From the mountains to the rice paddies

5 October 2018

A bumpy road north brings us to Shalupangkha, the monastic school where Pasa’s Uncle Choden has been the head monk for the last five years. Upon arrival, the monks share tea for special guests which include: saffron rice with raisins, butter tea, rice puff cakes, and flower-shaped cookies.

There to make a Tshog offering of monk robes on behalf of a yogi who wasn’t able to make the trip, we were honored with a thank you ceremony and blessing. Sixteen monks of all ages chanted from a prayer book filled with scripture. Afterward, the monks serve us lunch, and we take a group photo.

Pasa Ugyel, Uncle Choden
Photo Credit: @bhutantoursandtravels #btt

On the return from the monastery, we make a pit stop in Gasay Shalipangkha, Pasa’s family’s ancestral town. We visit Pasa’s grandmother at her farmstead, exploring another slice of Bhutanese life — in this case, the rustic side. A working farmhouse the pastures abut green rice paddies and are filled with cows, horses, dogs, and cats.

We arrive at Paro, our final stop the Janka Resort — a trekker’s inn located amid golden fields and rice paddies at the base of a lush forest of blue pines.

Our evening yoga session is held in a windowed triangular building between the two vistas.

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Maile, Claudia, Yuki & Maureen

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