Wednesday, April 7
From West to East towards South..
A beautiful sunrise across the horizon,when chirping birds gave early flights in the silent morning hush of Thimphu City,i wokeup from my Bhutan Better Product made bed,from the soft pillow of twilips color,a warmth fur of chinese silky blanket,i threw myself like a huge giant monster,hair up,and tatoo marks of towel on my face,rushed towards bathroom for a desperate shower as if been travelled in a hot place for quite a long hour of journey and missing a fresh cleanup.
Ahh..Yeah Thats it like yoke been removed from a pair of oxen in day's tiring plough,m relieved and refreshed from night's tiring dreams.
This is perhaps for the first time in my life that i m travelling to east and then towards south and back to Thimphu again.I m going to narrate a tale of an adventure,to be more precise of a young bhutanese tourist(definitely me) and his colleague(my friend)'s journey, which most of you might have experienced,but for me its unique in the sense that i m going to skecth out to you of climbing hills and mountains,down through the valleys,penetrating across thick fogs,incessant downpour,rolling boulders,bumpy tracks,across the edge of rocky scapes,country roads,while from south to north,striving hard to catch up fellow speeding cars,for you might lose track of directions,especially when you travel without knowledge of new roads and landscapes through Assam duars.Mission accomplished ,I m back to Thimphu again,driving safely.It goes like this...
Indeed every journey has its own pros and cons when goes into depth.And to me Its also a mixture of joy,fear,laughter and courage.Ofcourse i have never been to Lunana like the snow man trek do.My prayers of safe journey were answered and i m glad to have believed in faith and trust.Most probably when you drive, i m sure we ought to be more cautious and careful to avoid unnecessary accidents on our journeys.
For the fact that journeys are difficult at times,but at the end of day you wear a smile of saticfactory experience and memorable moments.A moments of having a cup of tea or a coffee in a small tea stall with only available parle-G Biscuit,an altitude sickness as you ascend higher altitudes at passes or often called La in bhutanese.My friend prefers Eastern Sikam Phakshas all the lunch menus while i feed on beefs or either Kewa or Shamu Datsi.
There is a magic in noodles(i mean maggi).I lose 3-4 kilos of not taking rice all the dinners.
Its exactly 2:00pm afternoon,At Wangdue,trees dance as if never heard music,i mean windy,a forest fire somewhere makes it quite dry.Along the glamourous yet so majestic flowing Puna Tsangchu,I see flock of wild ducks rafting,while chasing and teasing others.The sight of turquiose flowing beauty is nature's most irreplacable art.
We proceed towards our lunch somewhere near Bajo where my sister resides.
A big hug to my little nephew who is just one year old.He must have been missing his uncle who have sometimes been accompanying him for playing his toy cycle and feather ball.
Then ardently the journey of adventure continued.Along the ridges of nobding,we reached towards a spot where cutting of rocks and expansion of tracks going on.Slowly and carefully through Pelela,fluttering prayer flags smiling towards the blue sky.It then started snowing,i should rather say hail storms just for 20-30 minutes soon we descended from Pelela.The Rukubji village seems to be peeping from white ground like a shy object in the winter mist.
Sun strived his rays through the darkest clouds,and we could see potato fields and farm houses giving finest lustre.A scarecrow from a field signifies keeping wild pests at bay.
At Chendebji guest house, 2-3 cups of coffee and chocolate-flavoured biscuits gave us extreme energy to pass through narrow winding tracks of Trongsa.We halt our night in a bhutanese cottage lodge near the town.The small compact yet clean and tidy town welcomed visitors for it has a rich history and importance.
Every morning is an auspicious occassion for me,for its how every day is going to start with.A journey towards Bumthang of 68 kilometeres approximately which would take utmost 2 hours and 30 minutes drive across Yutongla descending across the the breath taking traditional sights of Chumey Valley,you then need to keep moving downwards until crossing a mountain,upwards to Jakar Dzong.Bumthang is rekonwned for most of the holy sites and also its an example of typical bhutanese life being displayed by its unique traditional house constructions.
Cutting from a rdge across Thrumshing LA, Now the next place is towards Mongar.I heard stories of Namning-BRAK and Melong BRAK.A tale of foggy and fearful trip.But m sure to explore with my own eyes this time,so doesnt matter whether rain or snow or fog on the way as long as m conscious and extra careful. And yes its damn beautiful.Very steep,as if gazing through flight window from a very high altitude.
The road towards Mongar has now been well furnished as you descend downwards,felt like m walking on cake.I noticed one difference,a change in temperature.Yeah..its hot and humid now.A night in Mongar town is so silent and peaceful as if curfew been launched.I heard of people's Earth Quake experiences 4-5 months back,when everone rush outside as the houses gave a strong shake.Even for now they are prepared to run outside if it happens.
Watching Druk Star with other hotel mates near the counter is really entertaining.
Well its hard to find lodge in TrashiGang,especially in times of festivals.The Hotels are being booked by tourist and people who come from other parts of the country.Fortunately we made it.I remember my school days when i stayed as boarder in a Lower secondary schools.The bed bugs crawl through broken scraps of wooden fungus-beds.But this time,first priority is having a shelter to spend the night.
My friend is an ex-sherubtsean,a long year back now.He pointed me his college of fame proudly,showed me popluar places.Thanks to him,for i now know Potato-House,Pregnant House,PALAS,Mountain canteen,View Point,Suicide Point.I learned lots of new facts.He chuckled and recalls his days in the college,The football ceremnoy,monsoon cup graced in a traditional manner,running through locality for a search of local brandy,the raggings,what else the popular RBGS-Rejected by girls group.
The Yongphula is now clouded with thick fog.And its been raining.The journey seems to be tough.Visibilty is extremely poor and at times i fear because its raining,soil moist and rocks lying as if waiting for a chance to knock somebody like the wrestler's trap.Slowly and steadly we headed near Khaling,a beautiful paranomic view on the hilly ridge,cluster of houses enough to mesmerise your senses.
Towards Samdrup Jongkhar,a lunch at tiny Wamrong town,sights of restaurants and small shops are coming up which once razed down by huge fire breakout.
The road seem to be going tougher.If you dont blow horn through sharp bends and turnings,speeding coming trucks would smash you through the cliffs.
Now its even more hotter than Mongar,through Dewathang,road widewning is under process and be prepared to face dust and bumpy tracks for 20-30 kilometers approximately.Norbu,my car desperately needs some shower like me.I took him to workshop in the main town.He smiles as drops of shampoo being sprayed to him.
From SamdrupJongkhar to Phuntsholing,the early 6:30 am we reached to escort point.Nearly 25-35 vehicles being queued up like during boarding school meals.We received a token of number that needs to be showed as we depart.The rough terrain,bumpy and gravels,muddy,taxis,boleros are running for now at a constant speed as Army monitors our speed at points.
At certain place we are now own our own way from Indian Border.The highway seems to be like airport runway and cars started speeding to keep track of each other.There are chances of collidng with lorries that speeds from opposite direction if you do not keep control of your car or while overtaking others,needs to be very cautious,its not like our traffic here.So 360' awareness from driver's side is extremely necessary.
Well the story of long distance travel has now come to end.We reached Phuntsholing at 4:30 pm,which almost took 8-9 hours drive for me.
While there are many ways of travelling modes and experiences, what i feel at the end is always a safe journey,memorable,experiences and of course having fun.
In Thimphu,once again looked back to the map where we have travelled and m glad that our trip had been very successful.I m taking another light shower and will take back these wonderful memories and put it somewhere someday..
.......................Have a Good Day..........................................