Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My first Dzong

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:30 PM

Breakfast again was a bowl of oatmeal and toast. We asked for eggs. This time we had a choice of fried, scrambled or omelette. And omelette came with a choice of mushroom, tomato or cheese. A slight improvement.

This morning we visited the local produce market. Chilis, tomatoes, fruits and green veggies everywhere. Some veggies I've never seen before. The guava scent caught my nose and I bought some. I've never had white guavas before. These tasted fantastic and the smell was heavenly. Next we visited our first Dzong. The Punakha Dzong, situated on the sandbank at the confluence of the Mochu and Pochu (mother and father) rivers, was the grandest of the Bhutanese monastic architecture. It contained a collection of tiered halls, inner courtyards and golden spires
and a big golden handsome buddha in the main temple. It absolutely completely blew the Hippo away. Too bad we werent allowed to take pictures of the inside of the monastery. The walls had images that depicted the life of Buddha. We lunched in the Punakha town in a local restaurant that had images of the Bhutanese young king and his bride. He's really handsome. His face showed compassion, modesty and serenity. She's gorgeous. Lunch again was chicken, chili and cheese and a variety of cooked veggies and a deep fried spinach that was heavenly savory. The town was small but filled with Bhutanese style buildings.

In the afternoon we hiked up to the Khamsum Yuley Chorten, a 3 tier monastery that had a top terrace that provided a spectacular view of the Mochu river valley below and distant hills and golden fields. This place was stunning in the afternoon sun. Peaceful serenity, good for the soul. Totally pristine. The last Shangri-la. The last untainted unspoiled place on earth. I think the Bhutanese government got it right. It mandated a required minimum spending per day and all visitors must have a local guide, thus no riff raffs, no cheap hikers to pollute the land. Contrast it to the dump of Kathmandu, Bhutan remained unadulterated.

Back at the hotel resort for dinner, the same old food again, ever so tasty, ever so wholesome and satisfying. There's a greek guy traveling on his own with his own computer to blog his wanderings. A gorgeous lonesome fellow and very very polite and quite friendly. The girls in my group, talked and wondered about him, all too shy and reserved, so the Hippo went over to chat him up. He was nice and offered the Hippo a sexy smile. They wondered about the Hippo's courage, but hey, it was just a guy.

Tonight they moved me to a new room, right above the main building, next to the loud restaurant and bar. The noise was constant but the room had a nice view of the mountain. However, the bathroom had a suicide shower. The hot water tank was plugged in to the outlet just below the showerhead. With water running, it sure will electrocute me. So much for a nicer room. My laundry (1 pair of jeans, 1 sweatshirt and 1 tshirt) was done when I returned to the hotel in the early evening. It cost 200 ngultrum . A mere 4 bucks!

I continue to read Fifty Shades of Grey under the bright light in the room amidst the noise from the hotel restaurant, bar and gazebo below me.



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