It was a chilling morning in Thimphu, I was up early and ready. Hot poori and Aloo sabji was my breakfast. There was a lot to see in the city itself, so I started early. I always imagine capital cities as a place of hustle and bustle, crowded streets, busy people, high-rise buildings and heavy traffic like Bengaluru. Thimphu painted a different picture with its beautiful landscape, warm-hearted people, no honking, no traffic signals and Bhutanese architecture in all buildings. I started searching in google maps for direction, but thought of asking any locals first. I happened to look at this beautiful lady (Tashi) who greeted me with a smile, I took a chance and asked her the directions to reach the Folk Heritage museum. She was not sure about it, so she called Chophel (her then boyfriend now husband) who happened to be a tour guide in Bhutan. In the mean time we had a small conversation and introduced each other. Through Chophel, I got required information and directions. I was all set to go.
To my surprise, Tashi asked me to join her as she was visiting the Tango monastery with her friends on the occasion of their new year. I was in a dilemma for few a seconds, whether to take the risk of travelling with strangers or not. I trusted my gut feeling and decided to go with them. This decision changed my entire trip into an ‘INCREDIBLE’ experience. I met Tashi’s friends – Chophel, Chogyel, Geli, Chuki, Chuki’s cousin and Wandala. Everyone was in their traditional attire as it was ‘Losar’ (The Bhutanese New Year). Tango requires an hour’s ascent from the base on a stone path built by the monks. The climb was tough but pleasant with the fresh air, sound of birds, water in the background, and not to forget Wandala’s PJ’s along the way. We visited the monastery and hiked to the view point which had an incredible view. I was very lucky to get a taste of Bhutanese homemade cuisines as I shared lunch with them. While coming back we had to walk for a few miles to reach the next bus stop as we had missed the last bus. In an unknown country, with unknown people, thick forests, darkening light, chill weather, no phone reception, and I am walking without knowing where exactly I was going. Wow! This was the most thrilling moment in the entire trip! After walking for a few miles, we decided to ask for a lift. Finally one car stopped and we reached Thimphu late in the night.