Dragon is almost not visible
It is also found, it turns out, in separate corners of the Earth, real dragons. Yes, those are the most: with a scaly tail, connecting wings and a firewood mouth. One of the places where they can be able to meet – the mysterious kingdom of Bhutan, clamped between India and China. It is so sometimes called: "Druk Yul" – Country of Thunder Dragon. For foreign guests, a tour of the highland Buddhist fortresses-monasteries is organized here – "Dzongam". It is in the vicinity of the monasteries can occasionally appear a flying and rougheing messenger – Button Dragon. His, as local residents say, attract the prayers of monks.
Bhutanesky Thunder Dragon, according to the reviews of monastic ministers, an animal peace-loving and even wise: he does not rush to people and does not even grow on them. And in general, this dragon is not carnivorous and eats only mountain snow. However, in a different way and could not. After all, in Bhutan everything has to calm and peace. People in the mountain kingdom – more and more cultural, educated, can be said delicate. His ancient traditions he thoroughly protects. What is a TV, for example, and today know only in cities. Yes, and there is not all have it, but even more watery. TV, according to the Istrik Buddhists, distracts believers from regular prayers and interferes with meditation. And therefore the dragon here, in general, to make not because of what. "What are the people in the country, those in it and dragons" – says Bhutanese proverb.
Maybe in order not to violate this century peace, in Bhutan for a long time foreigners did not let. Still twenty years ago a stranger to get here was not easier than on a secret missile polygon near Plesetsky. From the mid-80s the situation in Bhutan has changed great. With the permission of the Bhuto Queen-Mother government, the Government has established a special tourist department and opened the country for foreigners.
Today, almost every wishes to get acquainted with mining beauties, and most importantly, with the daily life of authentic, and not "tourist exponentials" Buddhist monasteries may quietly come to Bhutan. Would only money. True, considerable. Any 10-day Bhutan Tour offered by Western travel agencies is not cheaper than $ 2.000.(Russian tour operators with Bhutan directly do not work directly, but the tour is there for the same $ 2.000 and above can offer several Moscow agencies that send Russians to neighboring Nepal, for example, World Adventure). Go there for a couple of days there is no point. Because in Bhutan it is customary to travel on foot. As a last resort – ride on yaki. In such a leisurely pace to inspect at least the western part of the country where the main monasteries are located-"Dzong", Tourist will need no less than a week.
Get to Bhutan through the only international airport, located near the capital Tchimphu. Four sheets "Boeing-Jambo" he does not take. And, most likely, long will not take long – the mountains are crowded, and there is no place to expand the airport. Therefore, small jet and screw aircraft arriving from Delhi and Kathmandu are launched here.
Visa tourist gets right at the airport. But not just like that. He must be submitted to the border guards written (or faxing) invitation from the host Bhutanese company. In the invitation, travel route must be described in detail, the location of all the nights and the number of days of stay. Deviations from the specified route are allowed, but not welcome. The authorities do not like when tourists spread throughout the country and shall be float.
In Bhutan, there are quite a few mountain peaks that not only never shuddered from the hook climber driven, but do not even have names. Representatives of the local tourist corporation recommend carefully planning the route and navigate mainly for pedestrian trails. Mountaineering as a sport in Bhutan, unlike the neighboring Nepal, is not encouraged. You like the mountains – go around, breathe air, admire the views. But the ice axes do not cripple.
Rock climbing skills here, in general, not so much. Thunder Dragon, who would like many tourists, according to guides, are found in the foothills where you can reach without special equipment. And the best overview of the expected habitats of the mounds opens from the monastery "Tiger nest", Located on a cut in a rock canopy. Opposite the monastery, kilometers in a hundred, the highest mountain of Bhutan – Jomolhari (7.000 meters).
To the monastery, more than a hundred years ago, convenient passages with railings and recreation sites were worn in the rocks. How monks raised cobblestones, logs and bricks for construction – completely incomprehensible.
Way to "Tiger nest" Begins from the flowering valley, not far from the town of Paro. Having spent around there in the tour of the village of Laia, travelers the next morning under the supervision of the guide are sent up – to the shelter of the dragon. Four to five hours walking down the steps and you at the walls of the monastery.
The guide is usually pretty annoying, and it is impossible to abandon its services. Independent trip to anyone "Dzong" Without accompanying, appointed by the tourist corporation Bhutan, prohibited. Even Yak for the transportation of baggage Tourist can not rent himself – only through the guide. Communication with gentle tribes in conical bamboo caps – also exclusively through a guide. But no longer because of the peculiarity of officials, but because of ignorance by the Highlanders of the English language.
Buddhist monks meeting tourists at the gate "Tigrin nest", talking in moderation and can say in English couple-triples. Travelers will accept hospitably and will definitely feed. Then they will be held on the inland premises of the monastery, they will show a prayer hall, stuck in the gilded figures of the Buddha and will be summed up to special assistance wheels, twisting that you can find out the future.
After the meal and walks along the indoor gallery, the monks will take guests to the observation platform at the very edge of the abyss. This area does not even have fencing, eagles and vultures. Watch not only down, but also a lobby – crazy. From here you can see the shining peak of Jomolhari and several peaks are smaller. It is there, among eternal snow and silence, a thunder dragon lives. V "Tigrin nest" We are convinced that if the guest did not notice the dragon there, it does not mean at all as if the dragon is not in nature. Just a guest watched badly.
The monk, accompanying tourists, noticing their bewilderment, will last hand, will indicate somewhere in the distance and says in broken English: "Yes, here he – sits, pursuer from the sun!" And when tourists will negate: "Where? Where?! There, except for ice, there is nothing!" – Monk only shrugs and turns away. Guide, wanting to discharge the situation, will say: "I do not see him myself, but the monks are confident – the dragon is always somewhere nearby. It is only necessary to watch better".
And the guests nothing remains, like, straining her eyes, slide on white sheer pieces – suddenly a thumb of the thunder dragon will appear somewhere. Or at least a rustle of his wings.