This morning we had to leave the Gangley Goenpa Lodge much to our chagrin but at the same time we were also looking forward to visiting our next city in Bhutan, called Bumthang. If we had known how lovely this Gangley hotel was, we would have planned to stay for a couple of days. As it was, we had hung out at the hotel as much as possible and didn’t even explore the village below, which looked very cute. It occurred to us that each hotel we stayed at was better than the previous one. This year’s selection of hotels and tours was very nice and a very welcomed change from our travels in the past year.
Before leaving Gangley, we had breakfast on their large deck overlooking the valley below. The staff gave us warm blankets to put over our laps, hot water bottles for our backs and heated neck pads filled with lavender to put around our necks. It was a crisp, clear morning with mountain fresh air, blue skies above an absolutely, lovely day!
The Bhutanese have a myth similar to BC’s Sasquatch, which I found interesting. The Himalayas have a large, hairy humanoid creature called a Yeti in Tibet and Nepal; whereas, the Bhutanese Yeti was called a Migoi. How can people living across the world from each other, like us Canadians in the West and the Bhutanese in the East, have the same myths? Like our Sasquatch, these Migoi were believed to be covered in hair from brown to black excluding their face. I had to admire the Bhutanese because their Migoi was special as it could make itself be invisible and their feet may face backwards just to confuse people who may be trying to follow them.
It turned out that the Gangley hotel’s credit machine was not working so we ended up paying in cash. This was a surprise to us and put a dent in our US cash supply but we managed with Rod’s help. When we eventually got to our cars we found that they had not only washed the outside of our cars but the inside as well. Our cars were as clean as the day we bought them! Another surprise was that the hotel had packed up individual lunch boxes for each of us. Unbelievable service!
The outside of the hotel was pretty plain but it was built in the Bhutanese style with the attic and raised roof. The sides of their attic was enclosed with straw lattice panels. And at the corners of the roof hanging from the rafters were wooden Bhutanese phallus good luck charms!
By 9:45 we were on the road again, a beautiful day at 13 degrees C. We drove our way up the mountains to approximately 3,250 meters. Bhutan was still green with lots of trees and no garbage in sight. The mountainsides were either forested or meadows with wild flowers growing in abundance. There was nothing harsh about Bhutan, it was serene, gentle and happy. I am talking about the Bhutanese people and the terrain they lived in, even their animals had a calmness about them. Did I mention that we all loved Bhutan?
We stopped at a checkpoint beside a river, which was just raging down the mountain. It was a no brainer to see that Bhutan could easily use their water to turn turbines to spin magnets to make electricity to use and sell. We found this water to be exciting because it was so powerful.
After lots of short stops and approximately 7 hours of driving we arrived at our next hotel. which was built to look like a fortress with long narrow windows. Our room was very large with the tub in the middle of the room and a wood stove heater where pine cones were used to start the fire. The view from our room looked out over an apple and pear orchard. This hotel was right beside an old castle belonging to K2!