Punakha to Bumthang

Quite a travel day. We left our hotel in Punakha before 8 am and arrived at our hotel in Bumthang about 5:30 pm. We went over three passes, Pele La at 3100 meters and with snow, Yutong La at 3400 meters and then a low pass between the first two of the four broad valleys that compose Bumthang. Bumthang has conifer forested hills and mountains, sheep, potatoes and the highest density of sacred sites in Bhutan.
Here is the view outside our hotel room as we left the balmly clime of Punahka.

First stop – the checkpoint in Wangdue. all travelers have to show their papers at several checkpoints as you move across the country.

Then we immediately cross the river into Wangdue proper.

Continuing on into the mountains, here is some typical scenery.

Catching some goats, cows and people on the road.

We stop for tea in a medium size town.

We see yaks on the side of the road.

We stop for lunch in Trongsa with a view fo the Trongsa Dzong, a masterpiece of 17th century Bhutanese architecture.

You can see how it looks like a complete medieval town from the inside.

Trongsa is at the junction of the major east/west road and a road to the south. Taxes were brought here from the eastern provinces as late as 1960. This watch tower is above the Dzong.

All Dzongs are both administrative and spiritual. These monks are conferring over some texts.

At the next pass (Youtong La) we cross over into Bumthang.

About 1 1/2 hours later we check into our hotel and immediately the power went out. So this is how our room looked to us. We also had most of dinner by candlelight before power was restored.

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