National Day: Rinchen, 73, from Thangye in Trongsa walked for two days to reach the Trongsa throm. He even spent the night in a cave by the roadside.

Rinchen, his 70-year-old wife Tashi and their neighbour Ugyen, 68, have come to Trongsa to celebrate the 109th National Day in Sherubling school.

Despite the dzongkhag providing free transportation, the three had to walk for two days since they get motion sickness. “So we brought a horse to carry our beddings and rations.”

Like most people from Mangde tshozhi, the elderly citizens claim their main reason for putting in this effort was to see HRH The Gyalsey and Their Majesties The King and The Queen, and His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo. “I had the privilege to see His Majesty The King in Sephu when His Majesty returned from Laya and Lunana recently,” Rinchen said. “It will be an honour for us to see our three leaders together.”

Sonam Dorji, 30, from Chendibji was walking in Trongsa town with a huge bag filled with his rations and a new gho. He was looking for his friend to spend the night. “We are told there will be free transportation early in the morning,” he said. “But I thought I would come early so that I can get a proper place to sit and witness the grand event.”

Phub Lhamo, 50, from Nabji came to Trongsa on December 14 in a DCM truck the dzongkhag provided to ferry the villagers.

She said she never had the privilege to meet His Majesty The Fourth King and His Majesty The King in person. “I only saw Their Majesties on television. So I thought I should not miss this opportunity,” he said. “I am more excited to see His Royal Highness The Gyalsey in person.”

She added that while she is eager to witness the event, she is worried how she will be able to see Their Majesties, as the number of people in Trongsa increases every hour.

Nabji and Korphu villages were connected to a road very recently. Phub Lham said she attended the National Day celebration in Nabji school but never travelled beyond her village for such celebrations until now as there was no road and also because there was no free transportation like for the current celebration.

From Langthel, Tshering Choden, 32, from Baling arrived yesterday evening in a bus provided by the dzongkhag. She said all the five people in her house came to attend the function.

She said her main intention for coming was to see His Royal Highness the Gyalsey. “It would be a privilege to see His Majesty The Fourth King and His Majesty The King,” Tshering Choden said.

As of yesterday evening, she was still looking for a place to stay.

Keza Dem, 38, from Bemji said she was looking forward to celebrate the National Day with Their Majesties. “Trongsa will be blessed this year since three great beings are celebrating with the people,” she said.

Meanwhile, many people were seen walking in the town looking for accommodation, as all hotels are occupied. People were seen carrying huge bags looking for a place to stay in.

People driving their own cars had to walk two to three kilometres to reach  Trongsa town and Sherubling, as they have to park their cars at designated parking areas and there are limited stickers for vehicle movement.

Tashi Dema and Nima Wangdi