48 Hours in Phobjikha Valley – Part I

Phobjikha

Phobjikha Valley stay and trek

“So what do we do today?” asked my fellow travelers in Phobjikha. It was raining, our homestay had no TV, no Netflix to binge on and no network to be glued to social media. The rooms had our mattresses sprawled on the floor and our unzipped trekking bags in the corner, the in-vogue minimalist living in the true sense. The mist engulfing the valley and the heavy rain clattering the wooden roof of the homestay didn’t leave us with any other option but to sit near the tandoor in the kitchen and watch the valley getting slashed by the hail sized rain. Which actually didn’t turn out to be a bad idea, sitting beside a hot tandoor, petting the in-house cat and doing nothing. 

Phobjikha

No, she didn’t like me, her loyalty was to the person closest to the Tandoor. 

Phobjikha

Loyalty to the hot seat

Phobjikha

Within an hour the clouds just disappeared clearing up the sky and giving us a few hours to explore the valley before the dusk starts collecting. And we were out of topics to even converse on, so trekking seemed a good alternative

Phobjikha

The weighed down clouds were replaced by a thick fog that swooped in and covered the entire valley bringing the Stephen King’s novel to life

Phobjikha

Dainty little lilac Primulas swarmed the valley floor. 

Phobjikha

It was very tempting to stray out of the road into the marshy grassland. I gave in to my temptations and walked into the marsh only to have the cold water seeping into my shoes 

Phobjikha

The valley also a generous amount of shit of its own, Horse and Yak shit. It sounds so audacious when I say “I went through shit” to take a closer look at the Primulas. 

Phobjikha

Somewhere across those trees and many rivulets away was our homestay, a cozy and warm place we found after our Gangtey quest

Phobjikha

 

Phobjikha

Next morning we had plans to walk into that lofty peak. 

Phobjikha

 

Phobjikha

With mist comes that eerie feeling

Phobjikha

That was our home for two days, kitchen on the single floor wooden cottage and our rooms were on the top floor of the double-storied cottage

Phobjikha

The homegrown potato fields, a staple in Kewa datshi recipe which is a delicacy in Bhutan 

Phobjikha

 

Phobjikha

A swing in the jungle, its more Instagram famous cousin is in Ubud, Bali.

Phobjikha

Maybe not the most comfortable night arrangements, but certainly a very peaceful one. The only thing I missed was the reassuring amenities of a city in case of an emergency. Here the boys were making plans for the next day, a trek deep into the heart of the valley. 

Phobjikha

I am an early riser, I usually wake up by 6 – 6:30 am every day, Boo-Boo too seems to follow my body clock. I like him more now…

Phobjikha

Prayer room of our hosts. The head of the family allowed me to enter it and sit and meditate if  I was willing to do so.

Phobjikha

 

Phobjikha

A traditional Bhutanese house with multi-colored wood frontages and small arched windows.

Phobjikha

Next morning the weather cleared up, just random drizzling bouts which didn’t hinder our trekking plans.

Phobjikha

Good warm up before the hike

Phobjikha

Phobjikha

and here we start…..

Phobjikha

I’ll share more pictures of the trek on my next post. It was a long hike with hundreds of pictures clicked and videos shot. You can follow me on Instagram here for the videos.  

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