Ranch & Coast Magazine

October 2022

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Our guide Leki Phuntsho of Bhutan 4 Joy took us to see fortresses and temples and beautiful monasteries, as well as a local archery match. When I suggested river rafting, he magically made it happen and he also, at my request, arranged a meeting with a monk. I'm especially grateful to Leki for not letting me give up on the long trek up to the landmark Tigers Nest Monastery, which sits 10,000 feet above the Paro Valley. I whined. He coaxed. I wanted to give up. He wouldn't let me. And at the top, we all celebrated. Snorkeling with Swing Not all great driver-guide teams arrive on wheels. For our long-awaited trip to Palau, an archipelago of 340 islands in the Western Pacific Ocean, I searched online and found Swingly Aguon of Swings Palau Tours. While others offered pre-planned group snorkeling excursions, Swing assured me we would be his only passengers. Every morning, his boat pulled up at the dock at our hotel and he and his son welcomed us aboard. We snorkeled at new sites every day and always seemed to arrive when the tide was right and we had the area to ourselves. e highlight of the week was the magical experience of snorkeling with jellyfish. I loved everything about it and stayed in Jellyfish Lake much longer than we'd planned. And that was ok, because I was sure that Swing wouldn't mind waiting. He knows we all get by with a little help from our friends. ELIZABETH HANSEN Detour destinations << 110 OCTOBER 2022 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE Two of Bhutan's important rivers converge in front of the stunning Punakha Dzong Swing knows the best dive spots and the most scenic places for lunch Palau's Jellyfish Lake is the best place in the world to swim with millions of harmless jellyfish

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