THE LAND OF THE THUNDER DRAGON
I recently did another Inner Silence programme in Amankora, Bhutan. Their five "lodges" are located around Bhutan but together they are considered to be one hotel. Kora meaning circumambulation, sits well with our Inner Silence meditation pilgrimage .
First stop was Thimpu.
|Entrance to the Amankora spa in Thimpu|
|Tendel, Spa coordinator|
|Bhutanese bowls, scrolls and bells in the spa|
I opted for one of their signature rejuvenation and refreshing massage called Amankora Zu Kenyam and asked for hard pressure. A soft-spoken Bhutanese therapist worked my body using a mixture of grapefruit, rosemary and patchouli oils with pressure exactly as I liked it. I would say it was a fusion of Swedish and Acupressure. Pleasant and soothing.
Second stop Gangte Valley
Amankora in Gangtey Valley is my favourite of the lodges. It overlooks this vast valley where the black-necked cranes visit during season. I love the silence of the valley.
|Valley view from the hotel|
|Walk down the potato fields to the spa hut!!|
|Waiting for my spa drink, homemade apple cider!|
Meanwhile the owner of the hut and the spa therapist began preparing my treatment. The owner was a local lady who arranged everything exactly as the locals do it. This is part of Aman's CSR. They really know how to integrate the local culture into their services. Superb!
|Owner of spa hut, spa personnel, me and my guide!|
|See my toes sticking out of the tub!|
Third stop Punakha
|The Spa in Aman Punakha|
My young Bhutanese therapist obviously understands the trekkers body because by then I had traversed enough mountains and valleys to require a good rub down.
At the spa we also had one night of Laughter Yoga where all the staff and our Inner Silence Group shared an evening of fun and laughter.
And in case you are wondering what the picture below is all about, This is sacred. The legendary Divine Madman, Lama Drukpa Kunley, to whom the Chimi Lakhang monastery is dedicated, was known to have driven evil spirits from homes through bizarre methods. He advised the villagers to paint phalluses on the walls of their homes to remain protected. The original wooden phallus that he brought from Tibet is still used by the monks to bless mothers who desire to have children! This has got nothing to do with the Amankora spa but I thought I would share this interesting legend of Punakha with you!!!
Fourth and Final stop Paro
|No I didnt cheat on a horse. It just kept us company!|
The most exciting thing about Paro is doing the pilgrimage to Tigers Nest. Its a two hour climb if you are fit and one hour down. Its stunning and spectacular. This was my fourth climb and it certainly gave my body a workout. I was so so tired when I returned I went straight to the spa.
|The spa in Paro|
|The hot stone bath|
|Tendel taking care of me in the Spa|
Thank you Miki for all your support and hope to see you next year!