The Magnetic Charm of Day Two in Bhutan
The drama of the day built slowly as we finished our freshly cooked breakfast at Amankora, which is conveniently located in the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu. The quality and variety of the menu items was very unexpected, but most appreciated and devoured. The anticipated day’s activities included a two hour climb to a sacred temple overlooking the valley and rushing river, followed by a mountain biking decent back into town to witness the weekly farmers market. The market lasts for three days and is the place where all the villagers come to purchase their vegetables for the coming week.
|Paul, Reenie & Kristen Enjoying a Mountain Bike Ride in Bhutan|
The Bhutanese diet is based almost exclusively on vegetables and almost every recipe calls for the inclusion of red hot chili peppers. The limited meat that the locals do consume is all imported from India, as the Buddhist religion prohibits the slaughter of any livestock. The same is true for fish, as it is actually against the law to fish and cook anything which is caught. After a rather difficult hike, we successfully reached the top and were rewarded with the sight of distant mountain views and a magnificent temple which we explored and were treated to an in depth history lesson in the beliefs and practices of the monks who dutifully watch over and protect the shrine. Typically their tenure lasts for a period of three years, three months and three days. The significance of the three is that it reminds them of the three important aspects of their existence and focus; mind, body, and, soul.
In preparation for a sunset massage and celebratory dinner, the day’s activities were concluded by a visit to an animal preserve to view a very rare animal called a Takin, which frankly looks like a cow who has had the head of a goat grafted upon it. This animal is rarely seen and it’s natural habitat is northern Bhutan, Tibet and the mountains of southern China.
Tomorrow we will be sad to say goodbye to the Thimphu community that has made us feel like we were long lost relatives but we have been assured by our guides that there’s more where that came from in the next valley in the Kingdom of Bhutan.