Today we went to Tang Ugyen Chholing, which required a bumpy hourâ€™s drive on an unpaved dirt path with lots of rocks. The ride was uncomfortable at best, but on the way, we went through a village that was celebrating something to do with Guru Rinpoche, and having an archery competition with old-fashioned bows and arrows.
It was almost straight out of Katie Hickmanâ€™s book. The men were roaring drunk, and shooting at targets that were 150 yards away. We watched on the sidelines and we could see what she meant about the craziness of watching drunk men shoot arrows and trusting them not to hit you. They were, however, good-natured. An old woman sang a song as we got out of a car â€“ we think it was that traditional song that women sing before or during such competitions. Then a friendly, but very drunk man offered us homemade bangchang, the buckwheat alcohol that we also had at the farmhouse yesterday. This one was served to us in a plastic bucket, and you could see some specks of dirt or something floating in it. Trusting that alcohol will kill bacteria, I had a sip, and Patrick finished off most of the rest of it. We seem okay so far, so no harm done. After our guide and driver had a couple rounds of archery, we took off for the most pleasant hike, on a perfect day, overlooking one of the prettiest valleys Iâ€™ve ever seen.
I finished the day with a nice massage and a pleasant dinner. It was one of the most ideal days here. Iâ€™ve so completely lost track of days here that I was startled to realize that today was Saturday, and weâ€™ve been on vacation for a week.