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Another long car day. We left Bumthang about 8 am and arrived in Wangdue at 6 pm.
Just for local color here are two pictures of the house across the street from the hotel.
Our next stop was the weaving factory… the factory was open but the shop wasn’t.
We noticed the snow as we began to rise towards Yutong La (3400 meters). At the top we put up our own (blessed) prayer flags for long life, good health and all general good things for all sentient beings ( especially friends and family).
Today not being a Sunday we had to deal with two construction zones . We waited about 45 minutes at the first one and about an hour at the second one. Between the landslides and the large trucks traffic on these roads, we were surprised there weren’t more of these zones.
We took a slight detour after Pele La to see the one remaining black necked crane near Gangtey. And then on to Wangdue. Here is the Wandgdue Dzong, which we only plan to view from the outside. Tomorrow Fertility Temple and back to Paro via Thimphu.
Today was primarily a temple day. We visited 4 temples/monasteries – 2 private and 2 state funded. Most of the temples have their paintings refurbished fairly frequently. The first place we visted (one of the private ones) is an exception to that rule and has preserved the 15th century originals. They were really fascinating and we spend quite a bit of time examining them with Julie’s flashlight. We also visited one of the two oldest temples in Bhutan and another one of Guru Rimpoche’s commemorative temples (Tigers Nest being the other one) – at this one he defeated a demon, restored a kings “vital force” and left his body imprint on a stone ( which we saw).
Below is just an assortment from temple exteriors and courtyards, including a close up of a stone from a Mani Wall ( each stone spelling out Om Mani Padme Om in Sanskrit).
After lunch we visited the Bunthang Dzong for Bumthang.. called the Jakar (White Bird) and climbed to the top of the tower ( the tallest Dzong tower). At the top we looked down on the roofs of the buildings and there was an entrance to a male only temple with demon skins hung above the doorway.
Back at the hotel…..
..we enjoyed a traditional hot stone bath. Outside this pool room are people heating rocks in a fire and then using the rocks to heat water which they let into the tub on demand. They also float herbs in the tub. We had a great soak for about an hour before we cleaned up for dinner. It was great.