While our time in Bhutan began in early October, our first group of kayakers arrived on October 24th. All were familiar faces. Everyone had been on trips with us before. Although for a few, many years had passed. So we enjoyed quite a reunion, sharing pictures of new family members and stories of our last adventures together. Mary and I met folks at the airport along with our driver Hari, cultural guide Karma, Kali, an excellent kayaker and raft guide from Nepal (whom we met in Bhutan in 2006) and Tinley, a Bhutanese kayaker on the fast track to becoming a very strong paddler and guide.
The only airport in the country is located in Paro. Situated in the west, Paro is the second largest town in the country (with some 36,000 people including outlying areas). The flight in is both breathtaking and thrilling; breathtaking with views of the Himalaya and thrilling because the airport is nestled in a narrow valley that results in one of the most interesting approaches I have ever experienced in a commercial airliner.