I woke up around 7 in the morning. Ankur had woke before me and had packed all our stuffs neatly. He had also ordered for tea. Today we were in no mood to get up fast to get ready. The morning was melancholy. Today we have to leave Bhutan, the country about which we loved everything and have got a hangover by now.
We were supposed to return back the day before had we not extended our stay permit for one more day. We had booked our coster bus tickets the day before from the Thimpu bus terminus. Costers are small buses and unlike Indian state buses they are way comfortable. Since standing is not allowed so they do not take more passengers than the number of seats available. So in order not to miss the bus in case it gets filled we had our tickets booked the day before.
By the time we reached the bus terminus at around 8, our bus was already there. The helper was cleaning the bus and making it ready for the day’s journey. After he finished we handed over our luggage to him. We were given the best seats, the first row just behind the driver’s seat. Ankur got down and bought some more snacks and tea. By this time all the seats got filled up. The bus helper tied all the passenger luggage and put them on the top of the bus and secured them with a rope.
Bus started exactly at 8:15 am, the scheduled time. We started our journey back to Phuentshoing. The hilly roads was covered with fog and the air was crisp and cool. A very few roadside vegetable shops had opened. Women are mostly the ones who run the shops. Little children going to school in groups waved us and we waved them back. Some stretches of the road were fully white because of the wild roses blooming profusely during this time of the year. In many of our other road journeys in Bhutan we have witnessed this phenomenon before as well.
After almost 3 hours our bus stopped at a small restaurant. There are very few restaurants on the way and this one was one of those. It is actually a modified front of the owners house where the owner has converted one room into a sitting area and a small part of it into a kitchen.
We soon came across a check point where non Bhutanese were asked to show their permit at the check post. We showed our’s and the official put a seal on the immigration paper. The seal denotes that the immigration paper is no more valid.
The remaining part of the journey was nothing eventful. The bus reached Phuentshoing bus terminus. Our luggage was untied from the top and given to us. We took a cab from there that took us till Bhutan gate. We submitted our immigration papers at a small office near the gate. Once we crossed the gate we were so excited and thankful. Excited because we are back to India and thankful to Bhutan for the amazing hospitality that we will never forget.
From Bhutan gate we took another jeep. Our trip is still not over. We will stay at Jaldapara Forest Reserve for a day before heading back to Bangalore. I will write about the amazing Jaldapara trip in a separate blog post.