Archery to Tradition Bhutanese Dinner on Day Six

Today has been completely monopolized by a six hour hike though some of the most beautiful and varied terrain imaginable. We trekked through river valleys, steep mountain passes and National Forrest lands that posed extremely tall majestic woodlands.  The altitude, over 10,000 ft., was at times a bit challenging, but with dogged determination, humor, and a wonderful picnic lunch we prevailed.

Some of the true highlights of the climb were witnessing up close and personal the endangered bird, the Black Neck Crane, and an archery competition between local villagers.  Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and it was very evident as we watched young and old successfully hit their ’marks’ from vast distances easily exceeding the length of a football field.

Peter, Kristen, Paul & Reenie with a local musician at a Celebration Dinner in Bhutan

Our evening meal was one of the most unique transformational dining experiences I’ve ever had. We all dressed (with much help from the hotel staff!) in traditional Bhutanese attire and continued to a farmer’s antique potato shed which was perched high on a hillside. Since the town is without electricity, the shed was identified/located by means of a blazing signal bonfire.  Upon arriving we were greeted by the warmth of the roaring fire, a glass of local wine, and a strolling musician, gladly sharing some of the popular songs. The interior of the river rock and wooden shed was illuminated by more than one hundred white candles creatively and strategically positioned to cast a romantic shadow throughout the building.  The only element competing with the setting and ambiance was the abundance of wine and the meal itself, which was a seven course Bhutanese menu whose taste, variety and preparation were thoroughly enjoyed by all in attendance.  Our evening concludes with us working in conjunction with the hotel staff to finalize our plans which include us cooking and serving our own sunrise breakfast for one hundred and twenty five monks in residence at the local monastery.

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