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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

8 - Day 3 Dung and Nga Tsho to Thimphu 22nd February, 2017

Janatenkha Monastery taken from some 2 hours hike above it.


7 hours hiked till Haa, then drove to the capital

A beautiful sunny day welcomed us all out of our tents effortlessly, although we slept very late. Looked at one another’s face, everyone was smiling and we know the reason. Did not spell it out for awhile but couldnot hold it any further, “Doc…torr.. Doctor… Ashim Dechen is sick la.” Everyone laughed out loud, imitating Kinzang. She was fine then. She had learnt a lesson but the hard way.

After a quick breakfast, ashim Chimi sat on a rock updating the route map on her diary, I was trying to help her too while ashim told me time and again, “Toilet tent is very important, we didn’t have it for a night and see everyone is hitting the bushes.” I raised my eye brows and yes, I saw our folks going behind the bushes. I was guilty too.

After breakfast readying to head home.


We set about the final leg at 8 AM. Sun was getting hotter, legs going stiffer and trail was no easy: steep. Slowly, but steadily we climbed. Finished the steep section in about an hour from there it was all an easy walk across the flank, looking back on the other side we could see Tsabjo La and far towards west mount Jomolhari was playing with thick white clouds on her head. Carried on walking for 2 hours till we reached the place where Ap Chundu a powerful local deity of Haa valley came over to compromise between the angry pursuing Tshonapatta and Pangbisa lama. There were three huge laptas, we tired looking for a huge stone from which the lake returned but could not see. We walked yet again for another hour to our lunch spot.


Acho S.T, acho Karma T. accompanied by our guide posing by the huge laptsas in Tshelumtsho 

Our last lunch in Nob Tshonapatta Trek on the horizon

Exactly at 12 noon we got to a beautiful mini plateau. Decided to lunch there sitting in a huge but not so accurate circle. Everyone was bit tired and hungry too, started digging into our bangchungs without any delay. We could see Haa valley far below. Acho Karma T. Dorji, began with his signature statement, "Since I am the eldest in the group..." and echoed words of appreciation and thanked everyone especially our two team leaders for organizing a fabulous trek; and then all the new trekkers who joined us on this wonderful and a memorable Nub Tshonaptta trek.  All of us cheered.

Haa Valley far below, taken from 2 hours hike above Jana Ten kha Goenpa


After lunch at 12.40 PM we said good bye to the mountains and thanked them deeply for allowing us to have a safe and an unforgettable trek. Janatenkha monastery wasn’t far enough. Picked up all the plastics bags and PET bottles we came across lying astray on the trail. Trekkers of the past hadn’t done much good to the mountains.

The sharp descend didn’t hurt our knees as expected because we were so engrossed in sweet nothings, so carried away to that point where by we didn’t even realize two of our new girls Dechen and Dawa  were left way behind. Thank goodness they called us or we might have had to climb back the entire stretch of thigh aching ascend.  Well, that was fine I will tell you what the duo had thought all about when Kinzang and I met them some 30 minutes way back upwards the lone bear vicinity. Like some pre primary scholars happy to see their parents who have come to pick them after school, so were Dechen and Dawa smiling at us with a long sigh of relieve.  “We, checked our bag there was a few biscuits, some sticks of match, half a bottle of water and….,” Dechen was running out of words, “… and… I thought we are going to make it through the night and tomorrow they will come looking for us by any means!” That was the first time she spoke to me at that length throughout the trek and, “It was almost a S.O.S.” I thought to myself jokingly. This short exercise not only made them aware to keep up with other trekking mates and call out immediately if s/he sees no one in front or to inform before going to the loo off the trail. But it also reassured them that one is going to be left behind. That’s Trekkers 360’.

Younger brother Kinzang Namgyel taking his new sister found in the mountains by her hand. 


At 3.30 PM there we were in Janatenkha monastery, reunited! So kind of the lama there, refreshment was most appropriate. Hung around the temple for an hour enjoying the panoramic view of Haa valley down below, whilst trying to engrave fresh memories of wonderful Nob Tshonapatta trek deep in our hearts, looking high up in the mountains. It gave us a deep sense of satisfaction for having done it successfully - thanks our two team leaders and to all the mates - and enormous appreciation of how pristine everything was up there.  I wish if every trekkers respect the Mother Nature and her wonderful vicinity then it’s likely she will grant us some perennial rivers and bountiful harvest for decades.


Happy BOOTS!


4.30 PM on the clock and we bid good bye to porter ponies and the lama there. Left Janatenkha on the hill, passed through Haa valley and zoomed off to Thimphu. Gem Tshering was the pilot, and he lived up to his reputation of driving swift no matter the road condition: narrow or wide, he simply zoomed. I pretended to be brave. Mr. DrukAir got numerous calls which made him a little irritated, “Agrrr, firstly they compromise on price and secondly they want work to be done instantly!”  Dolma sang some lovely songs while snacking on packets of chips, did I eat too?

A shop in Bali, Haa

After 3 ½ hours of driving we were finally at DE, Thimphu, underneath the walnut tree.  Everybody was, “Yaayyy, we made it!!” Menda  was there sharing our success too. As always dinner was served on the house, so sweet of ashim Chimi. Had a yummy dinner at DE but our trek didn’t end there, hot stone bath and tongba got onto our list ad hoc. Eight of us were in for it, we drove to Babesa. “Oh, my,” soaking in the wooden bath tub after a week-long trekking is the best feeling you can ever feel, tongba in between simply complemented. Two hours of therapy had us smiling like a full moon with red cheeks. We had to take some photos in the dark to freeze the memory, glad we did that. All the while time kept running and so we were calling it, “a very successful and a memorable Nob Tshonapatta trek” we departed smiling with cheeks still red!

Us, red red cheeks with Tongba. :D :D 

 Nob Tshonapatta trek was one of the most difficult treks, and yet the best trek so far!!


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