We came around one hairpin corner and found a man sitting in the middle of the road eating his morning tea. I have no idea what he was doing but there was another one about 10 metres away.
Bhutanese people are welcoming, friendly & very patriotic. The kingdom has only recently become a democracy and the people don’t really know what to make of that yet. The weather cleared and by the time we reached Paro, around 3pm it was sunny. We walked around the town for a bit in case the weather packed in tomorrow. The place is heaving with people, locals and foreigners arriving for the festival. Five of us will attempt the hike to Taktshang Monastery tomorrow.
Everywhere you go in India and Bhutan there are lots of dogs. At first you think they are dead, but in actual fact they just lie sleeping any and everywhere. The problem in Bhutan, is that they sleep all day and bark all night. Sitting in bed typing this there is an absolute cacophony going on outside. No one seems to shut them up. Paro in particular has a huge dog problem. So much so, that every Tuesday the locals are asked to take a dog, any dog, to the vets to be neutered. It wasn’t clear who pays but I suspect it’s the state.
The previous King (the current Kings father) instituted the happiness index. So instead of a GDP Bhutan has a GHI. Essentially it’s about good governance; if the people are well fed, housed, have occupations and health care they are happy. This is a very small country of about 700,000 and the health scheme is such that all costs are covered, even for visiting tourists.