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Apr 21

A thank you from Mike and Amy Kember from London for the Goecha la trek

We would like to thank Hidden Paradise for a wonderful trek to Goecha La. The service we recieved was superb in every regard. Dawa was incredibly well-organised and reliable and he made sorting out the trekking paperwork and transport to Yuksom an absolute breeze. Before the trek Dawa was so helpful and friendly and provided us with a lovely tour of Darjeeling and Yuksam which we were not expecting. Our homestay in Yuksam with our guide, U.T., was wonderful – the hospitality which was etended to us was incredible. Our trekking guide, U.T., was immensely experienced (22 years working as a guide in Sikkim) and was extremely kind – he made sure that we were comfortable every step of the way and constantly enriched our trek by sharing his expert knowledge of the local area and all the native plant and bird species. He was very attentive to ensure that we were taking every possible step to avoid altitude sickness by taking plenty of rests, drinking lots of water and walking slowly. It was very clear that Hidden Paradise are working hard to ensure that tourism develops in this area in a way that is culturally sensitive and eco-friendly. It was also refreshing to see a company which ensured that all our porters and cooks were properly equipped and well-paid for their work. Our two-man tent was spacious, comfortable and stood up fantastically well to some heavy rain and hail due to thunderstorms at the end of the trek. We were provided with a thick foam roll mat to protect us from the freezing ground under the tent. The team made sure that we were really well taken care of and so much attention to detail was paid – we recieved ‘bed tea’ first thing in the morning along with a bowl of hot water for washing and also a hot water bottle to put in our sleeping bags at night! On long days the porters would walk back along the trail to bring us an extra warm drink. The food was varied (noodles, vegetable curries, rice, sandwiches, pizza and many more!), tasty and there was plenty of it to ensure we kept up the calories on long days. Lunch and dinner always started with a lovely warming soup which was well-needed as the temperature fell later in the day. When the weather was clear in the mornings and early afternoon we could be sure that our picnic table would be set up with a superb view of the mountains. This trek is the most beautiful we have ever done! The area is so untouched and peaceful. The mountain views (especially from Thangsing, Lamuni and Goecha La) are incredible and April was a beautiful time to go to see the rhododendrons, magnolias and primulas coming into bloom. We were blessed with the weather as it was generally clear until the afternoons and we only experienced two afternoon storms. Go – you will not be disappointed!!!

Mike & Amy Kember