Hi - Thanks for the info re:HAL trip. It sounds wonderful! Unable to travel until Feb, so not suitable, but if you want to do the trip again ;-) in 2012 and share, I can recommend this trip. Interested in this as a)three friends are going and b)the land trips are arranged by local travel agents who choose good guides and small groups - very impressive. They too are on board. Let me know if you're looking in the future, however, as you sound like good company!