Monday, March 28 | Bumthang to Punakha/Wangdue
On a rainy morning which promised difficult travel ahead, the group departed Bhumthang for the 8-hour drive west to Punakha. Lines of the Sampa Lundrubma came to mind as the buses crawled along the roads and we could contemplate that neither pilgrimage nor the practice path is free of obstacles. Bus number 5 skidded on the muddy road, sliding precariously close to the precipice. With an impressive effort by drivers, guides, and road construction workers the bus was pushed back on the road. With great relief the caravan continued on towards Panakha. Lunch was served at the tranquil site of Chendeb Je Chorten, a Nepalese style stupa built in the 18th century to subjugate a demon who was menacing the area. During a rest stop at the Pelela Pass, Rinpoche gave a short, impromptu teaching on devotion or gratitude as two approaches towards the pilgrimage underway. Her words brought tears to the eyes of many, including the drivers and guides who were present.
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