Kate, Amy and the boys have been visiting with us a week, so the only appropriate thing to do was go and visit somewhere else with them, in this case Bhutan!
Thursday morning we withdrew some more USD cash to change to Ngultrum (Bhutanese currency) once in country, and convinced a couple taxis with luggage racks to follow on to our house and for a reasonable price ferry us to the airport.
Children packed, luggage stowed, bladders emptied, we pushed through KTM traffic to the airport and filled out the requisite paperwork for international departure. As we approached our gate the handlers motioned us to the security check, the plane was already boarding! We went through, emerged onto the Tarmac, and hopped onto the bus and…waited. In the hot bus. And waited. In the states, where customer service is everything, the driver would have been cracking jokes and sweating it. I think our driver left to get tea. And finally the last passenger showed up so we could drive the 100 feet to the plane.
Once we’d made the U-turn on the runway and lifted into the sky, we arc’d over the finger of India that separates Bhutan from Nepal and after a drink and snack, very shortly made our landing in Paro, Bhutan.
Bhutan: GMT +6
We met our guide, Lhaba, and his cousin who would be our driver, and loaded up. They drove us to Bhutan’s National museum where we wound our way up, around and down through Bhutan’s civil and natural history while trying to (unsuccessfully) subdue the boisterous behavior of the five (!) children on this trip. Much wearied from our journey, we then drove to Bhutan’s capital of Thimpu, an hour’s drive away. Thimpu is situated in a small valley between two foothills, a river rushing through the middle. Pine trees cover the slopes and the town reminds me of some Colorado one. Once we arrived, we retired to the http://Chuniding Resort above the town, after a drive through Bhutan’s amazing landscape.
The hotelier served us an amazing dinner, so amazing I wasn’t able to snap a pic of it, or even remember to do so. It could be the K5 (the fifth king is currently reigning) I’d had. We retired to our rooms and made an early night of it…
Casualties: forgot SLR battery, Merrill’s rain jacket left in one of many security checks.
Successes: remembered kid ibuprofen, toiletries, most kid pj’s.