Blog 9 - Paro to Punaka

After our first night in Bhutan, we started our journey East towards Bumthang and the starting venue for the Tour Of The Dragon race. We will take 3 days to drive there at leisure allowing James time to get some training on some of the passes and acclimatise as well as get an idea of the race route. Today we crossed over what will be the last pass on race day, the “Docha La”, at 3150 metres high and what will be a 2000 metre ascent before dropping down to the capital Thimpu and the finish line. James got to enjoy some downhill and contend with the traffic and road works as Bhutan develops its first 2 lane road, and is the busiest section of road in the country. The route allowed Ant to get a little filming to share the experience and for the promotional work he is doing here, before we dropped down to Punaka valley, one of the most beautiful areas of Bhutan. After lunch, the team took time out to visit Punaka Dzong - one of the most stunning in Bhutan set in-between the confluence of the two rivers the Mo chuu and Po Chuu. Take a look on google maps for more info by clicking here.

Have they got a hole in?  We hope you've got a spare pair James!

Have they got a hole in? We hope you’ve got a spare pair James!

James and Karma. Punaka Dzong  set in-between the confluence of the two rivers the Mo chuu and Po Chuu.

James and Karma. Punaka Dzong set in-between the confluence of the two rivers the Mo chuu and Po Chuu.


This is also the area where Ant visits regularly to work with the local staff. He escorted the team to the new luxury lodge due for completion next year set on the river banks upstream of Punaka. This will be the first sustainable destination aimed at offering adventure with rafting, kayaking, biking and trekking. Ant is currently sourcing all of the kit for the Bhutanese and back at Live The Adventure in the UK there are 12 kayaks, 12 bikes, 3 rafts and all of the associated kit ready to ship in a container next month to arrive this Autumn. In November, Ant returns to Bhutan to help compile the kit and train more local Bhutanese staff who will help to run the adventurous activities, offering western certification as river guides and instructors, ready for the following season and the lodge opening.

A surprise end to the day when later that evening Ant was contacted by the “Bhutan Olympic Committee” who are hosting the race to arrange for him to have an audience with HRH Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wankgchuk on Thursday evening to discuss filming the race.

Our next blog will focus on “How did James come to ride in the Hardest One day mountain bike race in the world?”

The support and posted comments have been very much appreciated - keep sharing the links and supporting James as this really does give a boost to all the hard work, and don’t forget his chosen charity Spinal Research if you want to donate!


Blog 9 - Paro To Punaka - Training from Live The Adventure on Vimeo.

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