Great to read the posts here about Earthbound Expeditions. We hope to join you when you return back to Nepal… 🙂
My family and I took the Everest-Taj Mahal Tour with Earthbound Expeditions – December 2008.. In Nepal, what we enjoyed most were: the mountain flight over Everest / Himalayas and our visit to mountain towns of Nagarkot and Dhulikhel, not to mention the Nepalis themselves.
From Nagarkot, we had about a 15 km hike to Baneppa and from there rode public buses to the mountain resort of Dhulikhel. The hike was memorable because we had the opportunity to interact with the villagers and children. We saw scenic views: waterfalls, rice terraces, farms, hills, and mountains – so different from the chaos of Thamel/Kathmandu. By riding the public buses, we were able to be up close and personal with the local people. We had tea with a family while waiting for the rain to stop and for the bus. In Dhulikhel, we had a good view of the Himalayas right from our breakfast table while being served freshly cooked omelettes.
We hope to return to Nepal and go to Pokhara and Annapurnas. Again, with Earthbound Expeditions who gave us a very professional and personalized service. Rajan (president) did a good job of planning and coordinating our trip. He customized a tour for the three of us. He responded promptly to my every email or inquiry. Throughout our stay, he monitored or coordinated our daily activities.
Rajan also deployed the best staff to take care of us: G.P., our skilled, careful, and caring driver; Salik, our tour guide for the Kathmandu sites, who gave an in-depth and insightful lecture on the temples and on Hinduism/Buddhism; and Shree, our guide in Nagarkot and Dhulikhel, who was resourceful, reliable, and went beyond the call of duty. He even found the best-tasting radish and soy beans for us to eat while we hiked. Thank you, guys! You are great and we miss you.
I think the best asset of Nepal is its people. As a people, the Nepalis are gentle, warm, and friendly.
In India, we did the Golden Triangle of Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi. The Taj Mahal lived up to our expectations – despite the day starting out foggy which can affect your view of the Taj. We were very comfortable in the Holiday Inn in Agra and Jaipur. They offered complimentary bottled water in the rooms – nice touch. Clark International Hotel in Delhi was interesting because it was located right in the middle of the action, close to everything. We had a good driver in Jaspal and a competent tour guide in Gaurav.
By the way, there were power outages in Nepal when we were there. So, while the hotels could run on back-up power generators, it was not enough power to run the heaters, if any. So, be ready to layer and bundle up if you come during the winter. In Dhulikhel, we were given hot water bottles to keep warm in bed – that worked! All part of the cultural experience.
Tip to travelers – never expect your destination to be like home. If you do, then better stay home. Open mind, open heart!
B,C, & G Gonzales, San Diego, US.