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The Kingdom of Bhutan 2017 Trip Report

 

 

 

 

          

A Country Poised Between the Ancient and the Modern: Exploring Bhutan

Over March Break 2017, ALIVE Outdoors is very excited to be working with Good Karma Travel to provide a group from RSGC and SMLS with an outstanding learning experience in the Kingdom of Bhutan.  Travelling through Bhutan will offer students a rare and unique opportunity to see the last Himalayan Kingdom, which is said to be one of the most unique and isolated locations in the world.

Some of the goals of our journey are:
•To evaluate and examine our own perspectives and our personal values.
•To learn from and share with the Utpal Academy Higher Secondary School students.
•To deepen and expand our worldview.
•To be immersed in a society that will contrast the difference in pace and values between a life centered in Western consumerism vs. intentional and unhurried living.
•To appreciate Buddhist cultural traditions and spirituality.

 

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March 2017

“GNH is Real”- A Day Trip to Tiger’s Nest Monastery


This morning we woke up to face a new challenge! Our whole group was excited for the journey ahead of us. A long hike awaited us up to Taktshang Goemba which translates to Tiger’s Nest Monastery.  The Monastery is perched on the side of a sheer cliff 900m above the Paro Valley floor. It is one of the holiest places in Bhutan, and quite possibly the world.

We started with an early breakfast, then piled into the bus to head to our starting point, by 8:00am.  After completing the previous hike, the trek to Tiger’s Nest seemed much more achievable, because we now knew what we were capable of.

The wide, dirt pathway of switchbacks to Tiger’s Nest was well travelled, since it is one of Bhutan’s number one destinations for all tourists.  For those that cannot make it by foot, horses were available to ride up the mountain if desired.

We finally got to Tiger’s Nest and the sight before us was simply stunning.  We visited four out of the twelve temples in the Monastery, and in every temple Galey (one of our guides) taught us more and more about the Buddhist religion and the history of the sacred holy place.

When we were finished exploring Tiger’s Nest, we hiked back to a previous point where we were served a fabulous lunch, which was brought up the mountain on horseback. We ate with the stunning view of mountains and trekkers making their way up and down the path.

Following our moving journey, we travelled back down the mountain together appreciating the incredible scenery as we made our descent.  We drove back to our hotel, and on the way spotted some people playing archery so we decided to stop and watch them for a bit to wrap up on an amazing day.  Archery is Bhutan’s National sport and it was very interesting to see it in action.  The target is across a field and the men shot arrows at a target 145m away.

There were many lessons learned as part of our trek to Tiger’s Nest, but they are hard to articulate.  It’s more of an energy thing than something that can be put into words. We all felt a sense of reverence for the place that we visited and feel that many of the lessons will be realized when we return to Canada.

Kate Reed & Rebecca Myles


  

 

 

 

Photos from the Field

 

 

 

 

 

 


For those that have the password to our inReach, you can follow along to see where we are at this link:

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