Last week I came back from a trip to Bhutan. But this story starts quite long ago …
In 2001 I visited Nepal where I met an Italian couple. They told me that while they were going to Kathmandu they had a problem with the plane and had to land in Bhutan. They were not allowed to exit the hotel where they were hosted but I remember them saying: “We want to visit Bhutan one day” I asked myself how Bhutan could be if they wanted to go back just because they enjoyed it from the window of the hotel room. It was then when I decided to visit Bhutan myself one day. During these years, I tried three of four times to book a trip but for a reason or another I never made it. Ten years later, I got in touch with Ugen and Jambay, from Wind Horse Tours. In a very short time (very few weeks), they sent me the itinerary, the quote, made all the bookings and arranged my visa.
They were effective, prompt in replying, professional and precise. A week prior my leaving Italy I had everything I needed to start a dream of a whole decade. I travelled Bhutan through 8-19 May 2011 with my guide Tenzin Rabgay and driver Hem. I enjoyed every moment I spent with them. Once the program of the day was done, we took time to talk, laugh, tell stories, drink a beer, have dinner together, hike, walk and meet with other buthanese people. I never felt unsafe or neglected. My guide and driver were always punctual and I never had to wait for them, even when I appeared suddenly because I wanted to leave a place or I woke up earlier that morning and had breakfast before scheduled time. They were simply there. With only one exception, accomodations were clean and comfortable, while the staff was helpful and polite. Sometimes even to polite that I felt embarassed because I am not used to such a kind of treatment. I took the Country as it is. For a western traveller, not everything can meet every single expectation.
Even if it could be hard to believe, I have nothing to complain with. I just enjoyed the trip, even the bumpy roads, but especially Domkhar and Ura festivals I had the chance to attend. Punakha and Bumthang were absolutely a wonderful place to stay. The hike to the Tiger’s Nest very charming. And the walk I took in Gangtey after a heavy rainfall was really fun, especially when we got into the mud till our ankles! I travelled a few other countries in Asia, which is a place I always love to go back to. Bhutan is unique and Wind Horse made it special. Many thanks first to Jambay, who did a great job, Ugen who is the first I got in touch with and all the staff who worked backstage. Finally my gratitude goes to Rabgay and Hem, my two Guardian Angels. Hope to meet you again in Bhutan. Tashi delek !