Part 3 of 3 series on Tang Valley Trek from Ngang Lakhang to Ugyencholing Palace, Bumthang, Bhutan.
For part 1: Click here
For part2: Click here
After six hours into the trek, the forest had finally opened itself up to lush meadows, blossoming with white wildflowers. I had experienced a concoction of emotions in the last six hours. For the most part of the trek, I was the only one to speak and hear myself speak. It was quiet, other than the water running in the streams and sometimes, suddenly everything would get disturbed by a drizzle. These were huge meadows, and I could see mountains covered with different shades of green all around.
We had reached our second landmark, ruins of an old monastery. I was ecstatic beyond measures, I had been walking for 7 hours now, continuously with no rest. We were afraid that slowing down meant walking in the dark. We were not prepared to spend our night in the forest.
We kept walking, and I saw a glimpse of a hut. Meadows had bewildered us. We were unable to track any trail that could hint on the path to follow. We figured that we were lost again. We decided to sit down to make sense of the downloaded map. A man was staring at us from a distance. he might not have seen people in days may be. I waved at him and he waved back.
To see us sitting there, he approached us. He was wearing two layers of jumpers and multiple layers of t-shirts and jackets. He had flies buzzing around his head and his nails had dirt lining his cuticles. I smiled. I said something and he didn’t understand. my friend tried asking and he could not understand. what he said, we could not understand.
The only word that both parties knew was the name of the first village that we would encounter once we cross the valley. He understood and signaled towards a corner which we could not see. We could just see trees and not a way out. I offered him some nuts and we started following him.
We could not have seen that way out without him. It was a sharp narrow turn which was hidden among trees and our dog was waiting there already. We thanked him with our smiles and I waved profusely at him as if it would convey more gratitude. Once again, we were back in the forest. After walking for another hour, we could see houses at a distance. I was overjoyed, relieved, happy and just wondering what all has happened today. We kept walking and the thick forest opened itself in a wide green space which had a river flowing on one side, thick forest on another and mountains with houses sprinkled over them on the third side. we sat there, had our last bunch of nuts, wondering what all could have happened today, which did not happen!
We walked for another hour and we were on the road. People working in their farms and ready to guide us towards our destination. Out trek had concluded. It would take us one more hour and a few calls to reach UgyenCholing palace.
Our dog had said us goodbye when we reached the first village. I was worried about him so we called the host the next day to tell that dog was with us until evening. The host told that she always accompanies trekkers and local people to the forest. We were received by an old lovely couple at UgyenCholing palace. An evening of history, tales, and Yetis awaited us.
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