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Thread: So much more than just a guide.

  1. #1

    Talking So much more than just a guide.

    My partner and I recently went to Pokhara in search of a guide to enhance our trek to the Annapurna Base Camp. We were introduced to Ruk Thapa who turned out to be, not only the best thing about our entire trip to Nepal, but someone who will now be a friend for life.

    To try and summarise all the positives I'll just bullet point them below...

    1) Probably the most important point is that he was a very experienced and knowledgeable guide. He taught us about culture, the environment, different trades, religion and answered many of our obscure questions. He was fascinating to listen to and we spent many nights huddled round listening to his interesting and funny stories. A very wise and humble guy indeed. Many other trekkers listened in and commented how jealous they were of us having found him!

    2) He was very patient when it came to our needs and/or limitations. He always walked at our pace and never pressured us to move faster.

    3)We actually attempted the Annapurna trek twice with Ruk because the first time I was ill with food poisoning for 4 days and had to abandon the trek. Ruk stayed up with me all night and even woke up the tea house owners in order to get me hot water and blankets. He kept my spirits up and told me jokes and I'll never forget his kindness!

    4) He became a friend and, in his own time between treks, he took us to a Lama monestry (something we would have never have seen/known about without him) and he took us fishing.

    In conclusion we were blown away and will be keeping in contact with him and coming back to visit again. He is a very professional guy who will go through all the right channels to ensure that your permits are correctly completed etc. We used a trekking agency in the first instance to find Ruk but we would wholeheartedly recommend cutting out the middle man who takes huge commissions and seek Ruk out himself. We actually asked the trekking agency to insure Ruk for any medical emergency and we were told that he would be. We later found out that he was not insured at all and we had been lied to. I now will contact Ruk and arrange all these things with him directly and ensure I am contributing my money to the right place and not to exploiting guides/porters like so many of the trekking agencies seem to do.

    Here are his contact details if you would like to approach Ruk. Please, if you have any good experiences with him let me know as I would love to think this post will give people a more enriching experience in Nepal.

    Telephone+977) 9846198755
    Email:ruk_thapa@hotmail.com

    Sorry for the blabbing, I couldn't help myself.

    Happy Trekking
    Vicki x

  2. #2
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    Default Re: So much more than just a guide.

    Were there any extras included?
    Last edited by yakshaver; 27th November 2011 at 11:38 PM.
    yakshaver

  3. #3

    Default Re: So much more than just a guide.

    Hi Yak Shaver,

    Sorry but I'm not sure what you mean. Would you care to elaborate? Hope I can be of help when you reply.

    Vicki

  4. #4
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    Default Re: So much more than just a guide.

    I removed the inverted commas from "extras". It is now... extras.
    yakshaver

  5. #5

    Default Re: So much more than just a guide.

    Hi Yak Shaver

    Maybe I am being dumb but I find your message quite cryptic! I'm assuming you are implying that the guide I recommended may not have provided anything but the standard you would expect and, therefore, was there anything actually 'extra' that made it special?? If this is so, then I'm sorry that the length to which Ruk went the extra mile was not portrayed in my previous post. I can only reiterate my earlier post and hope people take something positive from it.

    I read your post about recommendations and, whilst I agree that a lot of people may abuse this website for advertisement, I can't help feel that my post is not welcome or is considered false just because I have only been to Nepal once and am not an 'expert'. Also, I feel like my post has been somewhat belittled or discredited through your most recent thread when I have only come to this website with the best of intentions and in the mind that this forum was for people to discuss their experiences. However, I understand that it is hard to differentiate the helpful posts from the not so helpful ones.

    I would, therefore, like to say to anyone reading this post that I have only recommended Ruk because my experience was such a great one and that, as subjective as my recommendation is, it is my genuine experience that I wanted to share. I would welcome any questions to my personal email address victoria.pople@googlemail.com

    I apologise yakshaver if I have read into this wrongly but this is how it appears to me.

    Vicki

  6. #6

    Smile Re: So much more than just a guide.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/vickian...7628172632251/

    The above link has a bunch of photos if this is of interest too. xx

  7. #7
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    Default Re: So much more than just a guide.

    Sorry Vicki, you did read me mostly wrong, I guess. Not you being dumb, maybe a bad joke on my part. Perhaps.
    And not, my advice on guide recommendations werenot specifically about you. In fact I did not even think about your case (had no idea it was your first trek, my attention to such detail is atrocious). I am sure your experience is genuine, hence our engagement presently. I do not engage usually with anything fake, unless under severe circumstances. You're definitely not a "cut & paste". If you do read some of the other (current) recommendations you'll understand what I mean, but that.

    I guess it is my facetious, somewhat silly, but inquisitive nature. You were pretty enthusiastic about the recommendations, and you gave specific examples (one of my pieces of advice to recommenders, btw...).
    I guess I was amused by your detailed listing, and wondered whether your guide offered other extras, like tea, coffee, for example. If one has to explain, it obviously wasn't a very good attempt at humour. I apologise. It is difficult to guarantee that I will not re-offend, not intentional, just reflex reaction sometimes. You know men... not very bright, just good looking and can carry heavy loads. But I do promise to try to remember not to re offend in relation to you.
    yakshaver

  8. #8

    Default Re: So much more than just a guide.

    Hi Yakshaver

    I must be too sensitive! Apologies that I got the wrong end of the stick and overreacted! And I'm sorry I didn't get your joke! I certainly don't want to make enemies with people who have similar interests to me!

    Also, I have now read some of the other recommendations and I can see why it is a good idea to question the posts you read. Some of them are very convincing indeed! Others are not so convincing but quite comical!

    Anyway, I certainly have found a new love for trekking and I would be glad to speak to you or anyone on this site to discuss the topic and get some advice. Shame this is a Nepal only site because my next potential trekking locale will be in South america early next year - need to research it further! I will certainly be back to Nepal though, I fell in love with the place!

    Only downside I would say is that I saw firsthand the dark side of the industry, through the plight of the porters. Some were very young, carrying huge loads and working non-stop. It really needs to be regulated but it seems so ignored and hidden. I would like to support the awareness of responsible trekking as much as possible, even if I don't know all the ins and outs!

    I'm starting to blab again! I'll stop now!
    Vicki

  9. #9
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    Default Re: So much more than just a guide.

    The porters, especially those working for the locals, sometimes carry ridiculous loads. Porter much prefer to work for the tourists, where they get a lot daily pay, plus the baksheesh at end, usually.

    South America... I trekked in Bolivia (Cordilliera Apolobamba) in 2008... The vistas in the Andes are amazing, just as good as the Himalayas. The interaction with the locals though (on trek I mean) was not the same as in Nepal. There seem to be a reluctance to communicate with you as a tourist. Often the locals don't even speak Spanish properly, never mind English. So all the communication was through the guide. Really reluctant to engage in talking to me, even in sign language... I guess I prefer Nepal where the locals seem keen to talk you you, whether there are the Sherpas in Khumbu or the Gurung or Thakali around Annpurna, or the Tibetan populations around Tsum valley. In Tsum none of the locals speak much English (though this will soon change, as Tsum is becoming popular), but people, form young to old, were ok to try and talk to you.

    Mind you, I have only done one trek in South America, so my experience is limited there (one trek only!!! So be careful on how you judge my "recommendations"...)
    yakshaver

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: So much more than just a guide.

    Hey Vicky,

    Can I ask how much he charged you? And is it possible do you know, if you can do it without the porter, just the guide??

    Thanks,

    Paula

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