Farmhouse dinner, Bhutan
I open an eye. Twilight outside. Dawn is slowly giving changing the pitch black outside into a grayish. Getting lighter by the minute.
It’s early morning. My eyes are still adjusting after waking up. But the sounds outside reveal, we are at the country side. Forest close by.
I slept very well on the mattress on the floor in a farmhouse in the Phunaka valley. There is already some activity outside. Time to get up…
Breakfast on the “terrace”
Our guide Tenzin is already helping our host to setup the breakfast tables outside. A bit improvised, but what a view over the valley. Clouds slowly lifted while the sun is coming up.
Continue reading Phunaka valley – hiking along a path our guide did not yet know
I love food and wherever we travel you can find me in the kitchen. Kitchens are social places, there is always an opportunity to support the cook, learn something new and chat with the people, even if this is only with hand and feet.
Let’s take a break form the cultural experiences and get to the culinary side of Bhutan, before we continue staying in a local farmhouse in the Phunaka valley.
Since we travel Bhutan with a guide, which is not our usual travel style, we had to trust on Tenzins’ recommendations. We told him that we want local food and love spicy. We ended up in a restaurant with 100% foreigners as guests and he disappeared when food was served. Food was tasteless and besides the rice, I think there was nothing local. When he reappeared, we asked where he was eating. “Another place where they have food for locals” he said. “That’s the kind of place we want to go tomorrow, don’t get us in a tourist place again please!” we asked him for. “But it is spicy!” he replied to get reminded “We love spicy very much!”.
Eating Bhutanese food is a spicy affair
Long story short: We got tested with some snacks (deep fried chili, some other things I am not sure what it was) and from there on, we did not enter any tourist restaurant (with the exception of the one at tiger’s nest, but we were too hungry and this was the only place. And Tenzin organized some chili paste from the kitchen, so we could manage). Instead of typical restaurants, we tried to eat at farmhouses as often as possible, which is the best you can do…
Continue reading Bhutan – Culinary experience
I saw excitement, sparkling eyes and at the same time a reverent expression in the face of our guide Tenzin, when he spoke to a local monk in a monastery at the entry of the Trongsa Valley. It was joy, but not just joy. Maybe a little similar to a small boy waiting at Christmas Eve to be allowed to see the tree with all the candles and the strong believe that Santa is about to bring some presents…
The big excitement: the blessing
So what was this all about? “A blessing is being held at the Dzong tomorrow.” was the explanation. “Is this blessing something special to the people?” I wanted to know. “Yes, very special! The monk is very famous. There will be a lot of people. It will be difficult to park the car.” Difficulties to park the car seems to be a global topic, even in a remote valley in Bhutan. “No problem at all to walk. Will it still be possible to visit the Dzong then?”. Since the Bhutanese people are very open to visitors, it did not seem to be any problem at all. So we were curious.
The next morning, the atmosphere was somehow busy but at the same time very calm and patient.
Continue reading Trongsa – travelling back in time into a valley going crazy