Northern Beaches Christian School: Annapurna Service Learning Adventure 2018

Northern Beaches Christian School: Annapurna Service Learning Adventure 2018

Trip Highlights

  • Soak in stunning views of the Annapurna Range
  • Trek to the summit of Poon Hill (3200m) and beyond for even better views
  • Gain an insight of daily life at Gurung villages and Hindu culture
  • Spend a night at Upper Phulbari for an incredible sunrise view
  • Experience a Himalayan mountain flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara
  • Stroll the streets of Kathmandu and visit Pashupatinath and the giant Buddhist stupa at Boudhanath
  • Complete a service learning project, working alongside members of the community to improve the living quarters for the teachers at the Shree Himalayan Primary School in Bishok village

Trip Summary

For a trans-formative experience for youth in their formative years, there is simply no other destination like Nepal. From the atmospheric squares and temples of Kathmandu Valley we take the short and scenic flight to the gateway to the Annapurna Range, Pokhara, where the Annapurna range stretches out in front like a giant wall. It is from here that we venture into the lower foothills, through valleys and forests on a fully supported hike in the Annapurna range. The trek is designed to provide outstanding mountain views whilst getting away from the tea-house trails and into villages that have not felt the impact of tourism and have subsequently retained much of their traditional charm. This provides the opportunity to learn about the culture and way of life. We hike into the village of Bichok to assist them with much needed improvements to their primary school, called ‘Shree Himalayan Primary School’. A total of 54 students attend the school with 6 teachers. The villagers at Bichowk are low caste and very poor. The families raise chickens and may have a buffalo to pull their plough. Each family has a small area of terraced fields where they will grow a crop of rice each year, and a second crop that may be wheat or millet. With no running water and little access to electricity, they do not have the things that we take for granted. In order to ensure that teachers stay at the school it is important that they teachers living conditions are suitable. Working alongside volunteers from the community our objective will be to improve the teachers living quarters. After completing the project we will bid farewell to our new friends to enjoy further walks through mountain villages, making our way to Poon Hill where we are rewarded with the stunning panorama of the Annapurnas. From here we depart the main trail to complete an enjoyable and more remote traverse on quieter trails, all the while accompanied by stunning mountain views as we make our way to Nayapul and then by private vehicle to the beautiful lakeside town of Pokhara before returning to Kathmandu for a sightseeing tour of the most significant places for the Hindu and Buddhist religions.

Suitability

To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the walking terrain, the altitude, the number of pass crossings and the length of the trek. The Annapurna Trek is graded introductory. This is primarily due to the low altitude gains and the condition of the trail which is well defined and not unduly demanding. During the trek you will be walking for up to five to six hours a day at a slow but steady pace. You will need a reasonable level of fitness (remember there is no such thing as an easy trek) and we suggest 30 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling or jogging) three times a week for the three months leading up to your trek. Hill walking with a daypack in variable weather conditions is also recommended.

Itinerary

Meals:  Nil

You will be met by a representative of World Youth Adventures and transferred to the Gangjong Hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fiberfill jacket.And this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members before heading out to dinner. Overnight: Gangjong Hotel

Meals:  Nil

This morning we take a flight west to Pokhara, Nepal’s second largest town (820m). In good weather we are greeted with sights of the entire Annapurna Range. From here we drive for an hour to a pass between two river valleys to the village of Khare, where we commence our trek. There is no need to rush as this is a short day with plenty of time to reach our overnight stop. The trail ascends for the first hour, following a ridge through fields of bamboo clusters to magnificent rhododendron forest. Villagers greet us with “Namaste”, the traditional Nepalese greeting, as we pass their homes and continue to the ridge top where at the crest the scale of the mountains astounds us. Machapuchare (6993m), Hiunchuli (6441m) and Annapurna South (7219m) can be seen from our immediate viewpoint. Overnight: Eco-Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

Our trail leads downhill until we reach the Modi Khola. Crossing the river, we gradually descend through forest of rhododendron and magnolia as we follow the river downhill. We pass small waterfalls that cascade down narrow gullies that provide the perfect home for many small ferns and delicate plants, and cross terraced fields on the river flats. We re-cross the river and ascend a stone staircase, passing through a zone of forest to reach terraced fields. Bhichowk village is nearby, and we make camp here before making an introductory walk through the village to learn how the people live. From the camp site we gain spectacular mountain views, particularly of Annapurna South. Overnight: Wilderness Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Meals:  B,L,D

Our destination today is easily seen across the valley, the attractive Gurung village of Ghandruk. We descend the valley floor through terraced fields and cross steel suspension bridge to commence our ascent. As we trek up the staircase, we enjoy the beauty of the Himalaya at a relatively close range and observe the glaciers flowing from them to form the river below us. It really is a magnificent location and a photographer’s delight. On our leisurely approach along these ridges we savor the magnificent scenery with fine mountain views. Ghandruk is the second largest Gurung settlement in Nepal and provides a further insight into the lifestyles of villages that have traditionally provided the backbone of the famous Gurkha regiments. The afternoon can be spent at leisure, or take a tour of the old village. Overnight: Private Eco Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Our trail meanders uphill through fields and into the forest of rhododendron and magnolia. We pass by waterfalls that cascade down narrow gullies that provide the perfect home for many small ferns and delicate plants. Tadapani is a clearing in the forest and a rest place for porters. Overnight: Eco-Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we join the old Tibet-Nepal trade route. The walk this morning offers excellent views of the Dhaulagiri range as the trail zigzags until we reach Ghorapani.This is a sizeable town and you may wish to wander through the bazaar this afternoon. Overnight: Eco Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

From Ghorapani a pre dawn 45 minutes climb brings us to the summit of Poon Hill (3200m). The view of the Himalaya are tremendous, with forested foot hills as a fore ground and some of the world’s greatest mountain ranges surrounding us .The glow of the rising sun catches Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri and Annapurna, making the early morning rise more than worth the effort. We descend to camp for breakfast and during the morning we descend further through small settlements to enter a deep ravine where multiple waterfalls follow our trail. We over night in an eco lodge in the village of Ulleri. From Ulleri we will have an over view of our trek route, as well as views of the Annapurnas at the head of the valley. Overnight: Eco Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

After absorbing even more spectacular views of Annapurna South we head down the Modi Khola valley along a secluded village trail that is rarely followed by other trekking groups. After lunch at the scenic village of Dansing we complete a short, steep descent to the village of Birethanti along the Modi Khola. We cross a substantial bridge before making our way to the bustling bazaar of Nayapul. Here we are picked up and transferred back to Pokhara to stay at our Overnight : Private Eco Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our fight to Kathmandu, a spectacular mountain flight along the face of the Himalaya. On arrival we transfer to the hotel.After freshen up; we will go for halfday sightseeing Pashupatinath and Boudhanath. In the afternoon you may have time to explore Swayambhunath, Durbar Square, Patan or Bhaktapur, and the lesser-known towns that dot the valley on foot, by bicycle or trishaw. The area has an amazing range of fascinating highlights, whatever your interest. Excellent bookshops, extensive markets, and novelty and handicraft shops contrast with fantastic centres of cultural and spiritual significance - Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world. Overnight: Gangjong Hotel

Meals:  B

After breakfast we take a group transfer to the International airport for our return flight to Sydney via Bangkok.

Meals:  B

Trip concludes.

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • 16 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 10 dinners including all meals on trek valued at US$360
  • Flight Kathmandu/Pokhara return valued at US$238
  • All airport transfers
  • Expert bilingual guide
  • Group medical kit
  • Good quality accommodation in Kathmandu and Bangkok on a twinshare basis
  • Accommodation in a combination of our comfortable eco lodges and private eco campsites with off the ground camp beds, mattresses and pillows
  • The use of a trek pack including sleeping bag, down or fibre filled jacket and insulated mat, valued at USD $500
  • Souvenir World Expeditions kit bag
  • Private vehicle transportation
  • All park entrance fees and trekking permits and site entry fees
  • Porters to carry all personal and group equipment
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu
  • Insurance, protective clothing, food and shelter for porters
  • International flights with THAI AIRWAYS return Sydney to Kathmandu (airport and departure taxes included )

What's Not Included

  • 2 lunches & 2 dinners in Kathmandu
  • Bottled water and aerated drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc
  • Tips
  • Travel Insurance
  • AUD$3500 group payment to cover the costs associated with the service work, to purchase the materials and cover the costs associated with the transport of materials to the work site, as well as the wages of the local foreman

Reviews

I just want to let you know that I had an amazing holiday at Nepal with the Poon Hill Trek. M and I are stunned by the views of the Himalayas and we are so touched and delighted with the quality ofservice of your staff in Nepal.Hats off to your staff - they are very accommodating and they always ensure that we are enjoying every second of our holiday. Roy is such a wonderful person and a very experienced trekker who looks after each and everyone of us trekkers and also his staff. He has lots of information to tell us about the trek, about Nepal and he is such a great leader and guide. Great service indeed.I would also like to mention Krishna - someone who always smile and makes everyone happy. Such a cheerful person who gives extra effort with the never ending service from dawn till night. Mingma is such a nice person and cares for everyone and has lots of information and stories to tell about the trek. Ram cooks very delicious, I am really amazed and full every meal. There are lots of surprises and I love the tea and the dessert.The kitchen staff and porters are amazing. I could not believe that you have picked the best stafffor that trek and I really do appreciate the fantastic service they gave us. More power to World Expeditions and I would definitely recommend this to my friends.

Yolanda, Western Australia


Our trek in the Annapurna Range was amazing. lots of steps to challenge us but the rewards were numerous: views, sunsets, good food and great company.

Maude Caruana, Kambah, ACT, 30 Nov 2016

Upcoming Travel Dates

 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:15 Days
Countries:Nepal
Starting Point:Sydney
Activities:Trekking
Grade:Introductory  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG4914