Just to wrap up our stay in Punakha with some pictures that don’t fit into any other posts.
We walk about 1 km from the dzong to see a famous suspension bridge, one of the longest in the region. The wind is rushing up the river, making the bridge, very exposed, feel unsteady. Nonetheless, Esso and Judy make it all the way across.
As we resume our westward journey, we stop at the Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendup Lhakhang Nunnery. The temple is not especially interesting, but the location is fantastic: on the tip of the high ridge separating two major river valleys, with 360° views. Also, some nice gardens, although few flowers bloom this time of year.
From here, we drive west and climb to the 3088-meter high Dochu La pass. (The name is redundant, as La means pass). Remember, we started at 1200 meters, so this a quite a climb, and the atmosphere at the top is radically different.
The slopes above the pass are a park-like treasury of great old hemlock trees. The serenity of this place captures my heart; I would love to walk in this landscape all day.
A little higher–and deeper in forested seclusion from the road–I find some little shrines. Well, they look to me like graves, probably of important lamas or saints. Very handy for meditation, sheltered from the weather. But I don’t go in; the forest is shrine enough for me.
And then, on the Thimphu for the night.
And just for fun, here’s some hand-crafted fabrics in a shop display: