Name: Mr. Hernan Reyes
Nationality: Swiss Citizen
Places Visited: Kerala & Tamil Nadu, India
Date of Travel: 6 November to 26 Nov 2019
We were four of us, and we wanted to organize a three-week trip to visit Kerala and a bit of Tamil Nadu.
I contacted your destination planner Leena, who was my contact during the whole preparation procedures, and then during the actual trip. Organizing our trip was not easy. We wanted a car with driver throughout the whole trip — but there were segments of train trips and also an overnight trip on a Houseboat in the Kerala Backwaters. We wanted adequate accommodation, avoiding if possible “many star” hotels, but rather cozy hostels and family rentals. All of this took several weeks to put together. Leena was absolutely wonderful, catering to all our requests. She also made several suggestions of places to visit “on the way” or with a detour, which we had not requested as we did not know about them. ALL her suggestions turned to be wonderful places we would have not wanted to miss! The itinerary we went through together, modifying it slightly several times, often following Leena’s advice, so as to best accommodate our timing and the realities of traveling on Indian roads and Indian trains. The Guides she provided for us were all very professional, spoke very good or even excellent English and were all very friendly with us. We learned a great deal from them about India in general and South India in particular. They also took us to local family restaurants, as we wanted to try the Real food people eat, and not the fancy food made for foreign tourists.
Our driver managed always to find for us popular, family restaurants where we ate with our (right) hand from banana leaves as plates. We were all delighted by South Indian food!! Our driver was absolutely wonderful, and at our request took us to watch two “Kollywood” films which we enjoyed immensely. The lodgings were all perfect — all different, and what we wanted. I must also mention that all coordinations worked with total efficiency. When we had to take a train, there was our tour personnel on the ground to ensure we got on the correct train and wagon. On arrival there was the same service. During the trip, Leena was discreetly in the background, making sure everything was working as planned. In a nutshell, our trip was absolutely wonderful! A fantastic value for money — but more important even, it was a delight to have all the human contacts on the ground – so welcoming and friendly.
Everyone was helpful, but I must say on behalf of all four of us that we have special thanks for our driver Mr Anish Joseph. Not only is he really an excellent professional driver, he is also the kindest and considerate person we met! We solicited his help many times, to find a specific spice, or take us to a place off the programme which we wanted to see — he was always there for us, helpful, punctual and ever so friendly! Many thanks to Namaste Tourism and a special thank you to Leena for your precious help and for accompanying us in the background.