Ramesh, the owner, was our guide 15 years ago when we were last in Nepal, so we were delighted to return when he has his own company – he did not disappoint! He helped us plan an itinerary with our three children (aged 13, 11 and 8 years) that was challenging but never too much. He set us up with a wonderful guide (Dal) and two porters, Hem (also a guide at times - experienced, patient and calm) and Arjun (young and energetic). Sometimes now, back at work in Canada on a stressful day, I try to channel Hem’s calmness. They became our extended family and we were sad to leave them all at the end.
Ramesh is kind, helpful and honest and has extensive guiding experience himself; we highly recommend him and his company. We stayed at Hotel Horizon in Thamel (Kathmandu) which was ideally located and served our purposes well with a nice courtyard for tea and breakfast.
We did the early part of the Everest trek – starting at Shivalaya near Jiri and staying in teahouses. This part is much quieter than the trek onwards from Lukla, and also with the kids we wanted to avoid high altitudes. I love those earlier parts with the green terraced hills and the people (both Nepalis and trekkers) are much friendlier as it’s not as busy. The highest we slept at was Namche Bazaar (day trips from there) although the kids were totally fine on all the passes so we likely could have gone higher. It was a wonderful experience for all of us. Just a warning though, the long drive in is not for the faint of heart (or stomach!) though, so I’d recommend using Gravol (or similar) if you get motion sickness. After trekking we flew back out of Lukla which of course is also not for the faint of heart! Make sure you allow extra time at the end as people often get stuck in Lukla for a few days due to weather.
This was our third trip to Nepal so we knew what to expect although it’s certainly gotten busier and the omnipresence of cell phones was a surprise. Our first trip many years ago we did without a guide, and although we were fine, we realized the experience is so much better with a guide so we would never do without again. We also know people that recently did the Manaslu trek and loved that, so that will likely be our next trip, which unfortunately will likely be a few years out.
Thanks so much to Ramesh for organizing our trip, to his team for taking such wonderful care of us and giving us amazing memories! Nepal is such a wonderful country and we were thrilled to be able to finally share it with our whole family. We look forward to coming back again as soon as we can! Although we have visited many countries, Nepal holds a very special place in our hearts.