Bhutan

On a recent visit to Bhutan with two dear friends, I was witness to the most amazing architecture and natural beauty. The Tiger’s Nest monastery was particularly stunning. Built in the 17th century on the edge of a precipice, one cannot even fathom how such a feat could have been accomplished! It appears to teeter on the cliff, surrounded by the most staggeringly raw landscape. It is said to have been burnt down completely in 1998 (from one of the ‘butter lamps’ tipping over, no doubt). It was then restored to its original glory.

IMG_0878The climb to the monastery is no easy feat. Although the actual climb is only about 700 meters, it is steep and narrow almost all the way. Having rained the previous night, it was also frighteningly slippery in parts. A fellow tourist cheerfully told us that since we were wearing fluorescent bright jackets, there would be absolutely no problem finding us if we do fall off the edge! Not very reassuring,

IMG_0845The enormous number of beautiful wild dogs on the way up was another amazing sight. They looked like huskies, a little shy but happy to share your breakfast with you.

The dense forest surrounding the monastery comprised of the most incredible trees. On these trees grew beautiful strands of moss that hung down like gossamer curtains creating a surreal appearance.

IMG_0862Breathless much of the way, but exhilarated and awe struck it occurred to me just how many people would not be able to climb to such places solely on account of their lack of fitness. Fitness to many (such as me) is often a means to this very end – to be able to really enjoy life’s recreational activities without feeling uncertain about ones ability to
last out or follow through. No, its not the same thing to see these places on Tv or in photographs. The smells, sights, the travel with friends or family, the food, all make up for the entire experience. It is these experiences that also mould us in ways we don’t often recognise. These very experiences that add a different dimension and richness to
our days.

Getting fit therefore should have other objectives than losing weight. A more holistic approach keeps one motivated to continue to exercise and improve our fitness levels. After a while it stops being just about ‘weight’ and ‘size’, but also about how much we can do while enjoying it. These are little things that make all the difference.

 

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