Tag Archives: Dochu la pass

On the road again

We spent the day retracing our path across the Dochu la pass, but this time it was snowing.

When we got to the top, we had to wait a couple of hours for the roadblock below to open so we had lunch and then the boys taught Dochi (our driver) and Chime (our guide) how to play Suja’s version of dice.  Everywhere you go in Bhutan there are pictures of the royal couple. They are the 33 year old fifth king and his 23 year old bride of two years. They are a beautiful pair. Here is  Pat beside their portrait in the restaurant.

Pat and the royals

Pat and the royals

When we got back down to Thimphu we visited the textile museum. No photos were allowed inside but I bought the catalogue of the collection. When we got back outside Dochi was trying to help someone who had a flat tire fix his jack.

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After the museum we stopped briefly for a photo op of a giant walking Buddha who was imported from Thailand. He is across the street from the national stadium, then we drove to Paro and checked into the hotel

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Over the pass

After the day of visiting many different attractions, we had a day of mostly driving. It was amazing, the scenery was stunning and we went on one of those roads that switched back constantly as it snaked up to the Dochu la pass and back down into the next valley. At the top of the pass is a set of 108 stupas to commemorate the soldiers lost in a war

The road is being widened, but since it is the only road, that causes logistical problems.  The first problem is that they can’t work on it in either the winter or the rainy season, which leaves about six months. The second problem is of course the fact that it is the only road and so they have to keep opening and closing it to let the traffic through. There is apparently a roadblock report on the news every night to let people know when they will be able to get through. Our driver timed our trip so we only waited once for an hour between the three roadblocks.  We did have to stop a few other times when the road was only narrow enough for one vehicle  I took

some pictures of decorated trucks at one of these places

On the other side of the pass we stopped at the phallus temple for a walk and lunch. This is the temple that commemorates the master who seems to have been quite a lech, but is revered because he subdued some pretty nasty demon. Because of him, there are penis decorations all over, like the one from yesterday’s post.

When we got down into the valley, we visited the old capital and its dzong (parliament building). Tomorrow we will go back over the pass and spend three nights in Paro