An online skydiving logbook

May 25, 2009

After the trek

Well, I don't know what to say. I don't know how to describe this. I'll just fire away some bulletpoints/highlights.

- In 15 days, we walked about 200 km, climbed (and descended again) about 7000 meters.
- camping at Jomolhari basecamp, at the foot of a 2000 meter near-vertical snow wall.
- on a clear night, the snowcapped mountains radiating in the moonlight, while at the same time the fog in the valley beneath us, bounces that same moonlight back up: one of the most strange and beautiful, almost magic, sights I ever saw.
- crossing a 5000 meter pass, and seeing 7000 meter mountains where ever you look.
- white eagles floating in the air above your head.
- the people living in this remote area, where the nearest road is at least 3 days marching away. This is what the middle ages must have been like.
- meeting children who never saw television.
- negotiating with the governor of the region (in his kitchen!) whether we are allowed to camp in this village.
- our coock and our guide fighting (literally, I am talking physical violence here).
- HIV prevention slogans painted on the rocks in the middle of nowhere. I have no idea where these villagers are supposed to get the condoms they are advised to use.
- penises everywhere: wooden penises hanging on the roofs, painted penises on the walls, our driver's key-ring, ...
- drinking butter-tea with the locals (an acquired taste, as they say).
- ...

But the main thing is probably this country as a whole: this unique mix of century-old traditions with modern technology. This oh-so-friendly people, proud of their country, aware of its uniqueness, eager to show you, to "let you in". It is truely unlike anything I have ever seen, anywhere I have ever been.

I am in Thimpu now, the capital of this unique country. It took us 6 hours to drive the 120 km from the trek's endpoint. Including a very surreal traffic jam on a mountain pass, because of a truck-accident that completely blocked the road for a few hours. I just escaped from our anonymous posh hotel to have dinner in a local restaurant (the hotel restaurant didn't look at all appealing).

I already spotted a few promising bars while I was looking for this cybercafe :-)


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Skydiver said...

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