In between shooting for Alongsiders there was a 5 day trip to Bhutan.
Well I finally made it! on my second attempt to get to Bhutan, the happiest place on earth! before I share some of my photos with you I would like to introduce you to Lebu, my driver and Tenzin my guide from Illuminating Tours. I was greeted at the airport with a smile and a scarf placed around my neck with “welcome to Bhutan. When I got in the car Lebu was ready, I looked over and said hello and noticed his sexy socks and his Gho hitched up, holding back my smile and laughing eyes behind my sunnies. Instantly the image of a hitchhiker came to mind, I think my silly grin lasted for an hour. Off we went through Paro on the way to Thimphu with as many stops as I wanted to photograph, enjoying the quirky signs along the way, Im so glad they laughed along with me, i would really love to meet the author! By day three I felt comfortable enough to ask for a little fun shots, they laughed and were quick to participate!!!! So we pulled up laughing so much it was hard to keep the camera steady, Lebu was a little more confident but it didn’t take long before Tenzin overcame his humble shy manner. Lebu showing him how its done by hitching up Tenzin Gho further, well you can image how the rest of the trip went, lots of laughter, chatting and very chilled, with as much or little information I asked about. I was asked many times to let them know if i needed anything, I said “actually Lebu can you blow away that one cloud from that peak?! so while we waited, i remembered I had my cheap arse travel reflector from China and thought we could fill time with a portrait shoot. By day 5 Lebu asked for another hitchhiking shot and some fun ones with signs we all laughed at. With only 700,000 people the roads were mostly quiet and when we did cross paths with others they were all so respectful to each other, making me feel safe on those winding roads, with spectacular view, people smiling, one man smiled bright as he walked up the road with a pick on his shoulder chatting to his friends. Everything was organised for me by Illuminating tours, the hotels were all fantastic in great locations. Lebu and Tenzin made the 5 day journey absolutely fantastic as I always say it’s the people that make a country more beautiful and the experience much more memorable, Thank you guys, i had a great time, a thank you to Namgay and Deborah for making my trip to Bhutan so easy and enjoyable. Did i think Bhutan was the happiest place on earth? well happiness can mean different things to different people, I felt a sense of serenity, calm and contentment surrounded by beautiful landscapes and smiling people, and that is my place of happiness, simple, going with the flow and in the moment. The people were so hospitable and very friendly, mostly with a trade mark of rosy cheeks. I was honoured to be asked if I was interested in coming back and running a photography workshop/tour with these guys, ummmm, Yes!!!!! I laughed and joked, painting many billboard images and calling it “The Sexy Socks Tours” they ladies will flock from far and wide!!!!!
Lebu not only a safe driver but a model/photography assistant 🙂 Thanks for taking care of me guys.