Up early to catch my flight to Bhutan, and if the shots with sherpas the night before weren’t enough to signal this was going to be an interesting trip…the rest of the day definitely would!
Check-out of the hotel was relatively easy, despite them making up a story about why they couldn’t take American Express (“the link to American Express is not working this morning” – really? at 6am you’ve already tried it?) and they found me a taxi no problem. Except, there was a problem. After 5 minutes in the taxi, it became pretty apparent that the previous day’s strike and protests were continuing, and the streets were lined with riot police and angry looking protesters. With a bit of sign language, and broken english (“there better” – pointing at the back of the van) that’s how I ended up in the back of the minivan/trunk area, covered by a tarp, peering out. Yes, the driver was concerned protesters might see a westerner in the taxi and cause trouble. I have to say this was a first – riding to the airport in complete secrecy!
Check-in was a non-event, and spent a little time in the only lounge in the airport – the “Radisson Lounge” – and then a two hour delay was announced. However, only 45 minutes later, the lounge agent came around again, and informed us all that boarding was now ready. Um, ok, sounds good to me!
Druk Air Flight 410
Kathmandu, Nepal (KTM) to Paro, Bhutan (PBH)
Departure 8:45, Arrival 10:20, Flight Time 1:20
Airbus A319, Registration A5-RGG, Manufactured 2004
Since there’s not much online about Druk Air, I’ll be a bit more detailed with this part of the report. First, a shot of the plane as we walked up to it: