Copper Mountain, ColoradoCopper Mountain, Colorado

Tamshing Lhakhang Festival and Red Panda Beer

December 29, 2016

After recovering from my stint of self induced alcohol blindness, I woke up the next morning to chilly rainy weather and immediately made my way over to the kitchen in search for any type of coffee.  The places that we were staying in were definitely getting better as we headed east.  Power was limited, but there were heating stoves in the rooms, and the showers had hot water.

I was immediately jealous of the 3 Indian guys gearing up to continue their motorcycle trek across the country.  Indians are evidently the only nationality allowed to freely enter and leave Bhutan as they wish.  Riding through the country on these roads would definitely be an awesome experience.

Breakfasts here are always pretty much the same, but at Kaila they bake their own bread, which was amazing.  I am typically up early, so it worked out for me during breakfast as I was always the first to steal most of the bread.  I noticed another tourist staying at the hotel had brought his own instant coffee, and thought that was a great idea.  Another thing to add to my list of things to bring on my next trip.

We decided to postpone going to the festival at Tamshing Lhakhang that morning for a few hours, as the locals had decided to try and wait out the rain before performing.  Spent the morning clearing memory cards and charging batteries.

Tamshing Lhakhang FestivalTamshing Lhakhang FestivalFestival in Bumthang, Bhutan saw lots of rain and fog, but still a large attendance.

Tamshing Lhakhang FestivalTamshing Lhakhang FestivalFestival in Bumthang, Bhutan saw lots of rain and fog, but still a large attendance.

Tamshing Lhakhang FestivalTamshing Lhakhang FestivalFestival in Bumthang, Bhutan saw lots of rain and fog, but still a large attendance.

Tamshing Lhakhang FestivalTamshing Lhakhang FestivalFestival in Bumthang, Bhutan saw lots of rain and fog, but still a large attendance.

Tamshing Lhakhang FestivalTamshing Lhakhang FestivalFestival in Bumthang, Bhutan saw lots of rain and fog, but still a large attendance.

Tamshing Lhakhang FestivalTamshing Lhakhang FestivalFestival in Bumthang, Bhutan saw lots of rain and fog, but still a large attendance.

Tamshing Lhakhang FestivalTamshing Lhakhang FestivalFestival in Bumthang, Bhutan saw lots of rain and fog, but still a large attendance.

Festival was difficult to shoot in the rain.  This one was different from the others in that they had a whole viewing tent set up for tourist seating.  It was tough moving around to try and get tourists out of my backgrounds.  It was more fun to watch than to shoot to be honest.  Not a lot of keepers.

I still can’t believe all the marijuana plants growing along the side of the road.  Evidently it grows everywhere, but the locals know it’s illegal so don’t really do anything with it.

Stopped by the local microbrewery after the festival to pick up a few cases of beer for the road.  A Swiss guy decided to start his own brewery after moving to Bhutan.  It’s a Weiss beer and pretty good.  I picked up some of their apple cider for lunch as well.  Cider goes great with momos, which are Bhutanese dumplings filled with vegetables and cheese.

Jambey Lhakhang, Bumthang, BhutanJambey Lhakhang, Bumthang, BhutanTemple goer in Jambey Lhakhang, Bumthang, Bhutan

Jambey Lhakhang, Bumthang, BhutanJambey Lhakhang, Bumthang, BhutanPrayer wheels in Jambey Lhakhang, Bhumthang, Bhutan

Jambey Lhakhang, Bumthang, BhutanJambey Lhakhang, Bumthang, BhutanLocals sell souveniers to tourists visiting the temples

Jambey Lhakhang, Bumthang, BhutanJambey Lhakhang, Bumthang, BhutanTemple goer in Bumthang, Bhutan

Our first stop after lunch was the small Jambey Lhakhang temple in Jakar.  Rain was still an issue, but I had not grown tired of seeing new temples.  This one was small, and the few locals that were there mid day were still adamant about walking around in a clockwise direction.

Jakar DzongJakar DzongRainy shots from the Jakar Dzong in Bhutan

Bumthang, BhutanBumthang, BhutanInsence in Jakar Dzong in Bhutan

Visited the Jakar Dzong later in the afternoon.  Tried a few different angle shots.  Wish I had more time there.  I couldn’t really come up with anything that I liked.

Rain was coming down that day, so our tour leaders asked if we wanted to either try to get shots from another location they had in mind, most likely washed out by fog and rain, or go back to the hotel where we could get an introduction to Lightroom and Photoshop post processing.  We all voted for the latter.  I was super excited for this option.  I had never attended a course or been taught post processing in person by a professional photographer.  Mostly trial and error on my own, and youtube videos.  Thinking we would have to set up in the common area cafeteria and huddle around a laptop screen, we were shocked to learn that the hotel owner offered us the use of his second floor conference room and projector setup.  Aside from learning more about Lightroom/Photoshop in 2 hours than I had ever learned prior to playing around with it for the past 7 years, it was a really cool experience once you realized you were in the middle of nowhere in a country that barely had power, sitting in a conference room with a large format projector watching a post processing presentation.  I filled up three pages in my field notes journal with notes.

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