THIMPU, Bhutan — They look like springer spaniels on steroids, but with imposing horns: husky black-and-white yaks crowd the so-called road, abruptly eyeball-to-eyeball with the driver, Tshering, and our leader, Dr. John Constable, in the front seat as the van rounds a rock-walled curve.
The van is not labeled with a bumper sticker such as “This vehicle brakes for yaks!” Nevertheless, Tshering, alert as ever, stops and allows a smiling herdsman to sort out the jam. Good idea to let the Himalayan track be cleared because there are no guard rails, and the next stop could be a non-stop plunge of 3000 feet. Tshering means long life, and we hope that Lumbu Tshering has been well named since he holds a few lives in his steadily-steering hands. continue reading »