Traveller Stories: 50 Years of Happiness in Bhutan

Two local Bhutanese men standing outside a temple | Liz Light
Two local Bhutanese men standing outside a temple | Liz Light

When Jane and Terry (both aged 72) travelled to Bhutan to celebrate their 50th anniversary, they didn’t expect to be interviewed for a TV program. That is exactly what happened at Chomolhari Base Camp earlier this year. This active couple joined a group of travellers from around the world and with a team of local guides made it all the way to the base camp. Reason enough for us to ask them about their recent trip!

How did you choose to join the Chomolhari Base Camp trek?

We are keen walkers so we wanted to explore new terrain. A Himalayan trek was always on our itinerary but previously we had not had the time.

Did you have a special reason for going on such a journey as this?

This year we are celebrating 50 years of marriage with a series of events. In February we took a train to Venice and watched an opera on our actual anniversary. In March we walked in Majorca where we had had our honeymoon fifty years ago. We also participated in the Barcelona Marathon in March to prepare for the Chomolhari Base Camp Trek. Finally last April, we realised a plan we had for many years when we joined the trek in Bhutan with World Expeditions.

We heard you even got interviewed by a TV crew from Dubai?

Actually at Chomolhari Base Camp we were interviewed by a TV team from Dubai. The TV crew heard we were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. They asked us for the recipe of surviving 50 years of marriage and wanted to present it as a happy event in an unusual setting. It was a fun thing to do while acclimatising. My final words were: “Celebrating 50 happy years in the Kingdom of Happiness.”

What did you do to prepare for your trip to Chomolhari Base Camp?

Four weeks before our Bhutan trip, we ran the Barcelona marathon. One month before our Bhutan trip we went for a walking holiday in Majorca and we did regular uphill running in Freetown, Sierra Leone. We didn’t have any altitude experience and we would advise other travellers to train for that as well.

The weather was glorious and the local team were fantastic in keeping us going.

What did you enjoy most about this journey to Bhutan?

The scenery, climbing two passes, the companionship with the other trekkers and the team, the sense of achievement. The weather was glorious and the local team were fantastic in keeping us going with always someone with me at the back.  We have nothing but praise for our guide.

What was the hardest thing for you?

We had a brilliant time but it was very, very tough especially the altitude. The hardest thing was breathing in the thin air. We all had some symptoms of mountain sickness which we expected. Terry found the breathing the most difficult. Jane had nausea and a swollen face each morning. The others had similar problems.

Do you have any tips to recommend for other travellers who are thinking of doing the Chomolhari Base Camp Trek?

Walk at your own pace and take your time to admire the scenery. If you are physically fit, age is probably not an issue.

Are you planning your next trekking holiday and where do you think you will go?

We are thinking of a trek in the Caribbean and are already looking in your brochure for one next year, lower altitude I feel and maybe a bed at night!

 

This was quite an achievement from Terry and Jane on celebrating their 50th anniversary we think! If you’ve been considering trekking up to Chomolhari Base Camp or any other trek in the Himalayas as well, please have a look at our complete offer of trekking in the Himalayas or contact our team of travel experts.

Bhutan, trekking

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