Cool Mountains

Thanks to Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack I have been searching through my mountain photos. We have visited mountains overseas, in Nepal, where the Himalayas almost encircle Kathmandu, and creep right up to Pokara, in Bhutan which is built amongst the Himalayan foothills, in Ireland where as usual we always search out the wildest places, in southern France with the Pyrenees, and in Switzerland where even a distant view of the Alps is breath-taking. Included here are mountains of Australia, an ancient land whose peaks have been wearing away for a very long time. Mount Warning is the centre of an old shield volcano, near the Border Ranges of NSW and Queensland. The Brindabellas, a small mountain range just south west of our nation’s capitol, Canberra, are often snow capped in winter, making a pretty sight from the city. Mount Sondor is part of the West MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia, a mountain made famous by iconic aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira.

A-Z Archive: M is for Mountain Pass, Morning Tea and Mandarava

Traveling in Bhutan a few years ago we left the capital Thimphu to climb westwards through the mountains. The first high mountain pass is Dochula, at an altitude of about 3000m, roughly 45 minutes drive from Thimphu, on the way to Punakha. From Dochula, if you have clear sky, you can see all of the Bhutanese high peaks except Chomolhari.

The beauty of this place is further enhanced by the Druk Wangyal Chortens – 108 stupa built by the eldest Queen Mother Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. The chortens were built in memory of the war between India and Bhutanese militants. Chortens are “spiritual monuments” and they symbolize Buddha’s mind, body and soul.

Prayer flags flutter in the constant breezes, and travelers beat a hasty retreat into the Dochula Resort where the stoves are alight and tea is brewing.

The Bhutanese guides in traditional dress cluster together around the fire, helping themselves to morning tea, while we politely sit at tables and are served.

I was thrilled to find a huge silk thangka depicting Guru Padmasambhava with his two consorts, Mandarava and Yeshe Tsogyal. I had been doing a Mandarava practice, so I particularly photographed this beautiful artwork, holding it dear as I journeyed.

Isn’t She beautiful, just like you! Can you feel that divine sweetness emanating from you? I love doing these archive trawls with frizztext, digging out old favourite images and remembering the fun of traveling. You can join in too: