Saturday, April 01, 2023

Arriving in Bhutan

We might share a land border with Bhutan but getting here is not easy. We boarded our flight to Paro after enduring a nightmarishly long checkin and immigration process at Delhi airport, and what should have been a 2-hr flight took us at least thrice as long. We approached the Paro airport on schedule but since the weather didn’t allow a landing there we were re-routed to Bagdogra airport back in India, where we stood on the runway waiting for the distant clouds to clear up. When the weather improved we finally took off . Weaving through the mountains to land on the single runway at Paro we realised why it’s nigh impossible to land here in poor weather. I learned later that only seven pilots are certified to ply their trade at Paro, and landing here is considered one of the riskiest assignments for a commercial pilot. The thrill of the flight aside, it had been a long energy-sapping day, and I suspected that in our mood at that time our family had momentarily brought down the gross national happiness of Bhutan. We cancelled all plans for the day and stayed in at the hotel.   

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