98% of a big fat Himalayan adventure is figuring out the mundane. How do you charge a laptop, make a local call, find bathroom cleaner.
Our first days in Bhutan are behind us and we’re starting to get our sea legs.
The kids have learned to sleep with vests over their PJs and everyone congregates on the electric blanket when reading. There’s no insulation or central heating so our apartment (at 8600 feet) is pretty chilly.
We’re slowly getting the hang of making meals for five on an electric hot plate. And no one needs to be reminded not to brush their teeth with tap water (we have a gravity filter the size of a mini-keg that constantly needs refilling).
It was a pretty productive weekend setting up our home here. We got local phone numbers, internet for the apartment, and made it to the weekend market (the only place to get fresh vegetables). And all of this in a blend of English and Dzongkha, a language similar to Tibetan and heavy with Z and Shu sounds.
It wasn’t all chores, though. Yesterday we hiked up to Taktshang Goemba (Tiger’s Nest Monastery). This ancient structure clings to the side of a cliff 2700 feet above the floor of Paro valley.
Guru Rinpoche (an aspect of the second Buddha, Padmasambava) is said to have flown to the site on the back of a tigress to subdue a local demon. As such we shared the arduous climb with Bhutanese pilgrims.
The site of so many blond heads scampering through the rhododendron forest was quite the spectacle for many of these locals, who were all smiles.
In fact, we’re always a bit of a spectacle when we leave the apartment. There are so few westerners here. And even fewer western children. And I’m sure we’re traveling with the only western twins in the country. Which explains why the second word we learned in Dzongkha, after Hello, was the word for twins… Nima Dauwa.
Let our Himalayan Adventure continue…….