Into Thimphu Valley

22 March 2024

Altitude 7590

We wake to a magical morning.

Thin fluffy clouds float over the valley and around the Trongsa Dzong and Taa Dzong Watch Tower. A dusting of snow lays on the pine trees and peaks. Rays of sunlight come thru a mountain pass highlighting the valley, clouds and dzong. Finally, the glowing orb of the sun itself rises over the mountains to the east. This is the morning we have been waiting for.


Bumthang, Bhutan

19 March 2024

Altitude 8600

Yesterday, following the Lateral Road from the west, we entered Wangdue. It is one of three roads one drives here. (Actually, there is only PNH One, the other 2 lead to ?)

As of 2020, Bhutan’s road network has a total road length of roughly 11,100 miles, of which 61% are farm roads, around 15% are national highways, and about 11% are district roads. The National Highway system began linking rural districts in 1960. Using the labor of Indian and Bhutanese, mountainous roads were built mostly by hand and, even by modern standards, incredibly fast,. The building of these roads is a story in itself.

On our exit from town, we again drive the Lateral Road going east to Tongsa and, ultimately, Bumthang, some 125 miles away. In the meantime, we cross 3 passes, see more green trees, steep mountainous, steeper cliff-side drops, pristine and cold rivers, unbelievably scenic view, and about 6 hours of twists and turns. My guide describes it as “spectacular winding road.” I say #&@%?