I spent all of my last full day in Bhutan hiking to “Tigers Nest”. Padmasambhava came from Tibet to Bhutan in the 7th century to bring Buddhism to Bhutan. He meditated in a cave that is marked by a monastery built in the 16th century. It gets it name from the story that Padmasambhava arrived on a flying Tiger to subdue the evil spirits in the area and introduce Buddhism. The site is one that all Buddhists in Bhutan hope to visit at least once in their life. And many people from all over the world come to visit the site.
The hike up took 4 hours and was very steep in many places. The monastery is 2500′ up from the valley floor and clings to a shear cliff. It was built by prisoners to give them the opportunity to generate good karma by helping in building a monastery. The monastery is at 10,800′ and no roads lead to it.
It took me longer than anyone else on the trail to get to the monastery and return. By the end of my hike my hips, knees and back were hurting. And my whole body was worn out. I will sleep well tonight.
Half way to Tigers Nest (in the center of photo).
Tigers Nest video.
The following photos are some I took yesterday. The guys at work might be interested in these.
Typical hand labor camp. All of the hand shoveling, rock retaining wall building and whatever can’t be done with a machine (which appears to be a alot) are done by laborers from India. All of the heavy equipment and truck drivers are from Bhutan.
Road stripers! I had hoped to see how they stripe their roads here and my wish came true. Notice that they do not have on reflective vests, there are no cones at all, no warning signs and no one watching traffic.
They don’t do any pre-layout. They use a rope as a guide and have a rope with knots in it to measure lane widths. I asked them if they had a supply truck and they said yes, somewhere. They do not use any kind of truck striper. They push everything! The road that is under construction is 120 miles long and will be done in sections as it is paved. No hurry-no worries.
Paving crew. Same scenario. No cones, no signs, no vests and no traffic control. But it all seems to work somehow.
This may be my last post until I get home. I leave for Kathmandu tomorrow. Spend 2 days there. Then start my long journey home.