Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Journey to Merak and Sakteng: Day 4 - Relaxing day at Sakteng

Villagers put up the flag pole at Sakteng, Bhutan

The fourth day of our journey: Sakteng

We were woken up by the bright sun rays that entered through our window pane. We decided to spend whole day relaxing and staying in this beautiful village. Therefore, no need to rush and wake up early. We were just lying on the bed under the warm blankets, and getting a little more rest before I finally got up, rinsed my head with icy cold water and nice smell shampoo I carried all the way from home. 

Woahhh!!!! My brain was almost frozen and gave me a little pain!!! No choice la! The water heater was there but it did not work. They did not provide the portable electric heater too. So we could only wash up using cold water. That was one condition I had to bear when traveling in country like India and Bhutan. At least we did not have to carry buckets of water from downstairs. We were grateful enough :)

Chef K prepared delicious breakfast cum lunch :)

We both felt very fresh after a thorough wash up. It was time for us to fill our belly with warm and delicious food :) K was good in washing and cutting the ingredients so I let him starting it while I washed our pair of socks and hung it outdoor. Once I was done, I purchased 2 eggs from the grocery shop and mixed the cut ingredients to make omelette. K prepared bean datshi and we had it with miso soup (using Misty Peak glass - oh I wished it was the real Misty Peak lol!!!) plus K's handmade ezzay. Each of us had a big plate of all those food hahaha... I had become more like Bhutanese :P

Browsing Sakteng village with lollipop on our mouth :D
Sakteng, Bhutan
View at the back of the valley - Sakteng, Bhutan

At noon time we started browsing up the village. The weather changed to gloomy, but no rain. And just like in Merak and many areas in Bhutan, their houses were mainly built using stones and woods, with metallic roofs to prevent water to leek through. However, they usually built walls and had main gate to enter, just like many other farmer houses in Bhutan.

Stone walls guarded houses in Sakteng, Bhutan
Beer bottles used as walls or barricade :D Sakteng, Bhutan

Not only stones, beer bottles could also be used as walls :P

Such big houses they had, hadn't they? Sakteng, Bhutan

They made it to prevent animals from rummaging their belonging perhaps? Also to store woods for cooking cum bukhari, their farming products and equipment used. Small transports to collect things from fields were commonly seen there in the area.

Small transport entered the house in Sakteng, Bhutan
Green house within house compound area in Sakteng, Bhutan

Animals like horses, cows, yaks, dogs, etc. walked and stayed wherever they wanted to, throughout the small alley or near where the houses were located.

Animals lived together - Sakteng, Bhutan
Yaks, cows, and sheep were relaxing just like us :D Sakteng, Bhutan

We went into the building below. There was a huge giant tree not far from there. It must have been there for a long time. The building was quite new, made of woods, guarded with stone walls and wooden ladder for us to enter. The mani dungkhor inside were quite new as well. We turned the wheel few rounds and chanted our prayers.

Mani dungkhor in Sakteng, Bhutan

We walked towards river side after that. The road path there was not so smooth. We had to walk carefully and passed through many small streams.

Typical road in Sakteng, Bhutan

And played around among the yaks in the greenery :)

Jump among the yaks!!! :P Sakteng, Bhutan
K preferred feeding his hand to the yak :D Sakteng, Bhutan

We then walked through the stones area. Since we had nothing much to do for the day, I challenged him to find special shape stone in the area, however, we could not find. Then he suggested, why not bring the stone wishes back home, in miniature, as souvenir.... So I said, why not??? So there he went... Looked around among millions of stones finding few lucky ones who would travel all the way back to Singapore :D

Finding the stone wish miniature in Sakteng, Bhutan :D

After some time, he managed getting what he wanted. He was trying his best to find the small ones so that we did not have to carry it heavily and wearily. So he threw the base of the stone away and I was so angry because I found it beautiful. Hahaha... I was sulking and ignoring him afterwards just like a kid did not get the candy she wanted :P

Lhakhang or temple in Sakteng, Bhutan

We visited the temple nearby but could not find caretaker who could open the door for us. No one was there. So we left the place after circumambulated the temple. We were still in no-talking mode. I walked ahead of him and when I turned my head around, he was not there. Hmm... where did he go? Then I decided to play hide and seek. The village was a good place for that as it contained many small alleys to go through. Haha... :P I walked back to the village and found one opened corner where I could sit, unwind and update my travel journal.

Carrying wooden plank - Sakteng, Bhutan

It was a good place to sit. While writing the journal, I occasionally watched people passing by. I saw local people carrying wooden plank on their back and other two were trying to pull it up using the rope connected through their shoulders. I was thinking how manual the job they were doing. Due to the remoteness of the area, many machines that would easier their lives were not there. They had to depend a lot on their physical strength. And you could not live alone there. You needed people to help each other with the works. It was something that you found it rarely in outer world, where people had become selfish and did things only for their own benefits.

Kids after school - Sakteng, Bhutan

It was time where kids just finished their school too. So many would pass by where I sat. I managed to get the two cute kids above to take selfie with me :D And after some time, I saw K standing up there. He had finally found where I hid :P He told me that he went back to find the base stone that he threw. That was why I could not find him. And when I went back to room, I saw the stack of stones were there on the table :) So sweet of you... ^^

I continued updating my journal inside the room until the evening came. I started feeling cold again and asked K if we could make tea and have something to eat. I started to get hungry too. He went down and soon after came up with pot of hot ginger tea and two cups, together with two (already expired) cupcakes (yet we're still eating them) and a packet of (again expired) Wai Wai . We had them in our room. Ohhh... it felt like heaven!!! Thank you Kipchu!!! :)

Our wonderful dinner at Sakteng - Yak momo and ara with egg :D Loving it!!! :)

We went down to cook our Korean noodle for dinner. However, when we entered the kitchen, Leki was busy wrapping yak meat filled momo (dumpling). Woahhh..... I could not hide my excitement upon seeing it and asked him if we could try one. Hahahahaha.... :P They could not say 'no', I guessed, and once the steamed dumpling was done, they put one on our plate. We were chatting while he was preparing it and we were asking them about the rotten cheese, ara, and other things related to their culture.

Then they said they had local ara and asked us if we wanted to try. We definitely did not refuse their offer hahaha... And again, coincidentally, we had eggs (initially for our Korean noodle). So our egg's destiny was to accompany ara forever hahaha.... :P

After having one, they offered us more momos. It was really privileged to taste the local food made painstakingly with lots of love and effort by them. I had to make sure that they had enough for the family or otherwise I would feel bad. And to avoid feeling bad, K asked me to cook the Korean noodle for them.

Aha!!! What a great idea!! Barter lahhh!!! :D I immediately cooked it for them and the young daughter enjoyed it very much!!! She was so cute. She tried talking with us in English and sometimes helping her mom to translate words. I was very happy to see them happy and this way, all of us could fill our stomach happily. That was how our last night passed in Sakteng. We were very grateful for the host family who had taken care of our needs while we stayed with them. They even refused to get payment for ara that we consumed. They said, ara was made for giving to guest only, not for themselves to drink. We were very thankful for everything la!!! Thank you, thank you, and thank you! May Buddha bless you and your family with everything that you wished for in your life :)

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