Greetings from Seattle!
I’ve simply kicked off my second main journey of 2023, and it’s one which I’ve been trying ahead to for years. This journey will deliver me and my spouse Ashley to among the tallest mountains on the earth, earlier than we head proper again all the way down to sea stage for some much-needed downtime.
After a dash to the end line to get the whole lot prepared for our journey, which required us to pack for 2 fully completely different locations, we’re toasting our departure with a glass of glowing wine on the new Centurion Lounge and anticipating the numerous adventures forward.
As somebody who’s lucky to journey fairly continuously, I’m typically requested about my favorite locations on the earth. With out fail, one of many a number of that I record (it’s not possible to decide on only one) is Nepal.
The previous kingdom nestled within the majestic Himalayan mountains has been a spot that I’ve wished to return to ever since my first journey there again in 2008. Again then, my mates and I felt as if we have been transported to a special world, and whereas I’m positive rather a lot has modified previously 15 years, I’ve a slight feeling that some issues haven’t.
My earlier journey was with a gaggle of mates once we have been all in our early 20s, and we had an absolute blast discovering our means via the Annapurna mountains and trying to find yetis excessive above the alpine line. As I’ve gotten older, I do know that this journey can have a little bit of a special vibe, however I’m very thrilled to be heading again this time with Ashley, who shall be experiencing Nepal’s majesty for the primary time.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve introduced my backpack on a visit, having lengthy since swapped it out for a set of rolling baggage. As I used to be packing it up for this journey, it introduced me again to once I was setting out on my first-ever worldwide journey again in 2005.
After a couple of days acclimatizing and exploring the streets in Kathmandu, we’ll embark on a journey into the Langtang area of the Himalayas to do a trek. If the Langtang sounds acquainted, it could be as a result of it was one of many areas of Nepal that was most affected by the devastating earthquake that shook the nation in 2015.
We opted for this area of Nepal as a result of its relative proximity to Kathmandu, since we had a little bit of a brief timeline to work with. A good friend of mine has additionally trekked within the space many instances, and instructed that the realm is a bit much less trodden than different standard trekking routes, such because the Annapurna space and, after all, Everest Base Camp.
Anybody heading out for a trek is now required to have a information with them. This current improvement didn’t have an effect on us, although, as we’d opted to rearrange for one anyway, utilizing the identical clothing store, First Environmental Trekking, that assisted us again in 2008.
I’ll be writing a really detailed article concerning the trek, however briefly, we’ll make our means as much as a most altitude of round 5,000 metres over the course of 9 days. The trek will deliver us via a bunch of various settings, and if it’s something like my final go to to Nepal, we’ll wrestle to take a nasty image.
After settling again in Kathmandu for a couple of extra days of momos (Nepali dumplings) and masala chai, we make our solution to Mumbai through Delhi. We’re utilizing Mumbai as a pit cease as we make our solution to an island in the course of the Indian Ocean for the second main a part of our journey.
After totally having fun with our keep at Le Méridien Maldives final 12 months, we’re aiming to go to an island distant from the whole lot as typically as we will. This time, we’ll discover ourselves in Mauritius for some much-needed downtime at sea stage after climbing means up into the clouds.
Because it seems, there are a couple of hikes that we’re trying ahead to on the island, and we hope to catch a glimpse of the well-known “underwater waterfall” phantasm from Le Morne Brabant, a UNESCO World Heritage Website.
For this a part of the journey, we’ve rented a automobile, and can wind up doing a complete lap across the island over the course of eight days. Our purpose is to have a pleasant mixture of exercise and leisure, as we’ll be staying at some properties that look like completely pretty.
On the tail finish of the journey, we’ll hop all over the world to get again to Vancouver in time for the Prince of Journey Signature Occasion, Vancouver 2023. I’m trying ahead to a different weekend with my colleagues on the Prince of Journey staff and the numerous friends in attendance for a day of all issues Miles & Factors.
We started planning this journey in direction of the tip of our go to to Australia final fall. As I used to be poking round for some fascinating locations and flights, I discovered a comparatively direct routing for each elements of the journey, and we determined to present it a shot.
For the primary half, we’ve a fast positioning flight from Vancouver to Seattle with Air Canada, after which proceed onwards to Kathmandu with a single connection in Istanbul with Turkish Airways.
We’ll be on the 787 Dreamliner from Seattle to Istanbul, after which on the Airbus A330 from Istanbul to Kathmandu. Of the 2, the primary flight can have a superior onerous product, however the gentle product on each flights needs to be wonderful, as is often the case with Turkish Airways.
In Istanbul, our connection time is lengthy sufficient to qualify for a nap room, which is a function that I actually respect. After some relaxation and a piping scorching bathe, my plan is to hover across the pide station and benefit from the many culinary delights that may be discovered within the Turkish Airways Enterprise Lounge Istanbul.
After the trek, we’ve a flight from Kathmandu to Delhi with Air India in economic system, after which fly onward to Mumbai with Vistara’s regional enterprise class product. Flights to India are typically fairly troublesome to return by nowadays in any class of service, and whereas it will have been excellent to have enterprise class for each flights, we’re superb with economic system for a shorter-haul flight.
After our keep in Mumbai, I’m very excited to see what certainly one of Aeroplan‘s most unusual companions, Air Mauritius, is all about. The airline joined forces with Aeroplan again in 2022, and by all means, it seems to have a lovely product.
From Mumbai to Mauritius, we’ll be on the Airbus A330-200 plane, which incorporates a 2-2-2 configuration.
As we start our lengthy journey dwelling, we’ll fly from Mauritius to London on the airline’s flagship Airbus A350-900 enterprise class product. At a size of over 12 hours, having a lie-flat seat will make a world of distinction.
After a brief layover in London, we’ll head to Denver in United Polaris enterprise class, which shall be my first encounter with the US provider’s product.
To wrap issues up, we’ll fly in Air Canada economic system from Denver to Vancouver, though I’ve utilized eUpgrades to the reserving and hope that they’ll come via.
Given our origin and locations, I knew that flights utilizing Aeroplan factors wouldn’t be low-cost. The truth is, we’d be hitting the second-highest worth level for enterprise class redemptions, as our whole distance flown labored out to be within the fourth distance band on the “Between North America and Atlantic zones” chart.
In whole, our journey priced out at round 115,000 factors per individual per course. Nevertheless, I assumed that this may be a superb use of a Tremendous Elite Precedence Reward, which cuts the associated fee in half.
Fairly than a complete of simply over 460,000 Aeroplan factors between the 2 of us, our price dropped all the way down to 233,300 factors. I’m fairly happy with the worth I obtained from the Precedence Rewards on this reserving, which I earned final 12 months on a mileage run and paying money for a premium economic system flight to Europe.
One fascinating side of this redemption is the whopping quantity of taxes and charges we’ve incurred. We have been dinged round $413 (CAD) every, which got here on account of numerous airport enchancment charges, vacationer charges, safety charges, person charges, and so forth and so forth.
Sadly, taxes and charges are half and parcel with including numerous locations to a single reserving, and to be honest, at the least we’re not simply paying a bunch of gasoline surcharges.
We’re masking over 25,000 flown miles on this journey throughout 4 continents at a fraction of what the associated fee would have been if we have been to have paid money.
The primary a part of our journey doesn’t have something too thrilling on the aspirational lodge entrance. Once we arrive in Kathmandu, we’ll spend an evening paid with money on an business charge on the Kathmandu Marriott Lodge as we relaxation up from the 13 hour and 45 minute time distinction (Nepal has an odd time zone).
For our subsequent two nights in Kathmandu, we’ll base out of the Aloft Kathmandu Thamel, which we booked with money on an business charge. We’ll be out and about exploring the fascinating metropolis, and have been on the lookout for a spot that was a bit nearer to the motion whereas saving a bit of money alongside the way in which.
Within the mountains, we’ll be doing teahouse trekking, which is a superb solution to journey. Every night time, we’ll keep at a lodge in some unspecified time in the future alongside the way in which, normally in the identical place the place you could have dinner.
The lodging is easy and rustic, and fairly reasonably priced, too. In my view, it positive beats tenting, and we’ll particularly respect the nice and cozy fires as we acquire altitude alongside the way in which.
Again in Kathmandu, we’ve a few nights on the Fairfield by Marriott Kathmandu, once more booked with money on an business charge.
At this level within the journey, the resorts begin to grow to be way more fascinating.
We’ve booked two nights on the JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu, paid for with Marriott Bonvoy factors for 39,000 factors per night time. This shall be each of our first time visiting Mumbai, and the lodge’s location proper by Juhu Seashore seems to be an ideal spot to chill out for a couple of days.
Our first cease in Mauritius shall be on the southwest nook of the island, the place we’ll spend two nights on the JW Marriott Mauritius. I booked this keep via an unconventional business charge, and I’m curious to see the way it works out.
Happily, the lodge is positioned near the trailhead for Le Morne Brabant, and I’ve learn many good stories of the lodge’s high quality typically.
From there, we head up island for 2 nights at Le Méridien Ile Maurice, booked with factors for 32,000 factors per night time. My spouse and I respect the Le Méridien model, and I hope to proceed my scorching streak of memorable stays.
We’ll make a brief drive as much as the Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa for a single night time. This lodge has an important popularity, and I’ll be curious to check the property with the opposite Marriott resorts within the space.
I booked our keep on a Marriott Luminous charge for $390 (USD). A redemption presently costs out at round 62,000 factors, and I wished to preserve my Bonvoy steadiness for some stays afterward this 12 months.
The speed comes with numerous value-added inclusions, equivalent to breakfast (which we already take pleasure in with my Platinum Elite standing), a $100 (USD) resort credit score (which we’ll use to pay for dinner), and a complimentary bottle of glowing wine to take pleasure in throughout dinner.
It’s additionally value noting that this property has a Keep for 3, Pay for two and a Keep for 8, Pay for six promotion. In the event you’re planning a visit to Mauritius, make sure you get in contact with us for entry to this deal.
We’ll wrap up the journey with a pleasant keep on the 4 Seasons Mauritius, over on the east coast of the island. We have been generously provided two nights on the home by the property in assist of our journey company, which doesn’t have an effect on the autonomy of my evaluation.
This shall be my first style with the beautiful 4 Seasons model, and after listening to from Ricky about his stays at varied properties so far, I’m fairly positive we’re in for a deal with.
Whereas there gained’t be an overwater villa this time round, I’m curious to see how an expertise in Mauritius compares with the Maldives. Each are completely beautiful, aspirational locations with loads of pure magnificence, however they’re additionally fairly completely different.
In any occasion, Mauritius shall be our island-in-the-middle-of-the-ocean keep for the 12 months, which shall be a beautiful solution to decompress after climbing up in direction of the sky in Nepal.
We’re off to some distant lands for a pleasant mixture of mountains, cities, and seashores. We’re masking numerous floor in a comparatively brief interval of 4 weeks, nevertheless it shouldn’t be too packed to really feel rushed.
I’m all the time excited to fly with Turkish Airways, and will probably be good to additionally take a look at what Air Mauritius is all about as certainly one of Aeroplan’s extra distinctive companions.
Our lodging on this journey ranges from bare-bones to oozing with luxurious, which is a pleasant combine. I’m trying ahead to sharing the expertise via some evaluations and guides that cowl among the distinctive actions we’ll be participating in throughout this journey.
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