that it impressed John either. We did make one quick stop on our return to our hotel and that was at an archery practice session. The Bhutanese are very skilled at archery and it was fascinating to watch them although it was impossible to track the arrow's trajectory upon release from the bow.
The rest of the day was spent at leisure, wandering the town until dinner in our hotel which was the nicest buffet to date. Apparently they put on a better buffet on a Friday night....lucky us!