Part II, Paro Dzong, and Archery Tournament.
Moments after I decided to go camping, (last thursday) another couchsurfer messages me saying, “Hey, looks like you are in Bhutan for a while, wanna meet up for coffee or a drink?” He lived in Paro, which was not too far out of the way home from camping.
The following pictures are from my day in Paro before I met him. I just wandered around the town until he got off work…
So right as I started to get bored, I see this gathering… I go to investigate.
Turns out it is an archery tournament! Archery is national sport in Bhutan, and I had seen it on TV before, so I was super stoked to see the real deal.
They were aiming at this target. I’m not entirely clear, but I think it’s scored like Corn-hole, where my team only gets a point if your team failed to hit the target. (So if your team hit it twice, and mine only once- your team gets one point. )
The flags were so that the shooter could see how far off he was. Because…
The target was REALLY far away!!!! It seemed longer than a football field! And then the crazy part was, when they would switch sides, the crowd didn’t. So these guys were shooting TOWARDS us!! I thought this was just insane, but the shots were within 3 feet of the target each time. Some of their teammates would be standing about 10 feet away, just watching the arrow come in- no big deal.
After archery, I walked into Paro Dzong. The Dzong is where all the governmental activities happen. The highest Court in the area was inside, as well as the various other divisions, such as the Economic Affairs, Agriculture etc.
On the way up, I ran into these school boys, who insisted I eat an apple with them! They actually wouldn’t let me leave until I had taken an apple from each of them. They were fun.
I was not allowed into any of the offices, but the courtyard was fantastic.
Don’t even think about it.
This was the view from the Dzong. You can see the main street of the town below, as well as the farmland in Paro valley. Awesome.