In the glitzy rooms of my long-time optometrist today, I picked up new contact lenses and new glasses. A receptionist I’d not met registered my name and immediately said, “You’re the one dreaming of see Black-necked Cranes in Bhutan. I’ve been three times. It’s amazing.” I was so flabbergasted that I never managed to ask how she knew that; possibly the optometrist, with whom I chat about birding (my hobby) and photography (his hobby), informed her. The receptionist rattled on about Bhutan and its glories, then processed the lenses and glasses, and all the while I kept thinking, “yes, I must go there.”
Once upon a time, before Covid, a Bhutan trip was firmly envisaged, along with travel to other continents, chasing the fifteen Crane species (see my 15 Cranes blog), but a year ago I shelved the project altogether. Covid played a part in that decision but more importantly, the nuclear book called loudly.
Now, standing amidst rows and rows of swanky-looking glasses frames, I felt that the 15 Cranes project was beckoning me once again. Of course, despite theoretically shelving the idea, I’ve kept track of odds and sods about Cranes, like stoking the embers of a fire nearly extinguished. So that thought—“I must go to Bhutan”—now reverberates, again and again. Should I? No. Will I? Maybe, who knows.