26th November 2014 – Paro, Bhutan
The cold had taken its toll, and I surrendered rather meekly. To the single digit temperatures of Bhutan, I said a silent good bye. But not before I meandered out to the side of a silent stream, And gazed my eyes on one last dzong. Neither afraid, nor shy.
It has been nearly a month in the cold Himalayan regions for me, beginning with Nepal and then heading to Darjeeling in India, and now in Bhutan. And despite all the layers of clothing that I had on me, and all the Druk/Gorkha/Kingfisher beers that I was downing, the simple fact was that I have been freezing all this while. So, it was time to get away and get back to level grounds.
Not before I checked out the Paro dzong in the morning. Also called the Rinpung Dzong (shortened for Rincheng Pung Dzong), the dzong is visible from anywhere in Paro, and is one of the welcoming attractions to this beautiful town. Made famous by the scenes from Bernardo Bertolucci’s ‘Little Buddha’, the dzong caresses the hills on one side, while lying idle near a stream. The courtyard is open to visitors, should you trudge inside.
After snapping some pictures here, I continued my long way back to Phuentsholing. There is something energetic about returning when you are dying to return. And so I rode back in record time, scaling the chill cliffs of Bhutan without much stops. And to my own surprise, reached Phuentsholing by just around 2 PM. With so much of daylight left, I decided to continue riding, all the way till I could.
My destination now is Kolkata, but that is still 850 KM from the Bhutan border. So, I ended up stopping for the night in the first place enroute where I found with cheap accommodation. Which is Siliguri, of course.