Above the Cloud Trek – Fall, 2017
Hotels Paro - Kichu Resort
Trekking - Trek Camp
Punakha - Meri Phuensum Resort
Thimphu - Hotel Druk
Paro - Tashi Namgay Resort
I wanted to take a few minutes to add my personal thoughts on what Peter said about our Windhorse experience. Most importantly we all agree that in no way should our comments be judged a criticism of our guides Yonten and his crew. They worked very had to accommodate us and were always trying to enhance our experience. They were excellent!! Personally I was fascinated by and loved Bhutan and it’s people. It is a remarkable and beautiful country and I was very happy to have been able to experience it. Trekking is a good way to see that beauty. While I am glad to have done this trip I have to take a realistic examination of my total experience and that speaks to some of Peter’s points.
Trash anywhere is unsightly and trash along the trail was particularly saddening and detracted from the natural beauty. Perhaps the pony and yak herders could be compensated to pickup and haul out trash on trips where they return with unloaded livestock? The trash pits along the trail out of Laya were particularly unsightly given that this is a very scenic part of the trek, it seems far better to keep the trails picked up and trash taken out.
Maybe because our group was older we felt that there was not enough down time to enjoy our surroundings, we basically hiked all day, had dinner, went to bed, had breakfast and then hiked again all day. Shorter segments with more camp time would have given us more time to enjoy our surroundings, particularly since the bad sections of trail called for concentration of where we were putting our feet and not much time for looking around.
I very much agree that solar composting toilets should be considered where feasible. As tourism increases pit toilets will become untenable and hazardous for campers. As for camping I found the sleeping pads provided, very comfortable and the tents adequate when properly erected, sometimes the rain flys were not clear of the tent causing rain to seep through. Given that the evenings were quite cold some form of heating in the dining tent is needed. Speaking of dining, the kitchen crew did a great job! The food was plentiful, very good and the cook creative. The pizza and birthday cake were amazing and spoke to the cooks skill.
Your vehicles and driver were first rate he and Yonten worked perfectly together! In the bus we traveled safely and on time. Well done!!
My experience, (and it has taken me this long to process it), was that this was challenging for me. A lot of effort, but if I was 30 years younger I would be on the Snowman trek. I feel pleased that I was able to complete the trek. The memories of the mountain festival in Laya, the cultural insights we received in Paro and Thimphu, the beauty of Punakha will last a lifetime. Bhutan is a wonderful country and I wish it and you all the very best as we prepare for a new year.