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TID 595 Bhutan Traverse from West to East (11.10.13-25.10.13)
Let me first say that we enjoyed our trip immensely! The sight where nothing short of spectacular and although we were Dzonged out by the end of the tour it was very informative. Always our guide made the information we received interesting and spoke with great passion while relaying his stories. We realize this was a very active (always on the move) tour but would have appreciated some down time just to take in the views, shops etc.. When we (the four of us) discussed this back home I think Terry summed it up best “This was not so much a Holiday but rather an Adventure”.

We were quite surprised at our accommodations in a pleasant way as we had expected possibly something a little less. Of all the places we stayed I think our last night before leaving Bhutan was probably the worst but the food made up for that! As for the food it was ok and again our guide on more than one occasion arranged for meals at locations other than the Hotel. I’m not sure but I know we had a few picnics which were very nice. So when I say down time this is the kind of thing I’m speaking of, to sit back and take in the views, which can be very peaceful and relaxing.I would like to comment on one thing that I know is not really a Windhorse issue but feel it important enough to mention. To illustrate the issue I will use the hike up to the Tigers Nest. Along the way there are garbage containers that are full to over flowing. We read in many locations signs that said please don’t litter.

I understand that on trekking tours garbage must come back from the trip so there’s no littering from those tours. Clearly this garbage along the way to the Tigers Nest is not picked up as often as it should be so why not remove them and use the same policy as used on Trekking tours. We all enjoy hiking in a pristine environment so anyone including the locals should adopt the policy of “Garbage in Garbage Out”. We really enjoyed the clean air and the scenery. I hate to think of what the landscape will look like in another 30 years if Bhutan doesn’t get a handle on this issue.

Again I only mention this as you being a tour operator in Bhutan might be able to bring this to the attention of those in power to affect change!I will mention one other issue that is under your control. At first we didn’t think anything of it until at the Guwati Airport. When getting our boarding-pass the official had issues with our passport and how it was stamped on entry into India. Not being familiar with the whole process I will attempt to relay our departure from Bhutan.Around 6:00am we were handed off to a driver (who spoke no English) from India who was to take us to the airport as this was to be safer for traveling though this part of India (first time “safety” was mentioned!). Our guide paid an individual and we were to make sure we tipped our Indian driver on delivery to the airport. The guide and driver for Wind Horse left us at this point. At the check point we gave our passports to the driver who went to have them stamped as our entry into India.

I must say that is the first time I have ever had my passport stamped without verifying the picture to my face not to mention questions concerning the reason for entry into the country. We all checked our passports to verify it was indeed stamped which they were. The issue at the airport was trying to explain how we got into the country and from where. The stamp was a lot different in exiting than the one we got at the check point which we got after a considerable amount of explaining how we got there! This was the only time I can say we all felt vulnerable. Again not knowing the process if there was an area for improvement I would suggest you take a look at this.All in all it was a great trip and thank you for the experience to be part of another part of the world. Truly an education full of life long memories!Regards,

Grant & Judy P

We all enjoy hiking in a pristine environment so anyone including the locals should adopt the policy of “Garbage in Garbage Out”

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