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Today we'll drive up to a high pass, hike down to a mountain village and see a rainbow.

But first Tim needs to stop and pick up a betel nut kit to give to a lady who'll let us visit her home later today.


It's Saturday and it's National Pick Up The Trash Day.  All the kids are out of school and they're out with their parents cleaning up the roads.  Apparently this is being done all over the country.


Hi kids!


What kind of scarecrow is that out there in that field?  Let's use the telephoto lens.


Good grief.


The view is prettier in this direction.


This way too.


It's going to be a pretty day.


Look!  Tsa tsas!


There are plenty of them around here.


The Road Scholars are having a closer look.


I didn't know that every one of them has a little prayer rolled up inside.


This is the new, flat style of tsa tsa.,  Tim didn't approve.


The view is still pretty.


The Road Scholars have encountered cattle.


And lichen.


Bill is meditating.


He was probably reflecting on the beautiful countryside.


Or the purple fields of buckwheat.


Lots of buckwheat around here.


It's a national forest.  No wonder it's pretty around here.


Bill, you really do need to stop snapping so many pretty pictures.


You're going to get tired of looking at them when you get home.


Or maybe not.


Now we've found the stupa at Sherthang Pass.


So let's have a picnic before we start our hike.


Hot tea, anyone?  Pastries?


This delicious little thing is called a khapzey.  Sonam's wife made them for us.  Really!


Not only are they tasty, they move!


Want to see how it's done?


OK, Jean, I'm coming. Just let me get my rain jacket on.


I don't need a rain jacket.  That's just a little sprinkle.


It may be a slippery walk with the rain, but at least it's all down hill.


Leslie has spotted something.


It's a mama cow and baby.  Aw.  Sure wish baby would pose.


More downhill.


More pretty.  It's been a long walk, actually, but easy enough going downhill.  Sure would hate to have to go the other way.

Wait, I think those kids are actually coming the other way.


Yep, they're going up the way we came down.  And it's just an everyday event for them.  If you go anywhere in Bhutan, there'll be a hill involved.


Now we've arrived at a typical farmhouse.  The owner knows we're coming and she's -- probably wisely -- left the place open for us while she finds something else to do.  She knows Tim and Sonam will take care of things.


So let's just go right inside.


We're going to have lunch here, seated on the floor, just like we're supposed to.


Get comfortable, everybody.


Sonam will serve.


While Tim regales us with stories of how he grew up in a house like this.


Just listen to him tell about it.


We never went without food on this trip.


It was always good.


And there was always something spicy.


Tim talks while Sonam works.


And the Road Scholars take it all in.


Modern life has intruded into traditional farmhouse living.


But the old ways have not been lost.  They hang a basket hang over the stove as a place to keep food warm just like that Indian tribe did in the Amazon jungle of Ecuador last year.


Drying chilies and onions.


There's that potty again.


Here's a bedroom.


And here's the staircase.


And this room has an altar.


Every house has an altar like this.


Tim tells us all about it.


And then we have to go.


But first let's visit that potty.  Nice bathtub, don't you think?


Downtown Ura.


Let's visit one of the neighborhoods.


Tim says that little stupa is called a "lu" (or maybe "loo" -- I can't find any reference to this on the internet).  Any time you're going to put up a permanent structure like a house you certainly don't want to offend any earth deity, so you build one of these little things first to get approval.  Tim also says that even though it's called a "loo," you mustn't urinate on one because if you do you'll offend the earth deity and you'll get a rash.  He seemed to be speaking from experience.


This lady was vigorously doing the laundry.


Here's  a new house under construction.


Painters are hard at work decorating the place.


And outside in the garden, this lady is toasting wheat.


Yes, that's what she's doing and when she has a supply she'll sell it. We tasted some and I pronounce it good.


This energetic gentleman was in a hurry to get somewhere.


Well that's pretty.

And so's that.


Let's stop the bus and go for a walk.


Ought to get a nice view from the bridge.


Wayne is impressed.

As he should be.


Say, what's that up there hanging from the rock?


Tim says it's a beehive.


And so it is.  Thanks, telephoto lens.


A rainbow!

Leslie is getting a closer look.


It's over there through the trees.


And it's really the most spectacular rainbow any of us have ever seen.  More brilliant even than this photo shows.



It was a real special effect straight from nature.


The telephoto lens captures it all.



Wait, there's two of them!


I can't get over this.


Charlotte is suitably impressed too.


Look everybody! Prayer flags!  This is Kiki La Pass.


Jean's going to explore them.


So's Bill.


They're everywhere!


And the prayers just keep on flowing.


Back to the hotel, where they're adding a porch.


Wayne is desperate to open that wine bottle.


Mmmm, pizza sorta.


Nice room.  Bedtime.  Get ready for another day.

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