We will have an unforgettable memory of the trip
I am Andrea, the tour leader of an Italian / Swiss group of 8 people who had a great luck this year, enjoying a 15 days Mustang trek and Ti Ji ( Tenchi) from April 28-May 13th , 2005 with Earthbound Expeditions, and sharing this great experience with Mr. Rajan Simkhada, who was our leader on that trip.
Plus, we spent some more days in Kathmandu, before and after the trek, visiting the most important places in the valley, always with his helpful presence. Well, since when I began organizing the trip, I had a very good impression of Rajan and the agency, as I asked so many questions to him, about itinerary, organization, schedules, everything. That is usually exhausting for many people, not for him who was very efficient in fast answers, always helpful and so precise that just before the beginning I had quite a good idea of how the journey could be.
But it wasn’t exactly as I thought because, despite of my high expectations, the journey went far over those expectations: this is not only my opinion, it’s the opinion of everybody in the group: the perfect tour. Just in making the itinerary he showed me his experience, as I could realize later. In fact nobody in the group suffered for altitude sickness or for tiredness, and I am pretty sure (I have quite a good experience in high altitude trips) that it wasn’t just “good luck”, because the different stages were studied very well, to give to all of us the time for getting acclimatized, and improve our shape day by day.
Rajan came with us as a guide, this was an impression plus, and he deserves a special thank for that, because he dedicated to us part of the precious time of his busy schedule; plus, with his presence and the one of the second guide , we had great traveling companions and we shared many special moments together. We could dedicate time enjoying the visit of the so many interesting gompas that Mustang offers, full of history and culture, and Rajan was so great in being a guide and translator; well, he has a good experience of the area, and this helped very much in having an incredible time, enjoying what better Mustang can offer, out of the beaten tracks too.
The time spent in Lo Manthang for the Ti Ji Festival (held there every year in May) was really amazing, showing us how beautiful and interesting could be a Buddhist festival; moreover, we had the opportunity to meet the King of Mustang, always thanks to Rajan.
The cook (Mr. Mingmar) and his staff were simply wonderful: in such difficult “conditions”, with such that shortage of time to cook (considering the fact that they were on trekking too, with the tiredness that this involves): every day we had different hot meals, most of them freshly prepared: we had momos (made by hand just before the meal), spaghetti, pasta, wonderful pizza and cakes (both made without having an oven!!), many typical dishes, vegetables, meat, rice, potatoes, French fries (in a simple word, everything, like we were in Kathmandu and not inside the mountains, far from the beaten roads).
Please do consider (just to explain how good and how much was the food) that despite the about 180 kms of trek, many people of the group were “worried” about gaining weight. Plus we had hot beverages many times per day and hot water anytime we required it. All the equipment provided for the tour was perfect (tents, mattresses). The staff was always helpful and very eager to please, in any small matter regarding anybody of us, helping us for washing, preparing tents for the night, boiling water. So, I use this opportunity to thank Rajan again, for everything. We will have an unforgettable memory of the trip; the landscapes of Mustang are simply amazing, plus the culture, the people met during the tour, and the great, really great organization of Earthbound Expeditions as an impressive plus.
For sure I will use their services in the future, in my treks in Nepal and around (Tibet, Kailash Ladakh), where he has a great experience too. Namaste to everybody!
– Andrea Ruggerone, Italy