Travelling in Bhutan was an unforgettable experience, made possible only because every visitor is accompanied by a guide. Perhaps we were lucky but we had a very experienced guide, Karchung, who took care to discover our interests and planned our trip perfectly. From the time we arrived at the airport in Paro until our departure 10 days later he looked after everything. This story is also about a different kind of guide, a spiritual guide if you like. We had been attending a festival in the east of Bhutan, and our guide wanted to show us something special. He waited until all the other guides and their vehicles had left the area, then stopped by the road and encouraged us to climb up the mountainside. There was a secret cave where some of the great Buddhist teachers of Bhutan had meditated.
Understanding our weak western nature Karchung did not actually tell us how far we had to climb, we always understood it was only over the next rise! At the top of one ridge we rested near a row of prayer flags. Three large dogs appeared, walking on the trail. There was no need for concern, they were dogs used by wandering herders to guard the herds, and now it seemed they came to guard us. The dogs fell into step with us, one in the lead, one in the middle and one at the rear. I was walking behind our driver, who turned and said smiling, “Now there are seven of us!” … an auspicious number. So we all continued, the guardian dogs taking care of us on the trail to the secret cave. When we reached it they vanished, their job done.
Thank you Frizz for the Story Challenge! Pop over to read some more G stories.