Let’s be completely honest here: there are some really good reasons not to travel with us to Ladakh. We want to be perfectly clear in advance, so you can’t say afterwards that you didn’t know what you were getting into. So take your time to read this and consider carefully, if you really want to contact us and join us on a trip to Ladakh. Your decision could have fatal consequences.
Why you should not travel with us
1. Abandon any hope for anonymity
If you travel with us, things will unfortunately get terribly personal. We’ll address you with your name. While we have an internal booking number for your journey, this is destined only for our partners (hotels, guest houses, transport companies, etc). But for us you are not a number, and we will call you by your name happily and often. We understand how annoying it can be when, already at the hotel (or even at the airport), you are received with a heartfelt greeting, as if we knew you already!
2. No Respect
There’s an Austrian unwritten rule about pronouns: “From about 1000m up, we can drop the formalities” (in German, as in Spanish, there are two forms of the second person pronoun, one formal and one informal). We are not going to call you Mr. or Mrs. Family-Name. No Sir, or Doctor, or titles of any kind. This often leads to a terribly unpleasant familiar atmosphere. As if you traveled half the world just to feel at home!
3. Nothing is fixed
Many find the flexibility in our trips extremely annoying, particularly in the individual tours. Nothing is carved in stone. Things can and actually will change when on the field, to adapt to the circumstances, be they unexpected illness, variable weather conditions or spontaneous festivals…
4. Overcaring as a mother
Getting rid of the Gesar Travel people is nearly as hard as hiding from your own shadow. Unfortunately, they care about you and worry as easily as your own mother. If something is not going well with you, they will make a point of not leaving you long time alone, hold your hand when visiting the doctor, bring food and drinks for you, and make sure you get (and take!) any prescribed medications. And if it is really inevitable, they will even mingle with insurance issues and arrange an early trip back home.
5. The drivers are lame
The drivers at Gesar Travel are so safe and boring! They always horn before each dangerous curve and sharp turn, making themselves obvious to every other vehicle around; they drive at walking speed over bumps and rough places, just to avoid jumping in the seat and hitting the inside of the car; they stop at all intersections, respect red lights and speed limits… They’re so lame! No adventure factor. Zero thrill.
6. The cooks will batten you
Just when you were getting ready to finally lose a few kilos and eat only Daal and rice for a couple of days, the shameless Gesar Travel- cooks entice you with rich, complete menus that will refill your energy bars and leave you satisfied. Unfortunately, they are also really tasty, and you’ll probably eat more than you planned.
7. The guides are annoying know-alls
We know how much fun it is to read travel guides and articles and blog posts 😉 and inform oneself before a trip. So it’s normal to get frustrated when our guides know everything a little better, and pretentiously share their vast knowledge and secrets.
8. These annoying do-gooders
It’s really infuriating when, at the moment of breaking camp, our team picks up not only their own waste, but also any garbage that other trekking teams have left behind. And then they bring it all the way to Leh for proper disposal!
9. Always so close to the locals
Yes, it’s true, it has always been our concern that in our team as many people as possible are really from Ladakh. And moreover, it is also very important to us that our guests have as much contact with locals as possible. This of course has consequences: invitations to private homes or nomad tents, tea drinking (even the nasty one with butter!), taking pictures (the memory cards fill up always so fast) and the worst of the worst: friendships that nowadays, thanks to Facebook, one must even maintain after leaving. It is so exhausting!
10. Ladakh isn’t worth a visit
Last but not least: browse through the pictures. If after that you still want to come to Ladakh with us, then I’m deeply sorry: you are a lost cause! (All pictures by Roland Amon)