Debbie & I would like to thank you for including us in the most extraordinary journey that we have ever experienced. We are so appreciative of the extraordinary care that you took to make sure that every aspect of the trip was successful down to the smallest detail. The locations that you chose for touring were physically beautiful and the learning experiences amazing. We enjoyed our interactions with the native populations and learned about other cultures in a unique way. In addition, traveling with such a nice group of people enhanced the total travel experience.
Yaasher Koach on such an outstanding ,memorable vacation and learning experience.
Elaine and I want to thank you for a totally memorable journey. Every day brought new wonders, every member of the group contributed to the great atmosphere, and you managed a feat of organisation that we can only imagine. We loved every moment of it and it was a trip we will never forget. Thank you so much for including us. Wishing you and Esther continued letting it all you do.
With every good wish
Well it’s been a few weeks since we got back and I feel it is time to analyze our South America trip with Zvi Lapian or Platinum travel or Gruppo Kosher as our guide in Lima so affectionately called us.
In a word, spectacular. We really enjoyed our trip with you to Lapland but this was astronomically more. Your attention to detail showed from beginning to end and it was clear from multiple extra touches how much you wanted to please everyone, even the more needy. The fact that you went out of your way to get that wonderful chef you had on board our Galapagos Legend ship and brought him to work at the Chabad in Cusco as well is a testament to what I’ve said. Naturally as a clan member the first thing I discuss is the food, but there are so many other aspects to discuss. The accommodations were wonderful especially in Quito and Lima. The arrangements that you made with the hotels to make our Shabbat enjoyable were not ignored. The time we spent in the Shul in Lima with the community, the lavish kiddish they provided, the wonderful Rabbi Cohen there and the excellent caterer was better than what many of us get here in the US.
The quick stop in Guayacil between flights was an amazing feat on your part where we got to see what Chabad can do in a small Jewish community and where a good kosher restaurant can attract all types from the city on a weekday afternoon
Except for that first long bus ride the tours moved smoothly and we got as much or as little detailed information from our guides in every destination as we desired. They were all knowledgeable pleasant and punctual and were eager for us to enjoy every experience without our feeling that they were on a time clock. This goes for the guides in the Amazonia and the naturalists in the Galapagos as well.
Alberto was a great addition to the trip with his quiet charming competent manner who made us feel he was part of everyone’s family and when you weren’t with us we didn’t feel stranded because of his presence.
A word about Rabbi Sacks (and Lady Elaine) since that was again the selling point for me. His quiet brilliance showed at every stop when we were a whole group as well as when we were walking through the rainforest on a one on one situation. His knowledge is scary but his Hashkafa is to be emulated by all and the world would be a better place. Besides that he is a human being in the best sense of the word as we rode together, walked together, sang together and laughed together. Lady Elaine was regal understated and a joy.
The trip length in our estimation was perfect. To travel great distances you need a long trip, but because it was broken up into 4 or 5 segments made each one exactly the right amount of time. Looking back I’m not sure I could eliminate any portion.
I could go on and on but you get the idea. Can’t wait for the next trip. I will send photos separately.
I have been away since we returned from South America, so I am just able to send you this message now.
I want to thank you for doing an amazing job organizing and executing the trip to South America. Everything about the trip was amazing: from the hotels, the tours, the people on the trip, the food, and especially Rabbi Sacks. In fact, I can not think of a single aspect that I would advise you to do differently if you ever do this itinerary again. Chana and I have told numerous people about the adventure, and all are in awe about the times we had and the things we did. If you ever contemplate doing this trip again, I would think that you would have no trouble filling up the spaces, and we would advertise it on our local list-serve.
Please let us know any future trips you are planning, and we would certainly be interested.
We know that everybody including us thanked you, each in their own way, both during and at the end of our trip together. Those were sincere thank you’s, but somehow not enough to express our profound thoughts, feelings and indelible positive impressions that are left in the memory banks of our hearts and minds.
In our lives we’ve been involved in conceptualizing, planning and executing various ideas, projects and events. We know the research and strategic thinking that goes into taking ideas and turning them into a successful reality. We found that the adventure we were on with you, from beginning to end, was truly exceptional, weaving together many different elements that each in their own way contributed to an extraordinary time.
All of the locations were filled with discovery and excitement. All of the lodging was first class and comfortable. All of the meals were quite fulfilling. Having Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was a rare and unforgettable opportunity. All of this woven together was quite a tapestry. But framing it all was your attention to detail and attention to making everybody comfortable. As great as your plan was, the people who participated in the group enhanced the whole experience with their camaraderie, warmth and bonding.
As Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks said on the BBC last week, it was “a trip of a lifetime”. What we want to say, Zvi, from the bottom of our hearts, is thank you for providing such a deeply memorable and fulfilling lifetime opportunity to us and all.
Our love, thanks and best wishes to you,