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Merak Sakten trek TID 694 (8th to 25th Oct 2013)
STAFF:Excellent, good natured, attentive to needs of us, remembered individual likes and dislikes, very professional. (See below re Kili)A treat to have Ugen with us!!!!!!He was very tactful about our dislike of the tradition of the Brokpa people coming to our campsite laden with ara both internally and in bottles! Apparently they expected us to give them money. It felt like extortion. Ugen finessed the second encounter while we stayed in our tents and were served dinner in our tents!!

Guides:Suggestion: it would be very helpful if each night the guide and clients had a very brief debriefing meeting with the clients and a rundown of the next day’s activities. Kili would sign us in, make sure we were comfortable, arrange dinner time for us and hurriedly said what time we would leave the next day. Kili told me that the driver and he often didn’t know until arriving whether they would be staying at our hotel or not and so left quickly to find a room for themselves. Could that he alleviated by calling the hotel around noon to see what the status was for that night for the driver and guide? If there was no room, could they call other places to find a room before arriving in the town?

Discussing the following day would help us know whether to put hiking boots on or take them to wear later, for example.

In Jakar, we were there for 2 days and neither day were our beds made up.

KINLEY: I know that Kili was a last minute substitute because of KT’s problems. He was a lovely man, well versed. I found his English very hard to understand. When he got excited, which he did each time we neared a town, he would talk at a very rapid rate and we missed most of what he said. When I was with him alone, I tried hard to enunciate words he garbled, but he never seemed to repeat the correct pronunciation after me.

Thank you for the white scarf we each got at the beginning of the tour. May I suggest that instead of the scarf, you give a prayer flag with a windhorse on it? I didn’t realize for many days that the windhorse is one of the symbols on the prayer flags. Prayer flags are such an important part of Bhutanese tradition, that I think your guests would love to have one to take home or to hang on the top of a hill on a walk or trek.Lastly, I have taken the time to write this very long, detailed report because I think so highly of your organization. I did a lot of searching before choosing Windhorse. Having an American presence was very compelling for me. I was not disappointed in my choice. I wish you all the best and you can be sure I will send whomever asks about travel agents in Bhutan to you, Windhorse

I didn’t realize for many days that the windhorse is one of the symbols on the prayer flags.

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