Bhutan Laya Gasa Trek - Apr 1 - Apr 21, 2019
Background: I was originally supposed to do the 12 day Laya Gasa Trek, but we had to abort after 3 days (at Mt Chomolhari Base Camp), due to heavy snow on the passes. Consequently, we completed on alternative trek. Either side of my visit to Bhutan, I stayed in Kathmandu for 24 hours while waiting for my flight to Paro. Dates for trip 1/4/19 until 22/4/19.
Comments on KimKim: In short, the service from KimKim and Bas in particular was superb. I cannot fault it. Since this trip encompassed 3 weeks, several towns and two countries and I was very specific about what I wanted to see and do, this holiday could have been a nightmare to organise. However, it was so easy: I merely inputted my wishes and needs, then was allocated Bas, who organised everything, including the visa for Bhutan and flights between Nepal and Bhutan. Any queries were answered expertly and punctually. I also really appreciated their flexibility: when I needed to change the dates for my guided tour in Kathmandu, it was dealt with rapidly and seemlessly. I cannot thank Bas enough. Due to the fantastic organisation of the holiday by Bas, everything apart from the weather went smoothly in that the guides were waiting at the airport for me and hotel rooms were ready when I arrived. The accommodation was satisfactory, with the exception of the Druk Hotel in Thimpu, which was fantastic; a real bit of luxury after the rigours of hiking and camping.
Comments on Windhorse:
Kimkim allocated Windhorse Tours to look after me on this trip. They provided me with a guide (Pema), cook (Long De Bu), assistant cook and horsemen. I was very happy with the team. They went out their way to put me first and make my holiday special. The equipment provided was satisfactory and did the job. The only thing I would say is that the eating tent has quite a lot of mould on the covers: it either needs to be replaced or scrubbed between trips.
Special mention must go to my guide, Pema, and the cook. Pema was punctual, knowledgeable and passionate about trekking and Bhutan. His English was brilliant. Even though he was super fit and I was super slow, I never felt rushed while walking. The cook, Long de Bu, was amazing. I never thought that, at 4100 metres, I would be eating popcorn, pizza, noodles etc. The food was so good and I was so well fed that I actually gained weight despite a total of 10 days of hiking! Despite being away from the their families and coping with tough weather conditions, the team were always singing, laughing and smiling.
Comments on Bhutan: in contrast to Kathmandu, which was dirty and overcrowded, Bhutan was clean and fresh. It was so quiet and the scenery wherever you look is breathtaking. The Bhutanese are the friendliest people in the world. They are full of song and laughter, yet are also softly spoken and gentle. Whenever I looked a bit lost, the locals were quick to stop and give me directions.