Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Bhutan: The Hike to Tiger's Nest

I promise that I truly TRIED to limit the number of pictures. But this is one of those "epic" things that I truly want you to be able to enjoy with us. It is absolutely mind-blowing that they were able to build this massive monastery on the side of a cliff, so extraordinarily high up. It is captivating and breath-taking, and the pinnacle of our trip.

You can read all about Tiger's Next, a.k.a. Paro Taktsang, by National Geographic if you would like. Just click HERE. Almost any picture you have ever seen of this country involves this wonderful place.

To the white speck we go!

From the base, here goes nothing!
Mind you, Adam is still dealing with a fractured knee and wrist at this point. I strongly did not want to do this, concerned about the risk, but there was no deterring him. Knee brace properly placed, up we went!

God, it was absolutely incredible.
I wish there were someway to describe the experience in any sort of way that would do it justice.
It felt spiritual.

The hike is difficult but not dangerous. That being said, I would NOT go if it was raining. We were lucky too, as it starting pouring down rain about 10 minutes after we got to the bottom. It took about 90 minutes to ascend and 60 minutes to descend.

Can you see the monastery to the right of Adam's ear? That's our hiking destination!

The leisurely ascent option

Prayer flags decorated much of our journey. Grateful for the luck!

Always excited for the occasional glimpse as we gained altitude!

Graced with gorgeous views!

Prayer wheels at the halfway point. The white speck still seems impossibly far! Can you see it?

Yeah, these women strolled right past us like we were standing still (instead of sucking wind with the high altitude
and less oxygen). Demonstrating how supplies make it to the monastery. 

The contemplative hiker

Star flowers!!!

Pictures were not allowed once you actually reached the monastery. Could you be sneaky and take them? Yes. Did people? Yes. Are we those people? No. We respect the requests and culture. So this is what you get.

We did get a full tour inside of the monastery, hearing the full history and such, as you are required to be escorted by a licensed guide.