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Today we'll visit a textile producer, watch some monkeys, and tour a magnificent dzong.

The Bumthang locals congregate as the day begins.


Downtown Bumthang.


Mmmm, dog treats.


Cattle in the way.


But the herder has them trained.


Let's see how they make textiles.


C'mon in.


A weaver hard at work.


Tim has found a pasta maker.


Yes, really.  You put the dough in here and press down and spaghetti squirts out below.  I'm not sure how this relates to textiles, but there you are.


Pretty pattern.  It looks much like those pillows I bought back in Thimphu.


There's a variety of styles.


All pretty.


This lady owns the place.  She's been recognized by the royal family as an exceptional entrepreneur.


Tim shows us how various colors are extracted from plants and insects and other natural sources.


That thing, whatever it is, produces dye.


And that thing produces ara.


The owner wants to see how Tim's explanation will go.


She helps Tim explain how it works.


You put your sour mash in the pot and then you put a little stand inside and place a small cup on it so that it sits above the mash.


Then you put this bowl on top and fill it with ice water.


When you build a fire under the pot, the alcohol boils off the mash and condenses on the bottom of the bowl and drips into the little cup that's sitting above the mash.  No copper coil required.  Clever, huh?


Oops, Tim has spotted a big old spider caught in some water.  Will he kill it?


Well it's a sentient being and he's a good Buddhist, so certainly not.  He helps it climb onto a piece of cardboard so it can escape.


Back before there were calculators or cash registers or even currency, cups like this were used for trade.  You'd fill it with rice and take it to a miller and make a deal to trade a container of rice for two containers of flour -- or maybe it was the other way around.


Whatever, this was an official measure.  See the seal?


The masks don't represent evil.  They actually represent good deities who are being ferocious to frighten evil away.


Yes, I certainly look snazzy but the coat was itchy and scratchy and I didn't buy it.


Suddenly from inside I heard something bellowing like a wounded elephant.  It was Sonam playing a dungchen.


What a concert we had.


And when it was over, the dungchen telescoped right up.


There were some kanglings back there on that table and I didn't get a picture at the time because I didn't realize what they were.  They're horns used in Buddhist services and they're made from human femurs.


I thought they represented something else entirely, but nope, not this time.  It's a musical instrument.


That's enough of that.


Bye textile factory.


Hi mama and kid.


Hi older kids.


Hi police.


Have I mentioned that currently there's lots of construction in Bhutan?


And pretty scenery?  Have I mentioned that?


And prayer flags? And water-powered prayer wheels?


And some sort of pretty weeds by the side of the road?


Lots of pretty weeds, but not the kind the cows are looking for.


Uh, oh, road construction.


So much it's hard to tell where the road is.


The highway looks like it's going to stop right here in the construction site.


But no, we have more pretty road to travel.


And interesting road.  Isn't it fascinating to see what a landslide has done to the roadside railings here?


Looks like it's going to get foggy up ahead.


Maybe best to keep your eyes in the bus.


But then you'd miss some wildlife.


An eagle!


And an eagle's eye view.


We've finally reached Trongsa.  If a couple of the few vehicles in this part of the country will just get out of the way, we'll have lunch.


The food's down there.


But first...what's in those trees?




Look up!  There's one on the balcony.  He's going to jump!


And there he goes.


Nothing to it.


The dogs want to play with the monkeys, but the monkeys are having none of it.


They'll just stay up here in the trees, thank you very much.


Nina and Leslie are watching the monkeys.


And the monkeys are watching us.


Oooh, lunch is pretty.


And so's the view.


Even prettier with a couple of red flowers in the mix.


Hey, they have archery here too!


A couple of archery fans wanted to pose for the camera.


These guys aren't using bamboo arrows.


No, they're high tech.


That's a bow that can shoot a long way.


Nice little bridge.


Trongsa Dzong is really one of the nicest of the trip.


It's also the largest.


Tim dons his kabney. You gotta look nice when you visit a dzong.


It's way up there.


So let's start climbing steps.


The decorations on the ceiling are especially elaborate.  And old.


It's all through there.


And Tim explains it.


Again, the architecture and decorations are lovely.


As well as some of the visitors.


It's a long way down.


But the view is beautiful.


Whichever way you look.


The Road Scholars never pass up an opportunity to pose.


More big prayer wheels


Tim has his turn.


It's all put together so artistically.


Tim explains in detail the wheel of life.


I think I see some people who've been promoted in reincarnation, and others who haven't.


There's a story about that tree.


Tim said there was once a big battle here and arrows rained down on the dzong from the mountainside above.  Many of them got stuck in the tree, and while the shafts have rotted away, the metal tips remain embedded where they hit.


It really is an impressive dzong.


Ah, our hotel.  The Yanghil Resort.


Nice view.  But where is there not a nice view around here?


They brought us hot towels to refresh our faces.  Nice.


Fine room.


Great bath.


Terrific view.


And there's Trongsa Dzong, right over there.


How could the Road Scholars be happier?


Beer on the deck, maybe?


And a view of that dzong.

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