Tired, but a great trip – although I wouldn’t rate it as highly as the Hindu Kush Adventure or Iran trips – Bhutan doesn’t quite have the same edge. Plus there was a lot of driving in India at the end, and the Tolly Gunge Club didn’t really provide the ‘high note’ finale. It felt altogether too worldly and self important after a fortnight up in the mountains and high pastures.
Days 4 and 5 were the highlights for me, featuring the Paro festival and the hike up to the Tiger’s Nest. We were there during the country’s first democratic elections, which was fascinating, and I returned with a commemorative calendar, prepared in advance of the Fifth King’s coronation (due to happen this year – no one knows when!) and lots of woven baskets. Oh, and a taste for cheese and chilli dishes, plus a developing daily G+T habit…..!
Returning home to BJH via the ‘new’ St Pancras International has added somewhat to the out of body experience resulting from our 90 minute nap prior to driving across Kolkata to check in (early) for our 4.45am flight, which kept ahead of the dawn all the way back west to London Heathrow. I was a bit of disgruntled ‘customer’ even before we got to the airport. Still, the glamour of St Pancras and a mezze lunch Au Pain Quotidien with Phil, Paul and Jahraj sorted me out!
Work tomorrow. I’m taking my Kings of Bhutan commemorative calendar in for moral support.
(06 July 2008: photos fully Flickred: Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon)