First of all let me thank you again for a perfect organization of my trip. I went there with no high expectations beside a wish to be on my own and discover a new place but this trip really stands out as an extraordinary one among the other ones I did.
I am happy I traveled alone and not in a group. I happened to meet some people in groups and it would definitely spoil the whole trip for me to travel like this, as most of these groups do the same itineraries, see the same things, and do not go further than to Bumthang. This is where I met most tourists, complaining that people do not speak French, complaining about bad roads, complaining about bad food…
I loved it all. Homestays and hotels were all great, food was delicious and roads…well you made it clear how they will look like so I was aware and it was really fine.
My favourite part of Bhutan was the East. So beautiful, so peaceful! Almost no tourist groups :). Lingkhar lodge is a heaven and the owner Deki could not be friendlier with me. We had a dinner together and it was great fun. My brief trip to Merak was wonderful, everyone was very friendly and I spent a great evening with the family of Pema (local girl-guide). I brought some presents for their children and then felt embarrassed to take all the return gifts they gave me. One of the ladies gave me her own hat with an apology that she does not have anything else to give me. I wish I brought more things to them. I would definitely like to come back to East Bhutan, visit Merak again and see all other places I missed this time. My trip would certainly not be the same without Pema (boy) guide and Cheda (driver). This is hard to explain but I had a feeling I was travelling with two friends I knew for long time. It is even harder to explain that we spent hours and hours talking, on the road, with the little English Cheda speaks. Pema was just translating nonstop and we went through those bad roads talking, joking and laughing. I know I was only the second tourist Pema was taking around, but he was very professional, polite and eager to accommodate my preferences for things to do. We actually did even more sightseeing than scheduled and he never raised an objection to do something. Also he was very informative about places we were visiting and tried his best to answer my questions.
Cheda is probably the nicest person I met, extremely polite towards me and a real gentleman. The car was always clean when we started a new day on the road and he took care about details such as enough water etc. He drove very carefully on the road. When the car broke and he stayed behind waiting for a spare part to come, he drove until the late evening to join us as soon as possible. As a former monk he also arranged for me to see places in temples and monasteries, which I would normally not have had access to. When we arrived to Thimphu, he also invited me to his home for dinner. A big thanks to him.
Although my trip had a busy schedule (you called it strenuous :)), it never felt that we had to rush and I enjoyed every moment of it. I fell in love with this unique country and will definitely want to come back in near future.
Best Regards, Jarmila