Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Himalaya Mini-Break

Another of my to-do items was to see the sunrise from Dochu La, a 3100 metre pass located 23 km up from Thimphu. The view of the Himalayan ranges is supposed to be excellent on a clear day and the best time for a cloudless sky is early morning between November and March. There is a hotel at Dochu La which is a popular spot for tourists to stay in order to wake up at the viewpoint. I decided to treat myself to a mini-break and stay over one night at this hotel. Yesterday at 3pm, I headed over to the regional taxi stand where I loaded myself into a Mahindra 4x4 taxi with eight other passengers. A fun ride!

The hotel was fully booked but I was the first to check in at 4pm. I walked back up the road, dodging trucks and buses, to the place where there are 108 chortens. The sky was quite clear and the mountains had a faint dusky pinkness on their western edges. That's Masang Gang there with the zig-zag summit, 7165 m high. I was looking forward to the sunrise view.

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In the evening, I found the rest of the hotel was booked by a huge group from Gap Adventures. I met a number of new people and learned a little more about what it's like to travel Bhutan in a big tour like that. I had brought my laptop and notebooks along with the expectation of getting some work done: who was I kidding? I went to bed early.

At 5:30, I woke up and pulled back the curtains. Cloud. Heavy cloud. No Himalayan visa to behold. Disappointing!

By 8:30, some of the cloud was drifting enough to reveal one peak at a time. It's hard to be let down by any sighting of these mountains but Dochu La was certainly not at its best this morning.

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Masang Gang and me

Cultural note: in North America, we all pronounce it 'Hi-ma-LAY-as' but Bhutanese and Indians say 'Hi-MA-lay-as'.

2 comments :

Les said...

Those photos are absolutely stunning! Good luck with the map and enjoy your last few weeks!

PaSsu said...

My god...your photographs are spellbinding... you are living your life in Bhutan to the fullest... I am just wondering what must be next on your to-do list.

living up to your "ordinary girl, extraordinary life" status. Great!

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