I have been trekking earlier but this time was the first ever to under take a Himalayan trek and that too this long! My friends signed up with NATE for the trek and I got on with it. My experience with Tej Bahadur Gurunji and NATE I can sum up in 4 words – Knowledgeable, Caring, Flexible and Warmth!
Tejji was leading our group and the briefings before each days trek was very useful and gave us a realistic picture of what to expect and prepare. His knowledge not only of the terrain but also on what to watch out for, background on cultural set up etc is interesting. It was pepping up talk and never discouraging to any of us but always gave a realistic picture including our learning of Nepali flat ? (little up little down).
Not only Tejji but his entire team of support staff (porters included) were very affectionate and caring. They always looked out for us. None of our team members were left on their own irrespective of how fast or slow they were going – some one from NATE was always around to shadow and guide. Some of the porters even offered and carried bags of our team members who were struggling on a climb for a certain day!
Flexibility was the epitome of trekking with NATE. I had heard abt the strict schedule and approach followed by my friends during their Himalayan treks however with Tejji, be it changes to the schedule to suit the climbing needs of the team and altering plans to ensure overall schedule was not compromised or be it accommodating requests of changes to the diet (read additions and changes) were done without breaking a sweat!
Lastly, the kind of exposure we got to the local culture including the dance performances by the village folks and local cuisine we tasted at various locations we may not have received with a strict regimental Organizer. This all stems from the deep passion Tejji and he was keen for us to experience it all. No matter how many times we asked him the same thing, he Wud always explain it with same fervour and excitement! This warmth was heart felt and summaried when we bid adieu to the support staff where the entire group partied together and felt the journey traversed was as one and not as client and organizer! We will surely cherish this experience for long!
All in all a very fulfilling adventure and experience trekking with NATE. And look forward to doing this again soon for EBC!