We returned yesterday from our trip to Nepal, followed by a short visit with our family in the Netherlands.
We cannot say enough about your company and the wonderful people who are part of Himalayan Glacier Trekking. From the moment we corresponded with you, we felt that we were in excellent hands. All this on very short notice!
Upon arrival in Kathmandu after three long flights, Tulsi was there with a big smile to greet us with beautiful garlands. The Shanker hotel was lovely and very accommodating. We were very happy with the comprehensive tour provided by your guide Buddi (spelling?) the following day. He was extremely knowledgeable and we even got to see the Kumari goddess in Durbar Square!
Our stay in Pokhara at the Barahi Hotel was exceptional (its location is, in fact, nicer than the Kailash which was originally planned for us). I believe that Tulsi was instrumental in securing this reservation for us on very short notice when he found that there was no room at Kailash as we drove back from Nayapul. The setting provided a peaceful environment even though it was located in the center of town. When we returned from our trek, we also used the spa for a well-deserved massage. The staff is truly welcoming and the restaurant offers excellent choices. I would strongly recommend this hotel over Kailash for your future clients.
Our trek was eventful as well as beautiful. Upon the recommendation of a Dutch fellow who was sitting next to me on the plane, Narayan made it possible for us to start the Annapurna Sunrise trek from Phedi so that we could ascend more slowly – rather than on the Nayapul side. This proved extremely helpful as when the route got steeper, I developed issues with my heart requiring me to stop frequently. This was totally unexpected and disconcerting to the four of us and I must say that in addition to Kirsten, Tulsi and Jay were extremely professional in dealing with this. They also took good care of us at our lodgings, making sure we were comfortable with extra blankets and masala tea. We developed a close relationship with them and we miss them! We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the sunrise over Annapurna South and Machhapuchare at Ghorepani. Kirsten also went with Tulsi to Poon Hill.
During our trek, we met two other couples who were trekking with HGT and were just as enthusiastic as we were. We also met people who were alone or who were unhappy with their guides and who might have benefitted from your services. We gave them your information as well. (Just a thought: it might be helpful for HGT if your guides had business cards to hand out to individuals as appropriate).
As you know, Kirsten and I opted to take a tourist bus back to KTM. I had in mind the same, scenic tour, that my mother and I had experienced in 1987. Nothing was farther from the truth. Traveling through the valley just outside of Pokhara was a shock. The air pollution was so dense that one could barely see 500 feet. We were incredulous that in these terrible conditions, families and children live their lives. The road on the narrow, poorly maintained, mountainside was frightening beyond belief. Had we known that this was the case, we would have readily opted to fly back to KTM instead. It may be wise to alert your clients to the fact that travel on the roads – even in KTM – is an experience that most visitors may want to avoid.
When we returned to KTM, we found that we needed to travel home one day earlier than expected. Narayan could not have been more helpful in allowing us the use of his cell phone to speak with the airline. As a consequence, we managed to get the last two seats via Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam! It was a huge surprise and a big treat to be taken out to dinner at the Rum Doodle restaurant. This had been on my wishlist but without HGT, we would have missed it.
Upon takeoff from Kathmandu, we could see the Boudnath stupa in the distance. We said farewell to Nepal with great appreciation but also with sadness for the extreme conditions that most people deal with daily: from extreme air pollution to unsanitary conditions, hunger, and poverty.
Kirsten and I will be happy to recommend your company to any person looking for your services – in addition to our friends and acquaintances.
I will also write a glowing recommendation to Trip Advisor. If there is anything further that we can do, please do not hesitate to let us know.
With deep appreciation to you and your staff for having made our visit to Nepal unforgettable. We are so happy and grateful to have found you!
Charlotte and Kirsten