Taking advantage of the long weekend last week, I tagged along with some friends on a road trip to Phobjikha to see the famed black-necked cranes. Kuenga and I drove out to Punakha to spend the night at her aunt’s home. After a short hike from the nearest feeder road, we were welcomed warmly by the family and treated to a traditional outdoors Bhutanese stone bath in the evening. Naturally no photos were taken because this blog is rated G (okay okay, the truth was that I was too lazy to grab my camera). A fairly good description of a Bhutanese stone bath can be found here.
We then met up with Tashi, Passang and Phuntsho at Lobeysa and set off in Tashi’s car to Phobjikha. After a two-hour drive or so, we arrived at the beautiful and peaceful Phobjikha valley. Unlike many other towns, no electricity poles and cable mar the landscape. This is an attempt to protect the valley as the cranes’ ideal habitat during their winter hiatus away from Tibetan plains. At the information centre, we got a good eyeful of the foraging black-necked cranes through the telescopes available. After a spot of photo-taking, our hungry stomachs demanded lunch and we picked a picnic spot with an excellent view of the valley.
We took a stroll around the valley after lunch, taking the chance to document as much of our picturesque surroundings as possible. We headed back to Lobeysa late in the afternoon, spending a night at another of Kuenga’s family home before driving back to Thimphu Saturday morning.
It’s always great to escape the dust and cold of Thimphu. My thanks to my lovely companions on this trip, you made it all the better…