Saturday, December 19, 2009
Out & About
Lonely Planet Guide as one of the places to see in Bumthang. However, I overestimated the time it would take to walk there and what was supposed to take a few hours took just over one. I wandered around a bit and found the 19th century palace had long been neglected. I was a little disappointed in my self-planned adventure and wanted to do more with my day.
As I turned to head back up to the main road I noticed the Jakar Dzong (built in the 16th century) up on a hill overlooking the valley. I checked my guidebook to make sure it was open to visitors (some are not) and headed that way. It was quite rewarding when I got to the top (256 stairs later) as the main courtyard overlooked the entirety of Chokhor Valley. I walked around for a bit and heard children laughing. Following the sounds through some creaking wooden doors, I came upon young monks playing soccer in one of the courtyards. Most of the dzongs are now used as schools for those pursuing a career in the religion, as well as local government offices.
Some WWF staff in Thimphu had told me there was a Swiss farm in Bumthang and they usually had an assortment of fresh goods for purchase. Well, I found the place and was rewarded with the lovely fresh gouda I am currently nibbling on.. with cut apples of course!