A huge thank you! We could not have had a happier honeymoon and as Steph mentioned, we found ourselves on several occasions (when facing plane delays and long queues at airports) singing Original Travel's praises as we were simply ushered around the problems. Amazing service!!
The Shakti Village Houses are just outstanding. It is the most unique set up being situated in a local's house, done up to be smart and comfortable but rustic and charming, in the middle of a Ladakh village surrounded by fields being harvested, cattle and goats, trees and streams, kids and farmers… and having the whole thing to ourselves with the perfect level of service that only appeared when needed and produced one delicious breakfast, lunch, dinner after another. Our last dinner in Shakdi Stok will go down as one of the greats as the food and the room created an atmosphere so exotic and original. We were just so happy in those houses and loved all the people looking after us. Throw in the monasteries and other cultural sight-seeing, plus our charming guide and it was a great first week.
As for the mountains, the trekking was awe-inspiring and the camp sites breath-taking. Waking up at 4,300m and opening the tent flap, incredible… and the endless wilderness scenery like that we encountered was just utterly revitalising!
Well done on the last night of our trek… the Shakdi camp that they hauled up the mountain on a train of 374 ponies was a Maharaja's palace complete with shower tent, thunderbox and double mattress.
Rajasthan was equally impressive and the places we stayed at were unique. Roof top cocktails at the Raas staring up at the floodlit Mahrengey fort, breakfast in the bush at Jawai and dinner on the Lake Palace roof top… memories we will reflect on for many years to come. I just feel sorry for our poor guides who got utterly blitzed by questions from Steph and I… I don't think they've ever been so grilled about the environment, India, the history, culture, religion, wildlife, etc...
A note on Jawai… the landscape is some of the most stunning I have ever seen, quite literally. Had we not seen a single leopard we would have left exhilarated by the environment we walked and drove through.
I could go on (no surprise there) but suffice it to say, it was one the greatest trips of our lives… right up there with Japan last year. Thank you for your help, advice, forbearance, support and organisation. It was a seamless travel experience, put together with expert craftsmanship. Many thanks indeed!!