July 25, 2015
It took us 11 hours driving time from Thimphu to Taktse. We did take a detour to go to a college ceremony in the Panakha Valley a few hours east of Thimphu, but much of the road itself was arduous, something like an obstacle course. There were long patches of deep, rocky ruts and narrow, muddy passages with huge boulders scattered throughout the road. Many places were only one lane with two-lane traffic and people passing on the curves. The condition of the road was compromised by the fact that it is being widened by chopping vertical slices out of the mountains, but there were also places of recent mudslides. Mercifully, we travelled on a day when there was no work being done; otherwise we would have encountered roadblocks that could have required several hours wait.
We arrived in Taktse about 8:30 at night, so it wasn’t until morning that the splendor of the place revealed itself. Mists and clouds drifting through mountains and moments of pristine blue sky alternate. The locals say there are four seasons in every day.
Classes begin on Wednesday, and I am entrenched in preparations.