This was our final full day in Bhutan. After a heavenly sleep and excellent breakfast we proceeded into Paro. Three of us would not be going to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Gerry elected to continue to recover at the resort, Lorraine and Terry decided after going up to the parking lot of the Tiger’s Nest to return to Paro to shop and then return to the resort for a massage. The rest of us proceeded up approximately 400 m to the monastery. It is a popular destination and there were quite a few people. It was a good climb and we enjoyed the visit to the monastery. It really is in a dramatic location and very photogenic.
Afterwards we had lunch in Paro and then a free afternoon just to wander around town. I was able to purchase an original oil painting of prayer flags which was one of my intended purchases. I also took a few casual photographs walking around town. We then returned to the resort and had a final dinner with Krishna and Phuntsho finally joining us so we could all eat together a final time. It was a nice way to end the day and trek. We returned to our respective rooms and slept well.
The next morning we had breakfast and on our way to the airport stopped to watch some archery which is the national sport of Bhutan. The accuracy and animation of the archers was a sight to behold. We then continued to the airport where I would be flying onwards to Nepal to continue my trekking departing from the group. They would all continue to Bangkok and then go their respective ways. I was sorry to see the group go. They were a great group of people to experience Bhutan with. We promised later in the year to get together to reminisce and review our pictures. I promised to complete the blog and share it with the others. Promise kept!
Overall, trekking in Bhutan was an amazing experience. Remote, wild and unspoiled surroundings. We really felt like we were apart from the world free to enjoy the sensory and visual experiences the countryside had to offer. The trekking was difficult but very rewarding knowing we could truly climb mountains and achieve our dreams of visiting Shangri-La. Regarding statistics- including the hike up to the initial village as well as Tiger’s Nest- the total distance travelled was 60 km, 3940 m elevation ascent and 4692 m descent. For now, it was now onwards to Nepal. How would it stack up relative to Bhutan? Time would tell.