Where in the world
do you have a car driver slow down to a halt, to let you finish taking a picture from across the street.

Where in the world
do you have women managing the night desk alone in a small hotel, in a smallish town.

Where in the world
do you have women taxi drivers doing solo cross-country drives.

Where in the world
do you have young women single handedly manage resto-bars on the side of a highway, in the middle of nowhere.

Where in the world
do shop owners offer you free toffees, just because you visited them.

Where in the world
would you find the owner of a mid sized lodge chopping wood, for the winter, alongside the paid laborer.

Where in the world
would you find royalty traveling unescorted. No wailing sirens, no motorcade.

Where in the world
would you find traffic working efficiently without any traffic lights at all. Across the whole city. Make that country, actually.

Where in the world
would you find someone drive into the center of town and go into a shop while the car stands out there, unattended and keys in the ignition.

Bhutan.
A bicycling trip across western and central Bhutan. October 2013

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Ready to start riding from Thimphu.

Ready to start riding from Thimphu.

Snacking on local fruit and chatting with the fruit seller's brother.

Snacking on local fruit and chatting with the fruit seller’s brother.

More fruits? Dried Yak Cheese?

More fruits? Dried Yak Cheese?

Our first major pass - Dochula Pass.

Our first major pass – Dochula Pass. You can see the 108 chortens/stupas in the background.

Yeah! feeling good! On top of the pass!

Yeah! feeling good! On top of the pass!

Punakha. Ready for the second day.

Punakha, Bhutan. Getting ready for the second day.

Our curious friends at the lunch stop.

Our curious friends at the lunch stop.

Lunch stop.

Lunch stop.

Getting ready to take on a major pass. Relentless climb ahead.

Getting ready to take on a major pass. Relentless climb ahead.

Busted rim. Brought the trip to an abrupt end. Just before dusk, about half hour short of a major pass.

Busted rim. Brought the trip to an abrupt end. Just before dusk, about half hour short of a major pass.

Saviors come in Toyota Hilux.

Saviors come in Toyota Hilux. Our new friends who almost adopted us as family. They drove us close to 150 odd kilometers to Bhumthang — our final destination, and their home. Took us to our hotel, and made sure that we found our room warm too. Picked us up the next day and took us to there home for breakfast. And there is much more…

Going around the gonpa. An important Buddhist practice.

Going around the gonpa. An important Buddhist practice.

Yak Cheese hung out to dry.

Yak Cheese hung out to dry. Don’t even try to bite it – you are sure to loose a tooth or two.

Bumthang airport, Bhutan.

Bumthang airport. Has to be one of the quaintest airport in the world.

Hiking to the burning lake.

Hiking to the burning lake.
The father of the gentleman who rescued us.

At the burning lake.

At the burning lake. Near Bumthang, Bhutan.

Volunteer fire-minder at the Burning lake.

Volunteer fire-minder at the Burning lake.

The priest at the Burning lake.

The priest at the Burning lake.

Chai? Anybody?

Chai? Anybody?

The owner of our Hotel in Bumthang

The owner of our Hotel in Bumthang, chopping wood for the approaching winter. I tried. It is hard work.

Early morning prayer. Opposite our hotel in Bumthang.

Early morning prayer. Opposite our hotel in Bumthang.

Walking to Jakar Dzong (major monastery in Bumthang)

Walking to Jakar Dzong (major monastery in Bumthang)

Jakar Dzong (major monastery in Bumthang)

Jakar Dzong (major monastery in Bumthang)

Inside Jakar Dzong (major monastery in Bumthang)

Inside Jakar Dzong (major monastery in Bumthang)

Arrowslit? in a monastary? OR just to let light in? Jakar Dzong (major monastery in Bumthang)

Arrowslit? in a monastary? OR just to let light in?
Jakar Dzong (major monastery in Bumthang)

Perhaps the best Pizza I have had in a shop! Bumthang Pizza Cafe.

Perhaps the best Pizza I have had in a shop!
Bumthang Pizza Cafe.

A diferent Gonpa across the river.

A different Gonpa across the river.

 

 

 

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4 comments

  • Rakesh June 28, 2014   Reply →

    Many thanks for a nice read. Lovely pictures. Two questions : What language did you use ? and the TREK – is it a 7.1 FX or … ?

    • Ajay Jaiman June 29, 2014   Reply →

      Thanks Rakesh.
      The bike is Trek 4300. But with an aftermarket fixed fork.
      I take it that you are asking about the language we used to communicate in Bhutan. A combination of Hindi and English. Mostly Hindi, I think… Though I should reconfirm with my riding buddy. If the answer changes I will re-post.

  • Subra October 12, 2014   Reply →

    Nice write up. Looks like Bhutan is the safest place in the world.

    • Ajay Jaiman November 27, 2014   Reply →

      Thank you.

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