Our Camp charges aren?t expensive!!! They just ?look? expensive. Do read-on to know more.
(Here?s a run through of our Valley of Flowers Trek, which is taken up as a case study, to answer the question, this blog post?intends to answer)
The best time to see the Valley in its full bloom are the monsoon months of July and August. These monsoon months are synonymous with increased instances of landslides?which means that the tour schedule can go for a toss unless reasonable allowance of spare time/days are incorporated in the itinerary. This allowance of Spare Days in our itinerary makes our itinerary duration longer (when compared to usual itineraries for this region offered by other Adventure Tour operators.
Summary: Longer duration of our Trek makes the Trek cost higher.
When in Valley Of Flowers, you are within 50 kms from two of the most sought after and beautiful destinations of Garhwal viz Badrinath (with Mana) and Auli. One of our itineraries covers these two destinations in addition to the Valley Of Flowers.
Summary : Addition of Badrinath and Auli makes the Tour duration longer.
In Valley of Flowers (Ghangaria), we opt to stay at Tents instead of the more economical (read cheaper) rooms. Rooms available at Ghangaria primarily cater to pilgrims who stay at this place en route to Hemkund Saheb and hence provide for only (very) basic amenities. Secondly, Ghangaria is under snow for a large part of the year and the room walls are perpetually moist making the conditions unhygienic for human occupancy.
Tents, on the other hand, are pitched up in the Valley Of Flowers season only and are wound up at the onset of winters. Tents have attached washrooms (with running water) and have electrical supply. The added comforts for the Trekkers of Valley Of Flowers provided for in tents add to its cost.
?and what?s the fun in staying in room on the trek when you can stay in the tent!!!
Summary : Stay in tents is more comfortable and hygienic.
In continuation of the previous point, the food at Ghangaria traditionally caters to the tastes of the pilgrims. While at Tents, the cuisine served suits the palate of a trekker and better suited to meet the increased demand of the nutrition while on the Trek.
Another important factor is that as we go higher up in the Himalayas, the food gets more expensive. In case you are looking at options of other Adventure Tour Operators who have excluded food charges from their Cost, do note that your food charges can be so expensive that they sometimes cost more than your accommodation charges. A glass of limboo-paani at Hemkund could cost anywhere between Rs.50 to Rs. 80 per glass!!!
Summary : The food on our trek is better.
SELECTION OF BETTER DESTINATION
We have put a lot of thought in designing the itineraries for Valley Of Flowers (like we do for each of our itinerary ?) and hence choose to stay at Auli instead of usually included Joshimath. While Joshimath can safely be considered as only an en route, logistically convenient small town, Auli is arguably the most beautiful destination of Uttarakhand that offers views of snow clad peaks like Hathi Parbat, Ghodi Parvat, Mana, Kamet and Nandadevi.
Summary : Auli is a better place to stay than Joshimath (and more expensive)
COMFORTABLE TREKKING EXPERIENCE
On our treks, there is no compulsion of carrying your own haversacks. We welcome the trekkers who prefer to walk ?light?. We have included an allowance of 10 kgs of baggage weight per person (that we load on the mules). Just in case you are comparing the charges, do look for inclusion / exclusion of this cost-head.
Summary : The comfort of walking light i.e inclusion of baggage allowance adds to your camp cost.
Hopefully now you know why Foliage Camps and Treks might seem a bit expensive to the eye, but in reality, they are worth every buck you spend. If not, do speak to us :)?