Project 365: Day 146 – Prayer chants and preying cold


24th November 2014 – Thimphu, Bhutan

The capital carried no charm, and a bronze statue, no interest.
Maybe its the chilly November, but nothing could warm me up here.
So, I rode out to another valley, hoping for respite and lower altitudes
Turns out that the weather is persistent in Bhutan, both far and near.
Thimphu Bhutan

I should have prayed too, if I knew how the ride was going to be today.

I know many people are dying to get to Thimphu, but I am so far unimpressed here. The capital bears a very lacklustre look, and does not carry a vibrant character to go along with it.

Last night, I met a British traveller in my hotel, who has been living here for the last 7 years. And he worked with an NGO for drug addicts. In 30 minutes, he spoiled the whole impression that I had built about Bhutan. Apparently, the youth in Bhutan was suffering from a huge drug problem, apart from dealing with domestic abuse and a high rate of peer suicides. And I was thinking that cigarettes being banned here, are a good start. Turns out you could everything on the side here, from cigarettes to anti-depression pills, which were behind the current bout of drug addiction.

I left today around noon, before spending some time in the morning to see some of the very few sites in the capital. After visiting the 51m tall bronze statue of the Sakyamuni buddha on a nearby hill, I came back to Thimphu and went to the national memorial chorten, which is a memorial for the third king of Bhutan. I clicked around here for a bit, and then proceeded to ride to Paro.

I have no idea what I was thinking when I decided to ride in Bhutan in November, because the climate is horrendous for riding. I had to stop literally every 5 minutes to warm my hands, which, despite wearing an oversized yak wool gloves, were almost frostbitten.

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About Abhi Surendran

Abhi quit his corporate job, and decided to immerse himself in travels, photography, occasional periods of bankruptcy, and copious amounts of insanity. He is currently working on a book of his experiences, and a dream road trip through South Asia. Both in a haphazard fashion. He blogs at Iamnothome and you can also catch him at times on Facebook and twitter.

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