23rd November 2014 – Thimphu, Bhutan
The road curved and stretched again, for miles and hours, And at a crucial junction, I bit the bullet. I went weak, you could say. So, now I rode to the capital, that den of cute little kids with Kira and kho. And of men who played with huge bows and arrows all day.
I left Tsimasham early in the morning today, braving the morning mist. I had to, because I knew that the ride was going to be long, with me stopping every 5 KM or so to warm up my hands.
At a place called Chozum, the road splits decisively. To the left was Paro where I was originally headed. And to the right was Thimphu, the capital city. I had to take a call now. If I went to Paro, that would mean that I continue my trip to Thimphu, Punakha, Trongsa and Bumthang, and exit Bhutan on the Gelephu border. This also meant that I would have to endure temperatures much more colder than what I was enduring now.
There was a moment of weakness, aided by the terrible cold. I rode to Thimphu now. The plan had changed. I would head to Thimphu, return to Paro next, and then return back to the Indian border at Phuentsholing. The rest of Bhutan, I would have to come during one of the warmer months. I can’t say that I was proud of this decision.
After another hour or 2 of riding, I was finally in Thimphu. And the first thing that I noticed was the official dresses of people here. Everybody wears the Kho (for men) and the Kira (for women) here, which is actually a very formal wear. And they hung around for hours at the Archery grounds. Archery is the national sport of Bhutan, and it is with bated breath that I watched people shoot arrows helter-skelter in these grounds.