Shasi - paper maker

Bhutan, Thimphu - visited a hand paper making factory where Shasi was a worker. Among the products were gorgeous notebooks ... I was quite relieved to spot the whole Hemp Leaves pressed into some of them before I bought the one I used as the Lifelines diary on this trip.

Tshering Chojur - guide

Tigers Nest Monastery, Bhutan - We had just completed one of the toughest hikes up I can recall. The result, reaching the Tigers Nest, Bhutans pride and joy, one of the most spectacular monasteries in the world overhanging a kilometre cliff. I took the opportunity to draw our fantastic 'serene' guide Tshering who Im sure will never be the same after managing four girls like us. Thank you Tshering!

Samten Dema - hairdresser

Thimphu, Bhutan - one of the gorgeous girls who did my hair at CURL UP N' DYE salon.

Monk Penjor

Lungtshotse Lhakang 3566m, Bhutan - meeting Penjor and the two other monks that live here was one of the most special highlights of Bhutan. Not only was the weather forecast to be terrible, but arriving at the tiny monastery after one of the most amazing hikes to the spectacular 360 views of the surrounding Himalayas, it was as though the monks were awaiting our arrival, welcoming us into their home with open arms. Turns out they get very few visitors yet alone tourists. We were privileged to receive special blessings ... and were made THE best chai tea with, of all things, a Bamix. Drawing Penjor was the biggest honour however, and his gift of a mandarin completely humbling.

Pema Yangzom - hairdresser

Thimphu, Bhutan - one of the gorgeous girls who did my hair at CURL UP N' DYE salon ... can't beat that name!

Pema Loday - student Uppen Academy

Punakha, Bhutan - We had a couple of hours to explore the town of Punakha. I was quite a curiosity to some of the children it turned out, and among the individuals I met was the very cool Pema and his friend.

Monk Jazhalpa

Tigers Nest Monastery, Bhutan - We had just arrived at the base of the trail leading up to the Tigers Nest when I spotted this fantastic character resting crossed legged in the shade of the pines. It were as if I was on the set of Lord of the Rings. I had only a few minutes to take the opportunity and Jazhalpa's beaming smile and excitement were worth every moment ... I even got a sensational yoga pose out of him the camera before I left ... leaving, I couldn't believe my eyes when as I looked back, he was getting helped onto a donkey as he could barely walk!

Kumbu Dem - Head of family

Phobjikha, Bhutan - This was one of those days that really made me think that Magic does happen. We had arrived in the freezing Phobinka Valley after a long spectacular drive though some of the most dramatic landscape. It was whilst seemingly doing the least eventful part of the day, a stroll through the solo street of the village, that we came across several gorgeous children playing in the distance by a farmhouse. Before we knew it we were singing Ba-Ba-Black-Sheep with them (yes they knew it!), before being invited into their home for tea. Unbeknown to us it was also a day they were blessing their home and aside from their guests of the extended family being present, monks in one of the adjoining rooms were chanting prays and blessings. We were treated as guests of honour, the mother even getting the monks to play their traditional trumpets as a send off as we left ...

Kesang Chaedon - resort owner

Chuniding Resort Thimphu, Bhutan - Another of those places we were treated to some true Bhutanese culture and delightful hospitality. We were fortunate enough to get to know Kesang, not only the owner of the resort, but as it turned out, Bhutan's first female Kernel! It was an evening of being treated to traditional masked dances by a bonfire under the pines and stars, and traditionally cooked culinary delights.

Kado - Kings former bodyguard

Chuniding Babesa, Thimphu - Kado, even the name alone makes a statement. This giant of a man is definitely one of those characters you are unlikely to forget ... as is his story. The bodyguard to the King for 30 years and a Colonel in the Bhutanese army, it was definitely a treat to spend a little time with him.

Effie - travel buddie

Paro - our last night in Bhutan.

Chimi Wangmo - hairdresser

Thimphu, Bhutan - one of the gorgeous girls who did my hair at CURL UP N' DYE salon.