Another great day in Bhutan!!! Today started at 9:00. Sangay and Ganesh picked me up at my hotel and our first stop was the local zoo/rescue for injured and displaced deer and Takin. Takin are an animal that looks like a mix of a cow and goat. Sangay explained to me that the divine madman invented the animal. He took the body of the cow and the head of the goat and created this animal. The story was great. After the zoo, Ganesh drove us to a tower and then Sangay and I went on a hike to a temple above Thimphu. The views of the city along the way were amazing! I got to see the entire city and the Royal Palace where the current King lives and the government buildings are located. It was relaxing and Sangay and I had some more conversation about karma. Such a good morning hike. We made it to the temple, which is under construction, and then hiked down to another temple where the monks are living and learning. It is a school.
The temple was amazing! As soon as we got off the hiking trail we came across young monks playing soccer, marbles, and practicing playing horns in the courtyard. The young monks playing marbles were having so much fun, their happiness was infectious. We walked around the temple a bit and then went inside. After a few minutes inside the temple the monks came in and assembled. There was a request by two ladies that the texts be read. The monks brought out the texts and proceeded to read. It was so cool. We stayed for a bit more and then went back outside and met up with Ganesh. Next stop was a delicious lunch.
After lunch, we went to the weekend market. They sell all kinds of vegetables, rice, cheese, meat, incense, and spices. It was probably the cleanest and most organized market I've seen in Asia. Since it was a Friday afternoon, it wasn't that busy, so that was nice. Sangay picked up some groceries and I bought some incense and saffron to bring home. We walked through the market and then made our way to the archery range.
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan. We got to see a friendly game of archery. Most of the men use a newer compound bow, but there were 2 gentlemen that were using the original bow and arrow that had been used in the past. It is much more difficult with the original bow. The target is 145 meters down range (about 475 feet, so 1.5 football fields). The target looked to be about 3 feet tall and maybe 1 foot wide. That is some skill to be able to hit that target! I could barely even see the target. It was fun to watch.
We then made our way to the Folk Heritage Museum. It has an original style house that you can go into and see the way people lived and some currently live this way. Three storied house. The bottom floor is where the animals would live. The 1st floor is where they would store the dry goods like rice. The 2nd floor is where the kitchen, living area, and altar are. The 3d floor is like an open attic and they would keep straw there. There were many relics and it was interesting to see how life was lived. We then went to the library and saw the worlds largest book! It was a photo book and they turn the page every day.
After the library, Sangay and Ganesh dropped me off at the handicrafts market. I walked down all the stalls (they all sold pretty much the same things) bought a couple of things and met up with them at the end. It was the end of the day so a beer and tea was in order! We went to a place closer to my hotel. When we parked Sangay saw a couple of his colleagues and said hello. We found a place for a beer and then his friends and Ganesh joined us for coffee and tea. It was a second story restaurant overlooking a courtyard and clock tower. The guys were discussing work and I enjoyed watching all the people walk by. It was a great end to the day! The guys dropped me off at my hotel around 5:00. I was tired so I took a little snooze and then went to dinner. Now blogging and then probably going to bed.
Tomorrow we will travel to Paro and I will be there for 2 days. Signing off for now...I'll update when I get to Paro.