Last year, blushing bride-to-be Fiona Kerr, editor of Brides Magazine’s annual Honeymoon Guide faced a huge dilemma. Where to go on her own honeymoon?
Here’s part 2 of her honeymoon adventure.
A trip to remember – the honeymoon part 2: Shakti Ladakh, India
After a brief overnight stopover in Delhi, it’s back to the airport for our early morning flight up to Leh.
Even the flight map on the back of our seats looks impressive – we’re headed for the heart of the Himalayas – but that’s nothing compared to the views as we flew over the snow-topped peaks. Definitely a flight to make sure you get a window seat!
We land at 3,500m above sea-level and as soon as we step off the plane you can feel how much thinner the air is here. We meet our driver and our guide for the week, Mark, before being driven to our first ‘village house’ (Shakti renovate rooms in traditional Ladakhi family houses, where the families still live in part of them) in Stok to rest and adjust to the altitude – read: lie in the rooftop gazebo taking hundreds and hundreds of photographs of the surrounding jaw-dropping scenery.
Each Shakti experience is tailored to just your private group and can be as active or as cultural and more restful as you choose.
Having married something of an action man ours was to be filled with ‘proper’ walks, whitewater rafting down the Zanskar river, cycling down from the world’s highest road, archery lessons as well as plenty of visits to just some of the countless Buddhist monasteries and palaces in this remote region.
We maybe made a mistake scheduling our first walk (over a ridge) on the second full day while we were still adjusting to the altitude as, while Mark practically skipped up the steep mountainside, Pete and I were stopping every ten steps for a rest like OAPs. The view from the top was well worth the embarrassing – and I maintain altitude-induced – unfitness, and Mark had even packed some prayer flags for us to leave at the top.
One of the most spoiling things about our Shakti experience were the pop-up picnics which appeared at the end of almost every activity – much needed after our five hour walk! Although our favorite memory of the whole trip was our activity for the next day – rafting down the Zanskar river. It was the most incredible way to see the surrounding scenery – high peaks on both sides and a blue sky overhead.
Evenings were quiet – it’s amazing how exhausting all that activity can be – starting with drinks and Indian snacks in the cosy lounge before ambling downstairs to the romantically lit, copper-pot-lined traditional kitchen for whatever was on the menu that night (you can put in special dietary requests before the trip, but bear in mind that is this a high-altitude desert so our mainstay, although delicious, was curry and rice). The stars out in the clear, light-free skies of Ladakh are incredible so a few nights after dinner we climbed up to the flat roof (a torch is handy) and lay watching them.
I could write another 3,000 words about how incredible Shakti Ladakh was but instead I’ll summarise it in just one: go.
You can read more about Fiona Kerr’s honeymoon in the July/August 2012 issue of Brides, out 28 May. Follow Fiona on twitter at @FiTravels.
For more information on our adventure honeymoons to India call our specialists on 020 8682 5075.