India – 2005 and 2024

29 March 2024

One does not tour India and leave unaffected. In 2005, I wrote:

I know I will never forget India, nor will I ever be able to adequately describe her. A country where little has changed in 200 years, more people sleep on the pavement and in dirt than sleep in beds, people worship ornate elephant and monkey gods, and where modernity means the women now collect the dung with gloves.


Paro, Bhutan

23-25 March 2024

Today, a short 31-mile drive takes me to Paro, perhaps the best-known small town in Bhutan. Here, I find Bhutan’s tallest building at a staggering 72’, its only international airport, mystical Tiger’s Nest, and its crowd-drawing Paro Tshechu. It is where India’s Prime Minister Modi has been hanging out the past several hours. I am here to see all of it, unless rain, snow, or Modi causes it to be closed.


Paro Tshechu Festival

23-25 March 2024

Bhutan hosts several annual cultural festivals. One of the most popular and significant is the Paro Tshechu. Tshechus are religious festivals celebrated in various districts across Bhutan. However, the Paro Tshechu remains particularly enjoyable because of its grandeur and cultural significance.


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.


Retracing Our Drive to Trongsa

21 March 2024

Altitude 7200′

Bumthang has its own domestic airport, one of four airports in Bhutan.  It opened in 2011 only to be closed due to damage to an instability of the runway.

After repairs, Drukair turboprops departed the runway, climbed over the surrounding mountain peaks, and flew on to Paro a couple times a week. Not even their “My Happiness Reward” program could convince me to do so.