In telling of my exciting trip to Bhutan, I decided not to spoil the trip by relating an unfortunate episode at the Punakha Dzong two days before I left. All the challenging obstacles of the week had been surmounted and I was gleefully walking down a dark corridor with a groups of monks familiar with the lay of the land. Suddenly, they moved over to avoid a tall stone threshold, but I was not quick enough and took a dive head first onto the stones, injuring my right knee–that same poor knee that had suffered from the train accident near Udipi, India, two years ago. I did a dramatic flip, but this time my Guardian Angel was napping and I suffered a soft tissue injury, which made it impossible to go trekking. Yes, it could have been much worse…I could have knocked myself out or torn a meniscus or broken my patella. So maybe my Angel was just giving me a severe warning. I’m thankful for small blessings.
Needless to say, we tried to find a hospital, but nothing was available, except for a small clinic in the country, with no orthopedic doctor and a broken X-ray machine. But I did get a freezer pack to help me out until we returned to Thimpu the next day and went to the emergency room.
Nothing was broken, but I did consult an orthopedic surgeon at the well-known CIWEC clinic in Kathmandu when I returned, and was told to wear a leg brace, do a minimum of walking, and for God’s sake, don’t go trekking. You can imagine my disappointment!
Daughter Cary arrived last Thursday and we mulled over alternatives. The upshot is that she left alone, yesterday (with a guide and porters, of course), for a two-week trek in the Yolmo region of the Helambu-Gosinkunde area of Langtang, starting at Melamchi and climbing to Dhukpa, the site of Guru Rinpoche’s cave. She can decide as she goes along just how many places to visit and how long to stay in each one. She will have a ball, for this is a very sacred area for Buddhists, with meditation caves used by such revered monks as the legendary Milarepa. She will also do some reconnoitering around the area for a possible return for the two of us next year. We never give up!
In the meantime, I’m enjoying the varied clientele here at the Shechen Guest House in Boudha…a melange of world travelers, trekkers, and NGO workers. It is NOT dull and I’ll keep you posted. Oh, yes, tomorrow is Thanksgiving back home. A happy day to you all. I shall think of you devouring your turkey as I sit and eat my vegetarian meal laced with a warm ginger lemon honey tea here at the Rabsel Garden Cafe.