Climbing and sliding back down Tiger's Nest

Previous page - Climbing up Tiger's Nest

 

Slipping and sliding back down to the valley floor

The decline from Tiger’s Nest was still a tough walk. Ian timed himself climbing down the steps from the monastery and back up to the top of the stairs (before the main walk back down to camp) and it took him 22 minutes at a fast pace.

After completing the stairs we took a couple of short cuts rather than sticking to the main path but I wouldn’t advise others to do so unless you have extremely good shoes and are very agile.  I found it very hard not to slip on the loose, dusty, clay soil. Jeremy hit the ground once very hard and twisted his right ankle quite badly. It was so sore he had to sit still in the dirt for some time to get his act together and to continue on. It is fortunate that he was a good 15 minutes further down the path than us, as he apparently uttered every swear word under the sun because of the pain. This combined with sore tendons in the back of his left knee made walking down difficult for him.

Horses carry provisions and not just people Horses we passed carrying goods up the mountain

 

I hit the ground twice but didn’t hurt much more than my ego. After my two falls I became frantic that I would slip again, or worse still, that I would slide into someone else and take them down with me. Kinga was always right beside me and held my hand in all the slippery parts – which were many. I also had to hang on to Ian a few times as well on our decline down the clay pathways. Jeremy and I both seemed to have trouble with our shoes not wanting to grip the dusty clay soil. No one else seemed to be as troubled as us. Later on we checked the soles of our shoes but they seemed fine.

 

Back down to the valley floor

It took us easily an hour and a half of walking down pathways to reach the originating car-park at the bottom of the hill. So that I wouldn’t slip again, I had been gripping hard with my toes inside my shoes, and consequently, when I finally reached the bottom of the hill, I found I had blisters beneath my toes.
The whole trek up and back took a grand total of five and a half hours, and we only spent a very short time at the cafeteria both ways. We hauled ourselves clumsily into the waiting car. Never were we so glad to sit down, particularly Jeremy and I, as we were in varying stages of limping.


Sore bottoms and jelly legs

My bottom was sore from horse riding but Ian and Jeremy both said their bottoms were fine. My legs were also like jelly, I had some gravel rash underneath my forearms too from when I slipped up. Ian did the journey with no injuries which was a magnificent feat for his age – he he!

 

Delicious lunch at Taktsang View Restaurant

We were taken to the nearby Taktsang View Restaurant for lunch which was less than a 5 minute drive away. There we collapsed into our seats and were served the best meal we have had in the whole of Bhutan. The food included rice, a noodle dish, Chinese vegetables, spicy sweet and sour chicken, broccoli and carrots, beef and mushrooms plus diced cucumber in mayonnaise. This was served with plenty of cups of tea. We were the only people in the restaurant.

Some of the other climbers had their lunches at the cafeteria at the half-way point. So they would have had to finish their downwards (or upwards) walk after eating a heavy meal. Kinga thought that was not wise and we were very glad he had organized our meal after the walk was finished.

The inside of the restaurant is highly decorated Decorative interior of the Taktsang View Restaurant
A delicious meal was enjoyed after our walk Our delicious meal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were pooped but we needed to go to the bank to exchange some money to give to both Kinga and Dorje as a thank you for making our Bhutan visit so memorable. My feet were way too sore to walk so Jeremy & Ian went with Kinga to a bank to exchange some American dollars. From there we headed back to the hotel to recuperate.


Jeremy wanted to jump on the internet and send some emails but there seems to be no internet available this afternoon. This is starting to become a common trend. So, he and Ian had a nice slow walk around part of the Hotel grounds which were approximately 28 acres. I sat in the hotel lounge writing my diary and drinking several cups of tea and being waited on generously by the attentive staff. They kept feeding me delicious cheese pastries.

 

Taking the Royal Family up to Tiger's Nest

One of the young waiters here told me he had climbed Tiger’s Nest on two occasions, once he had to carry a 100kg load upon his back. He said it was food and gear for the King and Queen when they climbed to the monastery. The second time he climbed it was with another large load for when the Queen Mother also visited the same site. I asked him if the royal family actually climbed the whole journey, thinking to myself that the Queen Mother may have been elderly. He told me they completed the whole journey under their own steam.

 

Jeremy's embarrassing moment

Back in our rooms we have repacked our check-in luggage. Jeremy entered his unlocked room and found an Asian lady in the bathroom. He thought she was a cleaner so he kept going on in through the door. Suddenly he realized he was in the wrong bedroom when the Asian lady started asking him who he was and he had to apologize profusely. He heard the lady very quickly lock her door as soon as he had left the room.


At 7pm we had our dinner which again was very delicious. Chicken soup, coleslaw, naan bread, several rices, veggie patties, ginger chicken, roast pork (sadly very fatty and chewy) and gravy, mushrooms and broccoli, Chinese veggies and chilli cheese. This was followed by some quite tasty apple strudel.


We are all having lovely hot showers to wash away today’s aches and pains. Tomorrow we have an earlyish start to get to the Bhutan Airport for our flight to Kathmandu in Nepal.

 

Next page - Arriving in Kathmandu

 

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