On the 1st of July 2019, me and my uncle decided and planned that we have to do a motorcycle trip to Bhutan. My Uncle, Sanjeeb Baruah, is an experienced rider and have done a lot of adventures and being asked by him to accompany him was a huge thing for me. Loads to learn, loads of fun and loads of riding. Perfect Combination. He also did Bhutan before but not on a motorbike.
So after our research of the whole thing – from permits and roads, we were ready. And yeah, if you want to do a motorbike trip, please check my blog – Bhutan Visa for Indian Motorcyclists. You will get almost everything you need to know.
Please note that by the time you plan to go there, certain rules might be different but unless there are some drastic changes, everything should be the same. Also please note that Bhutan is almost ready to implement fees for tourists from India, Bangladesh and Maldives (which was free for a long time now) to regulate the tourists flow. Currently tourists from other countries, except the above mentioned three, have to pay $250 as a minimum charge per day per person which includes a $65 a day “Sustainable Development Fee”, as well as a $40 visa charge.
Never mind, coming back to the main topic – It was a 4 day trip where we covered just Paro and Thimphu and the neighbouring places. The trip was amazing and it was one of those places that I would definitely visit again. For sure.
But nothing is compared to the excitement I am feeling right now as I am sharing this with you – as I felt then when it happened.
On 6th July, 2019.
We saw the QUEEN and interestingly SHE SAW US…!!!
So here’s the story behind it.
We were just returning from the Tashichho Dzong. The ticket was 300 INR which includes a guide. We had an amazing guide with whom we talked like an hour understanding more about Bhutan and the government system and everything. I can write a whole blog on that and so wont get into the details.
After a few kilometres ride, we stopped on a stretch of road in the middle of the hill. It was kinda an open area with a wooden frame where locals would come and set up their market to sell fruits or local stuff. We were sitting there, eating fruits that we bought while riding towards Thimphu and looking at all the cars passing by.
One thing to mention here is that Barun (uncle’s son) and My Uncle knows a hell lot about cars and motorbikes and so while we were chilling and eating fruits, we were discussing about all the cars that were passing by – like their frame, their engine strength, the tires, etc
Then after a little while, Barun told that some fancy car is coming towards us. He was like – “Kiba ekhon aahi aase dei” which loosely translates to “something is coming”.
We could see that there were lights in front of the car and when it approached, we saw it was a Black one (didn’t notice what car that was) and written on it was PILOT on the number plate, followed by 2 other cars. Right then I knew it was something different because the guide that we had in Tashichho Dzong told us the number plate system in Bhutan. If it was written BP, it would mean Private Vehicle, BT – Taxi, BG – Government, RBP – Police, RBG – Royal Guards and the Royal Family writes BHUTAN – x (x is a number denoting who owns the vehicle). So when we saw PILOT, it was something that was different. We all 3 stood up to have a better look. Right then, a car coming from the opposite side slowed down and stopped near us to let them pass.
Then came the car with BHUTAN – 3 as the number plate.
Then we saw her.
Her Majesty herself.
Fully composed and with full of confidence. Her side of the window was down and so we could see her. And she saw us standing on the roadside. Because we were the only one – standing by the side of the road – with our full motorcycle gears on.
SHE SAW US….!!!!
It took me several seconds to process the whole thing because that was something really unexpected. First time to Bhutan and we had this sudden opportunity that we saw Her Majesty and that she saw us.
I feel stupid because I had my GoPro mounted on my chest but everything happened so fast that I forgot to turn on my camera. Wish I had it ON. But no regrets, everything was just too good to be true.
I always respected the Bhutan Royal Family for all the work they have done for everyone – people literally worship them for their love and care and being able to see them up so close – it is awesome! Awesome is nothing to describe the feeling we had when we saw her.
And one more interesting thing is that – there were just 3 cars – one infront, one behind and the Royal car. No blocking of traffic. No sirens. No nothing. Just three cars. Thats it. Loved how they live their lifestyle.
You have my huge respect!
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