Kingdom of Bhutan
After we had left Gongyul, we hiked for hours without seeing any sign of any settlements. We eventually descended into a forest and decided to rest for awhile when these two girls appeared out of the woods to look at us. They were very shy and despite our invitations they would not come close to us. If we started to walk towards them, they’d turn and start to run away.
us going the other way. Smuggling is common in Bhutan. They bring in
cheap manufactured goods from China. Shoes are one of the
most commonly smuggled items, or so we were told.
the only women in Bhutan who don’t have their hair cut short.
of our crew that he was a ladies man, but I always suspected that they just
like watching him prepare the exotic foods that we foreigners ate. Apparently
in his younger days our cook was a friend of the king and was given a chance
to go to a university. He turned it down because he was having too much fun.
Now he is cooking for us tourist.
dress very traditionally. I saw them dressed like this even when working.
They believe that if they give up their traditional dress that their whole culture
will be lost. They may be right.
is still done by hand.
(or Dzong) still being the religious and administrative center of life. Here we
are standing outside of Gasa Dzong which is an important religious center
for the surrounding region.
of the dzong, but then the head lama came out and he was flattered that we
all wanted to take his picture. He invited the men in our group inside to see
the shrine. The women in our group had to look inside from the doorway.
He said that the consorts on the diety would be jealous if the women entered
elevation that we got, the more jungle-like the forest became. We stayed
in one village where we were told that an eleven year old boy had been
killed by a tiger just three days before. That night while lying in my tent,
I could hear the village dogs barking wildly. I couldn’t help but wonder if
there was a tiger out there.