Mosman Students Explore the Trails, Peaks & Jungles of Nepal 2017

Mosman Students Explore the Trails, Peaks & Jungles of Nepal 2017

Trip Highlights

  • Working alongside the community of Dhampus to improve the Dalit school facilities in the village
  • Returning home with an intimate insight into the beautiful Nepali culture
  • The sense of achievement from completing a fully supported trek in the Annapurna Himalaya range
  • Fully supported camping based trek including 3 hearty meals per day prepared by our cooks
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath (the Monkey Temple), Pashupatinath (a major Hindu shrine) the giant Buddhist stupa at Bodhnath and Bhaktapur
  • Chitwan wildlife safari in search of rhino and the Bengal tiger
  • Visiting the Fred Hollows Foundation supported Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology

Trip Summary

You would be hard pressed to find a better introduction to experiencing Nepal than this one. From the atmospheric squares and temples of Kathmandu Valley we travel to the lake side located Pokhara, where the Annapurna range stretches out in front like a giant wall. It is here where we venture into the Himalaya on a fully supported six day trek escaping Nepal's tourist trails to venture deep into the forests that flank 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 there traditional charm. This provides the opportunity to learn about the culture, traditions, social structure and way of life in rural Nepal. You will be greeted warmly and offered a friendly welcome in the village of Dhampus (1990m), the site of our three day Community Project. We will be refurbishing the local school building by painting a classroom both internally and externally and re-plastering the walls where required. The school is in dire need of repairs and is used by the much discriminated caste of the Dalits. Nepal retains its centuries-old caste system. Dalits, the discriminated people under this system, suffer from restriction on the use public amenities, deprivation of economic opportunities, and general neglect by the state and society. We will have an opportunity to be involved in teaching some lessons and assist the teachers. It will be equally hard work as it will be fascinating, educational and uplifting in every sense. To assist us there will be lots of help from the eager and appreciative local school kids! On either side of the project work we'll follow trails through oak and rhododendron forest and camp in serene locations that showcase dramatic views of the Annapurna Range. After completing the trek we will make our way to the trail head where we return by private vehicle to the beautiful lakeside town of Pokhara. Our next adventure will be exploring by 4WD jeep safari the jungles and plains of the Royal Chitwan National Park where rhino, sloth bear, dear and if lucky, Bengal tiger can be found. We return to Kathmandu for an opportunity to do some last minute shopping before flying out to Sydney. This is a learning service adventure to get excited over!

Suitability

The Mosman High Nepal Service expedition can be undertaken by anyone with a reasonable level of health and fitness. For the community project part of your trip you will not require a certain level of strength or physical ability, just an enthusiastic and positive attitude. A project manager will direct and distribute the workloads amongst participants on a daily basis. There is no pressure to exert yourself physically beyond your limits during the project but you should be prepared to give 4 -6 hours of physical labour each day. A certain level of fitness will be required where there is trekking involved.

This trip involves trekking for up to six or seven hours a day at a steady pace. These trips do not spend time at altitudes above 4000m and are usually a week in duration. You will need a reasonable level of fitness, to enjoy the outdoors and be in good health. * Suggested preparation: 1 hour of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling or jogging) three times a week for three months leading up to your trip. For trekking, hill walking with a daypack in variable weather conditions is also recommended. The itinerary will take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and may involve long travel days on various types of transport. Sightseeing may be conducted on foot and all participants should be capable of carrying their own luggage from vehicle to hotel rooms.

Sample Itinerary

We will depart from Sydney bound for Nepal on a Thai International Airline's flight TG472 at 16:00 arriving in Bangkok at 22:20. The flight to Kathmandu unfortunately does not connect and a forced overnight stay is required. A 35 seater private bus transfer to and from a hotel has been arranged for the group. TG 472 22SEP SYD BKK 1600 2220 Accommodation: Best Western Airport Hotel

Meals:  Nil

An early airport transfer awaits as your flight to Kathmandu departs at 10:30 direct to Kathmandu. Upon arriving in Kathmandu you will be met by your group leader (Maniraj) and transferred to the comfortable and well located Radisson Hotel. We will have a pre-trip briefing in the early afternoon where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag, liner, closed cell sleeping mat and down jacket and also gives you an opportunity to get acquainted with your guides. This afternoon your guide will assist you with exchanging money. The hotel is the perfect home away from home and the staff are very familiar with WYA school groups and subsequently you will be greeted like old friends! In the evening and in the company of your guide you will go go to a restaurant for a welcome dinner. Tomorrow will be an exciting and fascinating day exploring historic Kathmandu so we suggest an early night! Accommodation: Radisson Hotel TG 319 23SEP BKK KTM 1015 1225

Meals:  D

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 Phedi, 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. In the village of Dhampus there is a new school which is in dire need of repairs and assistance. The students and their families are mostly Dalits, which is a lower caste and subsequently receive very little government assistance. Almost half of Nepal’s Dalits live below the poverty line. They are landless and much poorer than the dominant caste population. Their life expectancy is lower than the national average, and so is their literacy rate. Dalits are routinely denied access to religious sites, they face resistance to inter-caste marriages, refusal by non-Dalits to handle water touched by them and many other forms of discrimination. We visit the local school where we will partake in the community project work. The school kids will be expecting our arrival and we will be welcomed into there village like family, prepare for lots of noise, singing and above all appreciation for the work about to get underway. We will first meet with the local foreman who will take us on a tour of the school showing us what work we will be doing. The group will be divided into smaller work teams and each assigned separate tasks. Some of the work across the next 3 days will involve sanding and preparing the surfaces for painting, paintings the walls, ceilings and any exposed timber work, plastering the external mud walls, sweeping and general cleaning, light load carrying or possibly assisting the renders with their work. You will not need any specific skills or experience, just the willingness to participate and the ability to roll your sleeves up and get a little dirty (you should wear suitable clothes), all for a great cause. There will be a local professional builder supervising the project and ensuring we get all the work completed on time.The residents of Jilbarang will be ready for our arrival and they will also participate on the refurbishment of the classroom. Accommodation: Eco lodge Walk approx. 3 hrs

Meals:  B,L,D

Working alongside the locals, teachers and students will provide a rare insight into the people of Nepal and the incredible Nepali people. We will camp in a peaceful spot nearby the village where the local children will be delighted to pay you an afternoon visit! All meals will continue to be prepared and cooked by the World Youth Adventures cooks and regular breaks will be taken so as to keep energy levels high. On completion of the project a handover ceremony will take place, a plaque will be unveiled and lots of singing and dancing will follow before all enjoying a celebratory dinner! Accommodation: Eco lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we finish off the last remaining tasks before a handover ceremony will take place, a plaque will be unveiled and lots of singing and dancing will follow. We bid farewell to our friends and get back on the trail which follows through rhododendron forest before continuing through a series of Gurung villages where lifestyles have not changed substantially over the centuries. After lunch we follow a well-marked trail to the prosperous village of Landruk where we camp for the night. Accommodation: Private eco-camp Walk approx 5 hrs

Meals:  B,L,D

High on the opposite side of the river, you can explore the village of Ghandruk. From this point, the trial descends along terraced slopes & forest down to the river. After crossing the river at New Bridge, the trail ascends steeply 500m to join with the trail from Ghandruk. From here it is a short walk to Chomrong (1960m). Chomrong is a village which offers spectacular views of Annapurna South & Machapuchare. Accommodation: Eco lodge Walk approx. 6-7 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Our trail meanders downhill through fields and into forests of rhododendron, magnolia and lichen covered fig. We pass by waterfalls that cascade down narrow gullies at lunchtime and continue to the small village of Tadapani. Accommodation: Eco lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

It is a wonderful traverse through the forest towards Ghandruk where we gain views of the picturesque Annapurna South. There’s an opportunity to explore the Gurung museum in the heart of the village and to meet the medical staff at the Sanjwani Health Clinic to learn about mountain medicine. Accommodation: Private eco-camp Walk approx. 6 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we enjoy your last breakfast in the mountains as we join the busy trail towards Pokhara. Todays trek is short yet a 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 by private vehicle to our permanent campsite. Accommodation: Private eco-camp Walk approximately 3-4 hours then drive 2 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we transfer to Chitwan by road. On arrival we are briefed on the planned activities during our stay. Late afternoon and early morning are the best times to sight wildlife, so other times tend to be for less energetic activities. We will have lunch at our lodge and commence our activity program. Our accommodation is at the Chitwan Adventure Lodge outside the park, generally in 2-bed huts with a private bathroom. Solar heated hot water is available in the afternoons. Accommodation: Center Park Resort

Meals:  B,L,D

A full day's activities are available including canoe rides, bird-watching and jeep safari, as well as lectures on other fauna. Our concession area is the territory of many species of wildlife including 3 tigers, 5 leopards, 7 rhino, and many deer, boar, bear, peacocks, an extraordinary number of bird species and is occasionally visited by wild elephants. Accommodation: Center Park Resort

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we return to Kathmandu by private coach which can take up to 5 hrs. We return to the comfort of the Radisson Hotel and the rest of the afternoon will be time to do some last minute souvenir shopping. Accommodation: Radisson Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

Visit Boudhanath boasting the world’s largest Tibetan stupa, and surrounded by approximately 700 mani wheels, it is heavily patroned by faithful worshippers circling its base. Standing on the Bagmati River is the site of Pashupatinath where Nepal’s largest Hindu temple is found and where on occasion cremations occur along the ghats (side of the river). We return to the hotel by approximately 2pm, where the rest of day is at leisure. Tonight you will enjoy a farewell dinner at the Nepali Chulo restaurant which is located in a restored 157 year old Rana Palace. Accommodation: Radisson Hotel

Meals:  B

This morning you will have a chance for any last minute shopping before a final farewell to our guides then be transferred to the airport for your flight to Sydney, via Bangkok. The Thai Airways International flight departs at 13:30 arriving Bangkok at 18:15. TG 320 07 OCT KTM BKK 1330 1815 TG 475 07 OCT BKK SYD 1920 0820+1

Meals:  B

Thai Airways flight TG475 is scheduled to arrive into Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport at 08:20am. Upon arrival all services will finish although the memories and lessons learned will last a lifetime!

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • Return Sydney to Kathmandu economy class flights with Thai International Airlines including taxes valued at $146
  • 2 expert WYA wilderness guides who will travel with the group from Sydney
  • 14 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 13 dinners including all meals on trek valued at USD$405
  • Oneway flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara valued at US$130
  • 4 star hotel accommodation at the Radisson Hotel in Kathmandu on a twin share basis with breakfast, for the nights listed in the trip itinerary
  • Overnight accommodation in Bangkok at the Best Western Airport Hotel (or similar)
  • All internal transport by private bus
  • All internal airport transfers by private bus
  • Gear package including kit bag (yours to keep), sleeping bag and liner, sleeping mat and down or fibre-filled jacket on trek
  • All group camping equipment
  • Porters to carry all personal & group equipment
  • Porter's insurance
  • Group leader, sirdar, guides and kitchen staff
  • All park entrance fees and trekking permits
  • Emergency group medical kit
  • Half day sightseeing in Kathmandu including entry fees
  • Welcome and farewell dinner in Kathmandu
  • Chitwan National Park entrance fee and jungle safari drives
  • Community project equipment, transport of materials to site tools & a foreman to manage the project. Cost of materials are NOT included.

What's Not Included

  • 1x breakfast, 2 x lunch and 2 x dinner whilst in transit or in Kathmandu – allow US$5-10 per meal
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, email etc.
  • Tips (not compulsory) - approx $60
  • Visa - approx $75
  • Travel insurance - approx $164 (Suresave Travel Insurance, 17 days cover, excess $100)
  • Fundraising component of $150 per traveller to cover the cost of the materials
 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:17 Days
Countries:Nepal
Starting Point:Sydney. From 10 to 23 participants
Activities:Community Project
Trekking
Jungle Safari
Grade:Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG4303