We spent the morning on a two-hour hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, which was built by one of the queens for the fifth king in 1990. The inside of the stupa was beautiful, albeit fairly new. Chencho explained that the queen built it herself for her son to ensure prosperity and wise governance. Patrick asked if it was built with taxpayerâ€™s money, but this was treading into dangerous waters. Chencho was adamant that it was her very own money that she earned from running a womenâ€™s organization, but I agree with Patrick that itâ€™s probably unlikely thatâ€™s the case. But as long as the people arenâ€™t complaining, who are we to say anything?
The valley that we walked through is very beautiful, but Patrick and I are glad weâ€™re here in March, rather than summer, where temperatures can apparently get as high as in the mid-90s. Chencho told us that they have a big mosquito and leech problem in the summer because of the river that runs through the village, and itâ€™s so hot and humid that the guides and drivers sleep in the car at night, rather than in the staffâ€™s quarters, which has no air-conditioning.
We got back to the lodge, and had the most delicious lunch, weâ€™ve had during our trip â€“ potato soup and tomato fettuccine with asparagus and mushrooms. Robert, the chef at this lodge used to work at Robuchon in Las Vegas, and it shows. Later, he came by to chat with us, and let on that he was considering a risotto with fiddleheads. His â€œmushroom guyâ€ has been by as well with gorgeous shiitake mushrooms, so dinner sounds promising. Forrest, an artist who is also staying here as a guest, told us that the chef hinted at veal scallopine as well. Yum!
Patrick went off biking in the afternoon with Checho and Ugyen. I opted against hanging around so much testosterone, and decided instead to get a Thai massage by Dawa, who the chef recommended. I was stretched and pulled in so many directions, Iâ€™m convinced Iâ€™m taller.