Aap Phub Thinley and Aum Pechum are Norpen (head of cattlemen) for Gangtey Gonpa. They are from Lamga village in Athang gewog. Whenever I am in their village, they make a point to visit me. Sometimes they walk the whole day to reach Lamga. They live a semi-nomadic life with the herd, moving the camp once every one-two months between Rukha (peak Winter) and Salading (peak Summer). They have eight camps in total.
This time I reciprocated their visits, with me visiting them at Salading La, which stands between Phobjikha and Trongsa. I went with some gifts of tea leaves, rum, betel nuts and canned food for my old friends.
Salading stands at around 4,100m and is a three-hour uphill climb from Zizi, the last village in Phobjikha valley. It is totally an uncharted territory – except for herders and foresters. From there you could see the Gangtey-Phobji valley and the tall Himalayan peaks bordering with China. You could also walk along the ridge (for over 15 kilometers I am told) and trek to Jowo Drushing and back – or exit to Trongsa.
My daughter accompanied me on this trek. And experienced sleeping in cowherders’ smoke-filled hut and eating cheese as tea snacks 😂😂😂
Enjoy the heavenly places in the picture.