This is what happens when you decide to write a long post like a travelogue. I started this post on November 18, 2013 and never got to finishing it. Just releasing it today, May 11, 2014 to let it off.
Just returned last Thursday from a memorable 9 day holiday in Bhutan. And believe me it was worth every minute spent there. Unpolluted air, pristine nature…. Floored me completely. The population of Bhutan is less than 0.7 million which would probably be the population of Matunga, the locality where I live!!! Small wonder that there is no noise there, the people are happy and they LIVE life unlike us in the city who are always running from one place to another like the world is coming to an end.
We traveled from Mumbai to Baghdogra via Delhi by Air India and it was a smooth ride. From the airport we got into the Tavera which would be our vehicle for the rest of the journey driven by our Bengali driver Navin (Nobin as he called himself). He drove like any Formula 1 driver and reached the border town of Jaigaon. The border crossing was no big deal and he just drove across. You are allowed to cross the border at will just that you need to get your travel permits done once inside to travel further. We stayed in Hotel Druk which was about 500 metres from the border. Infact it was so close that we got the Indian mobile network and used it to call home:-)
The next day we first got the travel permits done. Navin had it all organised and all we needed to do was to get ourselves photographed and he collected the permit after an hour. In the mean time we went to the mobile shop nearby and got a prepaid SIM card (for which you need to submit a copy of your Travel permit). Costs Rs. 5 a minute to make a call to India which wasn’t as bad.
We started for Thimphu, our first destination. The roads are winding and treacherous. People with motion sickness beware. My nephew, Dhruvit threw up big time on the way. The stop over at a small Bhutanese joint was avoidable honestly as the food was completely different from what we are used to. The weather en route was COLD so make sure you are adequately covered.