Yes it was an amazing trip. But after 8 weeks away we are very happy to be back home now.
My Sigma 17-70mm lens helped a lot regarding the detail. With IS (Image Stabilisation), which Sigma claim is up to 4 stops, I still had to hold the camera very steady since the shutter speed was only 1/80s due to the overcast conditions. I don't take my tripod when traveling.
I also did some dodging and burning, as described earlier, to extract a little more detail in the shadows and highlights.