Day 6 - Bees, Beer and Burning lake

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Started the day with a horrible uphill walk to the Dzhong, its worth it though

Its only a few hundred steps but the view was worth it, to relax from that we visited the local brewery. Its owned by a Swiss guy that settled in Bhutan and runs a brewery, cheese factory and guest house.

Oh and he keeps bees as a sideline

Before he bought bees in from india no one here kept them for their honey, now loads of people do - mainly to supply the hotel industry with breakfast honey. We tried to visit the cheese factory but the owner was being a bit of a dick and wouldnt let us. "Its a holiday today, the owner isnt here", errr yeah funny man..

So we left the town and headed out to The Burning Lake, Chimi was keeping it a secret as to what was actually there and I promised not to look it up in the lonely planet. We stopped the car and started walking along a valley edge

I think it was a surprise for him as well when we arrived, as we werent expecting this

The whole area had been taken over by the locals for a festival :) I'll get to it in a moment, but for now an explanation of the name

The legend goes that guru Rinpoche (he introduced Buddhism to Bhutan) from Tibet came here and decended into the water with a lit lamp, when he came out the lamp was still burning. Its not really a lake (more of a river lagoon) but its still a cool sight

As I mentioned, the locals were having a festival here and being the guest, I was offered tea and biscuits..

..and wine. Very strong wine.

I decided (before having the wine I might point out) to climb down to the water surface

There was a lot of Buddhist stuff laying about too

all taken care of by a load of monks. I got bored with clambering about the rocks with my camera shortly after and we headed off to the next town - Ura. On the way the altitude and wine kicked in and I slept for most of the journey only to be woken at the top of a mountain pass by a man shouting "DONATE SOME MONEY FOR OUR STUPA", so I did (being half asleep and all). I only shoved in about 10 Ngultrum but he was happy and went off to the construction crew shouting "1000 OH YES!"

Thats the Stupa and the Ura Valley. We dropped down pretty quickly and I woke up again :)

The local temple had a tree full of crows outside and a courtyard full of dogs, at one point a monk came out with some old food and threw it down. They all went mental..

I had a brief walk around the temple then got invited for tea with the locals

And more wine..

We headed to the homestay house after that where I half fell asleep on a sofa. When I woke the room was full of smoke, the driver had started a fire in the stove to keep us warm but it leaked smoke everywhere, I went out for a walk instead of breathing wood-smoke for ages

It started to get dark fairly early (damn valleys..) and cloud started rolling in from beneath us

I love the way that the cloud formed around the valley edge but never down where we were.. I got back to the homestay place and had some food (more kickass curry:) ) then passed out in what is probably the most comfy bed I've ever been in :)

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