Sunday, October 20, 2013

Bhutan trip day 11 - 15 Sep 13 - Journey to Gelephu - Part 2 Unforgettable memories :)

We finally reached Gelephu bus station at 4.30pm. After purchasing our return tickets, we took taxi to the nearest area where we started our two-hour walking journey to Chuzargang village. Riku had already warned me in advance and asked me to be mentally prepared for this journey. "I am ready, let's go!!!" replied me while smiling. Oh, I was so exciting!!! I tried to pack my bag as light as I could, only brought the necessary, unlike Riku, who brought lots of gifts for his family members :)

Starting our journey :)

We started our journey walking on the road full of stones. When we saw water, we decided that it was time to change our shoes to slippers. Not only that, we also changed our pants hahaha...

Many water puddles along our way to Maokhola river

Tell you, the view surrounding us was beautiful! Everywhere surrounded me was only nature, nature, and more nature. Be it trees, paddy fields, cows, mountains, grasses, river, etc. I was so pampered with the rich of natural resources. I wish Singapore was like this and allow me to walk in this kind of environment everyday *daydreaming.....

Two of us near the infamous Maokhola River :)

After a while, we reached to see the infamous 1.8km long Maokhola river :) We need to wait for the boat to come, therefore we spent the time having fun taking photos. Btw I was so lousy in wearing slippers. Only walked for a while, I had already spoiled my slippers. Yallama!! It was when I had to walk through the water puddle. The slipper was stuck and pressurized by the water. Haiya.... Riku immediately lent his slippers to me. I told him it was okay as I would love to walk barefooted on the soil and stones, just treated it as foot massage hehehe... but he insisted me wearing his slipper while he had to bear the pain of walking on top of many stones. Oh... I was so touched la, thank you Riku!!! :)

Right below: Three towers photo with villagers :P

The boat would only come when there were enough villagers to board. It was located at the opposite direction. Therefore, they had to pull the boat against the water flow then paddled it to our side, and again brought it closer to us.

Pulled the boat against the water flow
Boat crossed over to our side and pulled nearer for us to board

All of us slowly went into the boat and had our seat.

First cross of Maokhola River

Yes, it was only our first cross. After this one, we had to walk a distance and take another boat to cross over.

Top: A cute villager came and took photo w/ me :) - Going to cross another river by boat

The second cross journey was shorter and the water flow was milder.The view was wonderful. I loved it so much!!! See the photos below.

Beautiful view of Maokhola River in the evening :)

That alone, we had already spent around an hour time.By the time we crossed the second time, the sky had changed into beautiful reddish color and Riku had to wear his shoes back as the stones had become unbearable to step in on his barefoot hehe...

After crossing the second time, while walking, I remembered him telling me this, "I have been walking over this river for many many times in my life, but I never thought that one day I would walk with you over this river." I smiled. Suddenly I felt blessed and grateful for having this opportunity to walk through this journey. Happiness was all over our hearts that we both could have chance to enjoy the beautiful nature together, although in such a short period of time only. Thank you Riku for bringing me there!!!

It was very beautiful --- I fell in love with Bhutan so much!!! :)

From there, we walked again, following few villagers in front of us. We walked through tall and thin silver grasses (see photo above), even taller than our heights, made us difficult finding the villagers who walked in front of us. In fact, we almost got lost. Hahaha...

Finally we found the land, our starting point to the village. Starting point??? Yes, you saw it right. Hahahaha........ Yallama!! You thought it was over and we reached the village? No way!!! When I asked, Riku said there would be another one-hour walk to his village. "One hour?? On foot??", I asked him to confirm that I didn't hear wrongly. "Yes, one hour.", he replied firmly. Yallama keno!!! I thought he was trying to make me feeling better saying it was one hour while the journey might be reached in lesser time than that, but he didn't. He was saying the truth. Lolx!!!

Chandra (Riku's brother) was waiting for us. Riku asked him to wait for us there and accompany us to lead the way back home. Since I was a little bit hungry and exhausted, Riku suggested me to take a rest for a while in one stall there. He bought two packets of Wai Wai noodle and we had to eat it dry. He also bought snacks to two villagers who helped us showing the way to this place :)

We couldn't rest so long as the sky had started to turn dark and we still had a long way to go so we started walking again. This time, someone helped me carrying my bag, so I only carried my backpack. It had helped me a lot. We had to walk very fast. Chandra led the way, I walked in the middle, while Riku was walking behind me. Riku had to slow down whenever passing by the water puddle (as he was wearing his socks and shoes back), while I wore his slipper. However, I was so careless again with his slipper and I spoiled the slipper for a second time. Hahahaha.... No choice, I had to carry his slipper with my hands, while walking barefooted.

It was so fun. My feet touched the soil, water puddle, stones, and even cow dung, made me feel very closer with the earth. I didn't care how many germs sticking on my feet. In fact, I felt so carefree. We walked under the bright moonlight above us between the paddy field, small path, and kept walking. Chandra walked very fast and I had to catch up with his pace because otherwise I would get lost. Hahaha.... Since the dark came, we had to turn on our torch light. I was lazy to take out my torch light from inside my bag and just turned on the flash light apps from my handphone. It was bright enough to show the path in front of us.

Suddenly Riku reminded me of leeches. He said there would be many leeches during this season. Yallama!!! Before hearing it, I was so happily enjoying the journey. No worry, nothing. Just enjoyed the moonlight and stepped the soil barefooted and felt the earth's warmness. But after he mentioned "leeches", suddenly I felt scared, insecure, and full of worry.

So sometimes in life, it's better that you didn't know or didn't hear about anything and still be happy with your life, rather than knew about it and made you feeling scared and insecure, full of worry. Don't you agree? When time came, when you got bitten by the leeches, it might be too late, but no matter what, the result would obviously still be the same. Only how long you would enjoy the happiness with your ignorance rather than keep worrying and be sad all the time in your life journey ;)

Therefore, I chose to ignore about it and kept going. Too bad I didn't have a chance to capture the view of that journey as we had to walk very fast and it was dark (my handphone might not be able to capture as beautiful view as what we saw with our own eyes). Therefore, that images would only be stored inside my brain :)

On our way, Riku asked me to talk with Chandra as he could speak and understand English. So, I was asking few questions from him, about his families, his occupation, and so on. He was a very humble person, content with what he had in his life. Blessed with marrying a very beautiful wife and had two cute sons, 7 and 4 years old each. He worked as a farmer, taking care his own paddy fields. Other than that, I heard he was a good carpenter too. His favorite past time was to drink whiskey, Black Mountain whiskey - hahaha... (this was my assumption though, as per what Riku told me :P)

Riku and his brother, Chandra

Ooohh.... after walking for some time, I saw some buildings.Yayyy!!! I was so tired and full of sweat. Hahaha... So happy that we finally reached our destination :) We were escorted to the biggest house. Once went in, we could find two single separate bed with a table in the middle. There was staircase leading to the above floor. The wall was made of mud and dung washed. There was a ceiling fan to cool us down. There was Hindu altar too inside the house with God of Hindus posters were pasted near the altar

Riku's first Mom, me, Riku's father, Chandra and his youngest son

We took a seat and had a rest. One by one I met Riku family members, started with his father, "A man behind Chuzargang rice", Mr. Lal Bdr. Subba. He looked exactly the same with the photo that Riku posted in his blog previously, except that he had lost some weight due to health condition issue that triggered him few months back. Riku told me that his father could speak a little bit of English, so I could converse with him. Hehe.. I did talk with him afterwards and the first thing he told me was that he married two wives and Riku was coming from the second Mom. Hehehe.... I guessed he was very proud of it. No wonder Riku told me that he wanted to marry two wives too in the future, following his father's step :P

His first Mom came in. She was wearing gold accessories under her nose (it was common for the woman to wear that kind of accessories there) and earrings on both ears. Although she was petite woman, she had given birth to seven children.

Her eldest sister-in-law came in, followed by Chandra's two sons, Raj and Diwash. After that Riku's Mom entered followed by Chandra's wife and Chandra. I was introduced to each of them. Among them, I think it was only Chandra who could understand English, however, he spoke less. So they all would converse in Nepali while sometimes I would ask Riku to translate whenever they spoke something related to me.

Riku's Mom offered us Ngaja. While having tea, Riku and I distributed some gifts to all them. I brought some chocolates for them to taste. Riku gave his two Moms scarfs that he bought in Nepal while I gave two of them brooch. Both received it happily :) I passed some souvenirs from Singapore to his father. We gave Riku's brothers the Black Mountain whiskey and both sister-in-laws were so happy hahaha... Riku bought a packet of balloon to Chandra's son, reminded me his blog post that he wrote regarding Chunku (his youngest sister).

Once finished our tea, I told Riku that I wanted to take a bath. I felt so sticky and was longing for a fresh water to clean up my body. He asked me to prepare my clothes and my other things. I thought he would bring me to the pond or river to take a bath, but he didn't. There was no river nearby ba. He brought me to a place located around 10 meters away from the house. There was a man-made pond filled with water near a big tree (not sure where the water was coming from, whether it's clean or dirty, it was too dark to see and I didn't really care about it too, as long as there was water for me to take a bath). He told me to take a bath there, in open air. I was like, What??? Was he serious?? He was asking me if I wanted to take a bath outdoor or indoor. I guess that indoor was not that fun and troublesome as I had to take the water manually to the small toilet. Therefore, I chose to take a bath outdoor. He gave me two alternative places. One was at the pond he showed me just now, while another one was at water tap nearby Chandra's house (brighten with light), which was more obvious for people to see. Hahaha......

Fireflies - source:

I chose to take a bath near that man-made pond. He assured me that no body would peek on me as everyone would stay inside the house and no one had an intention to do that. Well... so be it ba! I put my clothes on the stone nearby to ensure it wouldn't get wet. I filled the bucket with water, took out my bath gel, face soap, etc. Oh my... when was the last time I took a bath outdoor like that??? I think I never did that before. It would be my first time though. Hahaha... I was a bit shy so I took a bath with my cloth on in the beginning and only removed it when it's going to finish. It was dark, only lighted by the moonlight on top of me. And you know what??? While bathing, I saw many fireflies flying in the vicinity. There were lots of it!!! It was blinking and so beautiful!! Wow!!! I felt so blessed bathing this way. The water was not that cold and suitable for this kind of hot weather. I kept looking at the beautiful view of fireflies and moonlight. It was really great feeling and unforgettable memories in my life :)

After I finished, it was Riku's turn. While waiting, I had a chit chat with Riku's father. We tried our best to communicate using English. Hehehe... Once Riku was back, we went into the room and his Mom brought us dinner. We had rice with fried chicken, dhall, and dorle chili. Nyummy.... Loving it :)


While having dinner, everyone was inside the room. They had a chit chat while I was just listening to their chatter and laughter. Chandra told everyone that I was so strong, walking like a horse. Hahahaha.... Maybe he was surprised and didn't expect that this city girl would be good at walking hahahaha.... After finishing my dinner, I was asking Riku if they had tongpa. I had been reading it in his blog and heard about it from others too but had never tasted it before. Since I was in Gelephu, I should have drunk it right? He asked his Mom if they had it and I was lucky enough that they actually had it with them. I was given a jug of it with a straw made of bamboo - see the photo above. Hm.... it was warm and mild, not very strong in alcohol, tasted a little bit sweet, nice :) Once you finished drinking it, you could add boiled water into it and drink it all over again. Cool!

Me and Riku's Mom - Felt warm with her hugs - Blessed!!! :)

Happy times together - with Riku and his families :)

The above photo from left to right: Riku eldest's sister-in-law, Chandra's wife, Riku's Mom, Riku's first Mom, me, Riku's father and Riku. 

Inside Chandra's house - Three drinker ladies - Cheersss...... :)

After that we went to Chandra's house. Both sister-in-laws were having the Black Mountain whiskey. I joined them to taste how the whiskey tasted like. Hm.. not bad.. hehehe.... I realized that these two ladies were happier than their husbands when it came to drink hahaha.... Great accompany!!!

Inside eldest brother's house - with Riku's brother, sis-in-law, and sis-in-law's mother

It was raining while we were there. Once the rain was lighten, we continued visiting the eldest brother's house. Their house was quite small and simple. Once entered in, you could see the rack, table, and beds. Usually every house there would have a separate kitchen. She served us drink and had a chit chat while waiting for the rain to stop. Here, his eldest sister-in-law told us that I resembled one of the young girls who stayed in the village, called Jyoti and after that they started to call me Jyoti hahaha.... :D

The rain didn't stop so that we had to use umbrella to go back to our place. We went to sleep after that. I was awoken up at 3.20am. I wanted to pee. Instead of going to the toilet, I chose to pee on the grass outside the house. Hahahaha.... I helped them fertilizing the grass mah! I was facing the wall. When I looked up, wow!! I was amazed!! There were many stars above me looking sooo... big and near. I thought I saw wrongly. I removed and put my glasses back, and indeed, the stars were so many and shone brightly in the dark sky! Oh... another unforgettable memories.. while peeing... Lolx!!!

I told Riku about it and he was waking up and went outside to see it too. But he wasn't as amazed as me, perhaps it's common for him. For me, it was wonderful as in Singapore, we could only see a faraway and small stars in the sky. Not as big and as close as in Gelephu.

Suddenly, we heard the rooster calling just next to our room Yallama!! It shocked me for a while! At 3.30am??? Usually rooster would only call out at 5 or 6am in Indonesia, never at 3.30am. Both of us went into laughter hearing that hahaha.... After that we continued our sleep. Good thing was there was no mosquitoes. Oh, I was so relieved! I thought there would gonna be lots of mosquitoes there. That's why I could sleep peacefully...... Oh, so many unforgettable memories in a day... I am blessed!!!

Continue the day in this post.

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