Hi Anand! I hope the tipping issue went ok…if anything, I tipped high…but for great service, so ok with me.
The trip went very well, from my perspective. I was so excited to cross that high pass! I don’t know if you heard about the eldest queen mother visit in the monastery. She said it was “auspicious” that no one else signed up for the tour, and she turned out to be right. I had trouble on parts of the descents—(a) I HATE exposure and (b) trail rocky, scree, “kneebanger,” slippery that I needed to do slowly to protect knees and out of fear I’d slip & injure myself. Pema galantly helped out e.g., on big, difficult steps, holding my hand so I could put weight on his hand and ease myself down. The last day it took me 6 hours to do the 5,000’ descent. I felt bad that extra 2 hours ate into the crews’ free afternoon and probably drove Pema and Dechen nuts. But anyway I made it. The crew was very solicitous of my every need on the trek. They couldn’t have been nicer. They even let me eat in the warm kitchen tent—the dining tent was too cold.
On the first week (and also during the trek), Pema answered my hundreds of questions about Bhutan. What a luxury it was to be able to ask questions all the time and get answers. He was so knowledgeable.
It was hard not having “peers” to socialize with, but it wasn’t terribly hard, and as just described, being the sole customer had a lot of advantages. I would never have received the same attention had I been in a big group, and those hard descents would have been even harder.
Please let me know if you have any specific questions I haven’t answered. I would definitely recommend Wind Horse to anyone. The guide/crew were very professional and very solicitous of my needs. I was extremely pleased.