Who can resist the tale of Guru Rinpoche flying in on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave above Paro, Bhutan? So at 7:30 a.m., all 13 of us on WT’s Sikkim, Darjeeling, and Bhutan trip started the two- to three-hour climb to the Taktsang Palphug Monastery, also known as the Tiger’s Nest. As we plodded up, we had tantalizing glimpses through the trees of a tiny cluster of white buildings apparently glued to sheer rock. By the time we reached the tea-house with its view across valleys to the site, we were all charmed. Taktsang clung so precariously and appeared still totally inaccessible—except by flying tiger!
So I pulled out my watercolor pad and drawing pen. Aided by a cup of tea and watched closely by a cat, I did a 10-minute sketch of the monastery before stuffing it away in my backpack and trekking on up and down and up and down and…
After I got home, the memory of the monastery was still so clear that I watercolored the picture as a reminder to me of a day of great beauty and intense physical workout (well, I am 70!).
–Text and painting by 11-time WT adventurer Anne Gray, Sikkim, Darjeeling, and Bhutan
–Photo of Anne Gray working on painting by WT Trip Leader Hashmat Singh