“Don’t hurry or your family will worry.”
“Mountains are pleasure only if you drive at leisure.”
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
There’s no such thing as a roadside advertising billboard in Bhutan, and as we drive along the ‘affirmation highway’ - as I’ve dubbed the road from Haa to Thimphu - we are given gentle reminders to slow down and savour life. It’s not until we realise that the country side we are viewing is absent of the garish bombarding of commercialism and oversized advertising signs that it dawns on us how open and free the countryside feels and the views of quaint mud-rammed houses dotting rice terraces that cascade towards a wide aqua-green river gives us a feeling of serenity.
“I think they should rename this place The Chilly Pass,” I say to Mal as I stand huddled next to a clay stove and try to garner some warmth. Me along with ten others – all Indian nationals – try to find the best spot next to the fire. In front we stare at the most incredible view, upright white flags on a forest of poles snaking along a ridge line to a peak, flutter against blue skies. Either side, deep plunging green valleys spiral into dark voids and all around a kaleidoscopic swirl of colour flaps and strains and whips in the wind – prayer flags for as far as the eye can see. We are at the top of Bhutans highest motorable pass – the Chele La at (officially 3,780meters, although the sign I’m standing next to says 3988meters and our vehicles altitude reader is spruking 4030meters. Whichever it is, it’s high! And I’m starting to feel some affects of altitude. A throbbing headache and a bit of a dizz, although, I think that might be from the hairpin corners.
Hello! I'm Kerry
. . . a plan-nothing, have no idea where I'm going travelholic.
A daughter of the gypsies and the wife of a workaholic, I'm forever wondering 'What's over there?' and devising ways to squeeze through the barbed-wire fence of small-business ownership responsibilities and every-day life tangles to discover it.
and this is my book.
More Bhutan Bits