This is one of the longer treks passing close to the Tibetan border. To travel in Bhutan you must be accompanied by local tour guides and pay a fixed daily fee. However a portion of the fee is used to fund Bhutanese health and education projects and for trekking (we were accompanied by five people with no additional costs) the final price seems reasonable. We used the Yu-Druk agency which has a female CEO.
We start from Paro. This is the only international airport in Bhutan and the landing alone is an experience, flat land is at a premium here.
On day 1 our guide picks us up from the Gantey Palace hotel and we take a four wheel drive to the ruined Drugyel Dzong. Here we meet up with the team who are to care for us over the coming days; two horsemen, the chef, his assistant and a raggle-taggle collection of donkeys and ponies to carry all our camping equipment. Once all the equipment is loaded we set off firstly through farmland and then into the woods crossing numerous foaming rivers. After passing the military base we arrive at our first camp Shana. On arriving we are given tea and biscuits, our first taste of the generous hospitality of the camp crew.