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Hi Anand, – I think the trip went well.  I did get sick at one of the hotels from food being incorrectly described.  Pema said he told the hotels in advance of my Celiac condition, and I asked the woman serving the food if there was any wheat in a vegetable dish and she said no.  I asked her to please double check.  She said she asked the chef if there was any wheat in the dish and he told her no.  I got sick that night and was sick for about a day and a half during the trip because of a mistake or a misunderstanding.  I know this was not Wind horse’s fault, but it definitely made for a bad day and a half for me.

Regarding the trek, I enjoyed it, but when I read and heard about Merak / Sakten being remote, I didn’t think of crossing farm roads and walking on farm roads made by heavy machinery and passable by cars  and trucks.  I know that the roads don’t reach the towns yet, but in my mind the roads changed the character and scenic aspect of the trekking experience.  When walking on old trails used by the locals and then crossing and seeing roads, I didn’t feel quite the remoteness I thought I would.  It may not bother some people, but when I hike and or backpack (trek) in the USA ( and in New Zealand and Nepal in the past) I don’t encounter or see roads and that is what I am used to and expect.

I understand that Bhutan is changing and that the roads are good for the local economy and make life easier for the people, it’s just not my preference to see a hillside with a road nearby while trekking, nor do I prefer crossing the roads.  I wouldn’t mind walking a short distance at the beginning or end of the trek on a road.  But when I think of trekking, I don’t think of roads.

The two chefs did a very good job with the meals.  The meat the last two or so days seemed a little suspect and we were not surprised by this considering there is no refrigeration or coolers for the meat.  Not a big deal, but we didn’t need fresh meat and perhaps dehydrated or freeze dried food could be used at the end of the trip.

The horseman did a good job with the horses and we liked not having to carry all of our gear.
Overall I enjoyed the trekking portion of the trip, but personally I might have better liked a trek that was not in an area with farm roads.
The rest of the trip went well and we enjoyed our guide Pema and our driver Dawa.

TID – 8747, May 09-26, 2015, (Merak & Sakten Trek) Pema Dhendup (Guide)

I understand that Bhutan is changing and that the roads are good for the local economy.

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