A delicate - Trek and
You wouldn't have believed it on a hot summer's afternoon last
June. I was on one of 10 flights arriving in Srinagar from
Delhi (that same day, Chief Minister of the state of Jammu and
Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad, announced that international
flights would soon start operating from Srinagar's Sheikh-ul-Alam
Having struggled to get a flight, I then battled for space
with a sea of Indians escaping to the Himalayas from the
monsoon heat on the plains. They travelled with their
families, the little girls in polyester dresses, and junk food
stuffed into plastic tiffin carriers, the hum of excitement
like a swarm of noisy bees.
It surprised me,
to see the terminal so busy with holidaymakers. It was even
stranger to recognise the Kashmiri gentleman, Haji Khazir,
standing beside me at the luggage carousel. In 1993, my
boyfriend and I met him in Delhi. He persuaded us to visit Dal
Lake, and we flew to Jammu and from there took a night taxi to
the lake. This is the principal body of water around which
Srinagar is built, and Kashmir's jewel.
We stayed for three weeks on Khazir's family houseboat, Lala
Pictured: A trader rowing across Dal Lake, Kashmir
How can I thank you enough?
To everyone at Trek and Travels
I am writing straight after my houseboat and trek experience
in the Kashmir Mountains because I can only describe the last
ten days as the trip of a lifetime! The Lonely Planet guide to
India describes Kashmir as the 'Valley of Paradise'. This is
I am a 35 year old teacher from Manchester, England and have
just started on my 'gap year' to travel across Asia,
Australasia and South America. As you know, I didn't consider
Kashmir as part of my tour of India, mainly because of what I
had read in certain travel books. However after much
discussion with you I can now categorically state that my trip
to Kashmir exceeded all expectations.
You took care of all the transfers from airports and once I
arrived at the beautiful Dal Lake, a taxi boat ushered me
straight to the houseboat. I am not used to such high
standards of service, but everything I could wish for was
taken care of. The trek I did (eight days) was nothing like I
had ever experienced. Aside from the awesome mountains, the
gypsies and wildlife - being waited on and fed three hot home
cooked meals each day ensured my energy levels were kept up!
I have already sent loads of photos to family and friends of
the glaciers, high peaks and even a snap shot of Mt K2! Many
of my friends have trekked in many parts of the word but I
seriously don't think any of them could compete with this.
What made this trip special was the attention to detail, being
treated like part of a family and that everything that was
promised was delivered. Everyone at the houseboat had genuine
concern for my happiness and no request seemed too big. You
clearly work very closely with your trekking and houseboat
partners to make all this happen.
India marks the first month of my gap year. My only fear is
that I may have peaked right at the start of my travels. I
cannot see how anything can compete with this, so I just might
have to book another trip with you to Kashmir soon after my
gap year ends!
Your credibility as a travel agent is built upon an honest and
'no nonsense' philosophy. You want repeat business and you
want your customers to talk about your services to family and
friends. This, I can assure you is what I intend to do. This
is also why I edited a separate film specifically for Trek and
Travels which I am happy for you to show new customers.
If any of your future customers have any questions regarding a
visit to Kashmir, I am more than happy to take any questions
via email at
Once again, thank you for creating the most memorable