Mt Everest from the Air

The imperious Sagarmatha, as its known to the Nepalese, Qomolangma in Tibet … Everest to the rest of us. At 8,848m or 28,028 ft, it’s peerless. Took a mountain flight in Kathmandu to view after sunrise, and then the flight from Kathmandu to Paro in Bhutan – sit on the left and hope for a clear day! These amateur photos don’t do it justice ! Several majestic giants in a row – Kanchenjunga , Nuptse, Lhotse, Ghauri Shankar and others ! πŸ”πŸ‘‘πŸ™πŸ½


2 November 2018

Bhutan, Day 1

Happy happy! Day 1 in Bhutan. Thimpu, the capital city. So far, so calm. Happy kids eat free apples at farmers market (and come and sit on your lap! Cue: FOMO cucu!), traditional crafts accorded a place of national importance, archery is the national sport, 70%+ of country is green (by law), significantly carbon negative, dogs sleep soundly in the day (but bark a lot at night!), where the King voluntarily gives up an absolute monarchy in favor of democracy and, famously, Gross National Happiness is the national mission! Lonely Planet calls it the last great Himalayan kingdom. It’s changing fast though: Tour guides use visual recognition apps to check on plant species. Visit it soon if you can! πŸ‡§πŸ‡Ή πŸ˜πŸ”


3 November 2018

Bhutan-Land of Thunder Dragon

Altitude management: Wisdom from the top of the world. Fleeting insights into ancient and updated wisdoms from the last two weeks visiting Nepal and Bhutan. Contrasting development models; spirituality is never too far away amidst their adjustments into the modern world. In Bhutan especially, a deep respect for education, tradition and the environment. Privileged to meet Jamling Norgay (mountaineer, entrepreneur, author, son of Tenzing Norgay) in Kathmandu and, in Bhutan, HE Karma Tshiteem (Chief of Civil Service and Mr Gross National Happiness, and yes, an appropriate first name!). Bhutan’s quest for GNH is genuine, by enlightened royal decree and rooted in their Buddhist tradition. Road signs and relatively random public signs display reminders to slow down and Buddha’s quotes. Several gems from Jamling: most accidents happen otw down, most important quality in a good mountaineer? … Humility. Reaching the top is optional, returning safely is compulsory. Resonated as have been saying all along that life is a lot about aptitude, attitude, and … altitude management! Grateful to observe first hand. Alhamdullilah. πŸ˜‡πŸ”πŸ™πŸ½


12 November 2018

Bhutan, Day 9

9 Days in Bhutan, the Thunder Dragon Kingdom. Just a bit of the Western side (Thimphu, Panukha, Paro) and the Probjikha Valley. The last Himalayan kingdom; outstanding beauty, balance, and simplicity. Proudly anchored in its traditions and its commitment to spirituality and happiness. Not quite untouched but not paradise lost either, like all places – even in this remote corner on the roof of the world – it is grappling with modernity: worry about jobs, alcoholism, waste management , over development and indeed, democracy. But at least it’s firmly based on a national commitment to happiness and sustainability. Unique is often an overused word, not this one: Visit it asap, it’s moving fast. πŸ‡§πŸ‡ΉπŸ—»πŸŒ²β›©πŸ™πŸ½


12 November 2018