day 32: Land Of The Thunder dragon

Hello from the Paro Valley, Bhutan.

This morning was a bit of a hairy – and very early – ride to the airport in Kathmandu, trying to avoid the Nepalese general stikes and the Maoist protesters.
This is what I got stuck in: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8656894.stm
Our VERY clearly marked ‘tourist bus’ had to sneak through a couple of roadblocks, but luckily it was early and everyone was still in enough good humour to let us through. Will be very interesting to see how that one progresses…

The Maoist party situation also meant that yesterday in Kathmandu was pretty much lost. aka no Monkey Temple or Durbar Square visit, just remaining pretty close to the hotel in Thamel district. still, for the last night of a month-long tour, it was good to have a final group meal, and say – very sadly – goodbye to my new friends. I really was lucky there, both with the near-perfect content of the tour, and the lovely people I was on the tour with. Love you all, guys, if you’re reading this.

The 40-minute flight to Paro wasn’t as full of Himalayan views as expected, due to the clouds, but the descent into Paro amongst the winding hills was spectacular. and also made me very much miss mountain biking.
We spent the afternoon visiting the Paro fortress, and spectating at a local archery tournament.

Listen up… it’s the national sport of Bhutan, and the best guys are amazing at it. They have full-on crossbows, and regularly hit a target bang on from 150 metres away.

So far the land of the Thunder dragon is lovely, beautiful and peaceful, and I hope the rest of this week will be as spectacular as the last 5 have been. Off to put on more Deet spray – cos I got bitten to hell in Nepal – and sit out looking at the stars. Goodnight x