The BCF bus has penetrated the multi layered forests of oak, ferns, and pine over a myraid of passes to arrive in Bumthang. Bumthang feels like home with a vibe similar to the Sierra's. Sabrina's house is across a rickety bridge in a stone structure adorned with lovely painting. Like a fairy tale she is the princess of Chumey. Out her backdoor is "The sleeping lady of Chumey" A mountain that looks like Mt Tam's Eastern twin. Many teachers seemed envious of her placement at Chumey.
We left Thimphu yesterday climbing and descending a rainbow serpent of a road up to an amazing austere lookout that was built in honor of the Bhutanese expelling the Indian militants from Southern bhutan. The temple had a magnificent mural depicting the history of Bhutan. After high tea we said goodbye to Sarah, Norrin, and Dave. (Thanks Sarah for helping me shop the last day) Then the journey into the heart of Bhutan on the "National Highway" which alternates between a dirt and paved road. At many points we had a standoff with Indian trucks playing a deadly game of chicken above bottomless drops into steep gorgeous canyons. The Indian trucks are decorated in a multicolored fashion with blinking colored lights and lush drapes. Like mini Furthur buses, which is to say they are quite pyschedelic.
The road seems to go on forever doubling and tripling back on itself. It is like nothing I have ever seen. Our fearless driver spins his dashboard prayerwheel before attempting the most periless curves. Darkness swallowed our humble bus as we finally made the hour and a half descent into Tongsa. It's lights a marage in a pristine valley. The lodge we stayed at was fit for a king with faithful Abi serving up Coke and a fine meal. I even took a remarkable bath. The lodge had a beautiful water driven prayer wheel that chimed a bell with each revelution. Today we climbed out of Tongsa and viewed some real Himalayan peaks in the distance. The road went through snow and ice dispalaying frozen waterfalls. Then we entered the district of Bumthang with its pine forests and supple valleys with rushing tourqoise rivers. As before mentioned we unloaded Sabrina forming a human convoy across her bridge. I'm so happy that she will be in what many Bhutanese consider to be the asthetic and spiritual heart of Bhutan. Two qualities that match her own spirit perfectly. Next we dropped Martin and Tara in Bumthang proper in an amazing wood palacial cottage. Again, perfect for them. We had lunch at a family owned restauraunt with amazing carrots, oranges, and the sweetest french fries ever tasted, go figure. Now im sitting by a wood stove finally feeling myself in Bumthang.
Shopping the last few days in the capital was extremely choatic and draining. I did pamper myself to an amazing and affordable massage from a lovely young woman. She even gently massaged my tired eye balls. On Friday night I snuck out to the Disco to mingle with the cool kids. I loved being the only Westerner in the joint. Now if only I did so well with the Asian women as I do with the Asian men who emplored me to dance with them. The DJ was quite adapt weaving western songs (not cheesy top 40) with percussion beats, break, house, and trance. He even threw in "If your going to San Francisco) Remix. The crowd was typically 18-25 decked out in Western clothes with Korean hairstyles. The day before leaving I also got a burger and some pizza pie at The Zone in Thimphu, good eats.
Tomorrow we hit the road and head East into the "real Bhutan" or "The Terror of Life" I have not sorted out my internet yet and might be headed into a blackout for some time. So please don't worry about me. We head to Mongor, Lhutnse, Trashiyangste. Two or three others continue on to the end of the line. I am at the end of my road very isolated from other teachers at a large boarding school. Bhutan is more naturally spectacular then just about anywhere i've been. I love seeing ferns and ice all in a days drive. A flock of plump Ravens welcomed me back home in this incarnation. I am excited to get to my new home but will miss the company of my fellow teachers. I am beginning to prepare and withdraw from the group and I fear that this might be misunderstood. They are a great GROUP of people and I am confident we all will shine our light touching the communities we teach in. I've always been a misfit but sense there is a bit of misfit in us all. Tashi Delek to all the Krewe and everyone on the homefront. I wouldn't be seeing the sunlight moving up the pine topped ridge as the waxing moon approaches fullness right now without you all...
With eternal love and gratitude