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Perth Modern Annapurna Trekking Trails & Service Project 2016

Perth Modern Annapurna Trekking Trails & Service Project 2016

Trip Highlights

  • Working alongside the community of Nuwakot and the Shree Lama Goan Primary School to construct a new classroom
  • Returning home with an intimate insight into the beautiful Nepali culture, history & traditions
  • Enjoying a spectacular trek in the Annapurna range and the views of Dhaulagiri and the Kali Gandakhi - the deepest gorge in the world from Kopra camp
  • Stunning views of Dhaulagiri & Annapurna ranges throughout the trek
  • Fully supported camping based trek with 3 hearty meals per day prepared by our cooks
  • Ample acclimatisation days built in
  • Thorough sightseeing itinerary throughout the Kathamndu valley, including: Pashupatinath (a major Hindu shrine), the giant Buddhist stupa at Bodhnath, and the Fred Hollows funded Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology

Trip Summary

We are excited to release details of the 2016 Nepal trek and service adventure after the 2015 departure was postponed due to the 25th April earthquake.

Nepal Update. July, 2015:-

We are very pleased to announce that we will be operating all of our scheduled treks in the Annapurna and Everest regions from September 2015. A further final review will be conducted after the monsoon, which slows in late August, however no changes to this position are foreseen.

We have had staff out in the field reviewing the state of some of our main trekking regions following the earthquake. During these reviews we have focused on trail conditions, bridges, our private campsite infrastructure and the general state of community villages. We’ve also been keen to establish that the entry and departure points for our treks, being road access are reliable. The international airport is fully functional and the accommodation we utilise in Kathmandu, the Gangjong Hotel, has received an official ‘green sticker’ which confirms it as structurally sound.

The Nepal government has also been undertaking its own surveillance and an official function that was held in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square saw the Tourism Minister announce Nepal as safe for travel. All buildings in the capital that posed any risk to the public, have been removed, and there is otherwise massive reconstruction underway for others that were damaged including many of Kathmandu’s heritage sites. Many governments, including the Australian, UK & NZ departments have recently downgraded their travel advices indicating another positive for Nepal’s recovery.

About 90% of Nepal’s 28 million people live in the foothills and mountain areas. Over centuries, they have established trade routes which in more recent history are the also trails used by trekkers . These trail networks are fundamentally important for trade, movement of goods, health and education and any key mountain trails that have experienced damage will be repaired very quickly due to the complete reliance on them.

We are fortunate that our private campsites in the Annapurna region are in good condition. With our full service camping treks we can continue to be as flexible as we need to be and not reliant on any private accommodation. Please consider this trip in confidence knowing that every operational aspect of the trip can be provided to the group as per prior to the earthquake. We look forward to welcoming your son/daughter in Nepal!

With ample time and expert guides you will explore the ancient Buddhist and Hindu pagodas, temples and monuments of the Kathmandu Valley along with a behind the scenes visit to the Fred Hollows supported Tilganga Hospital. From Kathmandu we are driven by private vehicle to the village of Nuwakot. Located approximately 1 hour or 27 km north west of Kathmandu, it is here where you will complete a 6 day Community Project at the Shree Lama Goan Primary School. The school is very under resourced and receives no outside funding or assistance. With the help of professional builders and laborers you will assist with the construction of a new classroom which will provide a safe, warm, and dry space for the children to learn. Working alongside the people and students of the surrounding villages you will have a rare insight into the day to day village life of this predominantly Hindu region. Saying good bye to the school and the students we return to Kathmandu for the flight to Pokhara where you prepare for an amazing trek. Situated at the foot of the Annapurna Range and on the banks of a spectacular lake, the town is a popular starting point to commence your trek. Our carefully researched trekking itinerary is impressive, as within a few days we gain a sense of serenity as we gradually ascend through tiny settlements and pristine forests to the alpine heights of Kopra Ridge. The views from our camp are incredible with the colossal ramparts of Dhaulagiri plunging to the misty depths of the Kali Gandakhi - the deepest gorge in the world. A further highlight are the high pastures above Kopra Ridge beneath the awesome Fang Face of Annapurna 1, where ancient pilgrim trails lead to the sacred waters of Kaire Lake. Another highlight is our wilderness camp adjacent to Poon Hill - rather than rise before the sun to make the hike to this famous viewpoint, we sleep soundly in our wilderness camp to awake in the morning to views even more outstanding than those from Poon Hill, without the crowds. Our route really does offer a broad experience of the Annapurna's, as we pass through prosperous villages where western influence is minimal, traverse grassy ridges, pass through old growth forests with 1000 year old Rhododendrons and camp underneath some of the most awe inspiring mountain scenery on earth. We then return to Kathmandu by plane where you will have time to do some last minute sightseeing and shopping before your flight home to Perth. This is an adventurous and educational experience which will change your life and the way you view your standing in the global community!

Suitability

This trip involves trekking for up to six or seven hours a day at a steady pace. These trips do not spend extensive time at altitudes above 4000m. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and 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 strongly recommended.

Itinerary

After all the planning, thinking, packing and dreaming the day has finally arrived! We will depart from Perth bound for Kathmandu on Singapore Airlines. The flight from Singapore to Kathmandu is only 3 hours long and can provide amazing views of the Himalayas from the right hand side of the plane. Arriving into Kathmandu is a real buzz and is full of excitement and maybe even a few nerves...! After making your way through the chaotic airport, you will be met by a representative of World Youth Adventures and transferred by private vehicle to the Hotel Manaslu. 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. This also gives you an opportunity to get acquainted with your guides and ask any questions. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. Your guide will take you to a suitable restaurant and join you for dinner. Accommodation: Hotel Manaslu http://hotelmanaslu.com SQ 216 27NOV PER SIN 0110 0625              MI 412 27NOV SIN KTM 0900 1155              (Breakfast & Lunch served on plane)

Meals:  D

Today a sightseeing tour has been arranged, taking in the key attractions in and around the Kathmandu valley. 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. Nearby and 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). Nearby is the Fred Hollows funded Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology where you can witness important research, eye examinations and the manufacturing of intraocular lenses. You will also have an opportunity to meet the staff who make this not for profit organisation run. Kathmandu has excellent bookshops, extensive markets, and novelty and handicraft shops which contrast with fantastic centers of cultural and spiritual significance - Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world. Tonight we head out to enjoy a celebratory welcome dinner on the grounds of an old palace where you will get a taste of traditional Nepali food as well as some folk dancing! Accommodation: Hotel Manaslu http://hotelmanaslu.com

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we bid farewell to the other Perth Modern groups and commence the real adventure! We transfer by private coach to the remote village of Nuwakot, where the community project will take place. The drive will take approximately 1 hour. The village will be expecting your arrival so prepare for lots of noise, dancing and singing! 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 following 4 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, tiling, light load carrying or possibly assisting the renderers 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 Nuwakot will be ready for our arrival and they will also participate on the construction of the classroom. Accommodation: wilderness camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Working alongside the locals, teachers and students will provide a rare insight into the incredible Nepali people. We will camp in a peaceful spot nearby the school 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: wilderness camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Today you will complete the project and bid farewell to your new friends from Nuwakot village and from Shree Lama Goan Primary School. We return to the Hotel Manaslu and prepare for the next leg of your adventure in Nepal - the trek! We suggest an early night as tomorrows flight to Pokhara is at sunrise. Accommodation: Hotel Manaslu http://hotelmanaslu.com

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning is an early start due to our flight to Pokhara. The flight is spectacular as you see the Himalayas stretching out along the right hand side of the aircraft. A vehicle and driver will meet us at Pokhara Airport and transfer us to our semi permanent campsite, where lunch will be served and a pre trek briefing will take place. After a hearty lunch we leave Pokhara dressed and ready for the trail! The drive to the roadhead takes around one hour. Our trail then winds uphill through terraced fields and mixed oak and rhododendron forest. There is no need to rush. This is a short day with plenty of time to reach camp. Dhampus village is located on a grassy ridge that affords inspiring views of the huge snowy face of Annapurna South and the sacred peak of Machapuchare. At dusk we can appreciate the lights of Pokhara over a thousand metres below our camp. Accommodation: Eco Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

After a glorious mountain sunrise we follow the trail 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. Our camp affords dramatic views of Annapurna South. Accommodation: Permanent Eco Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Our destination today is easily seen across the valley, the attractive Gurung village of Gandruk. We exit the village and slowly descend through rice terraces, crossing a steel bridge that spans the glacial river of the Modi Khola and commence our ascent. As we trek up the many staircases, we enjoy the beauty of the Himalaya at a relatively close range and observe the glaciers flowing from them to form the rivers below us. It really is a magnificent location and a photographer's delight. Our leisurely approach along these ridges with their fine mountain views ensures proper acclimatisation and the un-hurried opportunity to fully savour this magnificent scenery. Accommodation: Permanent Eco Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Our trail meanders uphill through fields and into forest of rhododendron, magnolia and lichen covered fig. We pass by waterfalls that cascade down narrow gullies that provide the perfect home for many small ferns and delicate plants such as exotic orchids bursting with colour. Tadapani is a small village with limited campsites, and the last stop before we head into the more uninhabited regions of our trek. Accommodation: Eco Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

Leaving the main trekking trail we continue to ascend on a less defined path through old growth forest where we may be fortunate enough to see Himalayan Thar, Hyrax or Ressus and Langur monkeys. Eventually we rise above the tree line and gain stunning views of the Annapurna Himal, our lunch spot will most likely be a yak pasture at Timuje perched high on the hillside with fantastic views of Annapurna South and Himul Chuli. Following our lunch break we ascend steeply to the ridge where spectacular views of Dhaulagiri and it's surrounding peaks unfold before us. This section of the trek is magnificent and we are now well off the main trail. Continuing down the opposite side of the ridge we drop into smaller rhododendron forest and arrive at our remote campsite high on the hillside overlooking the valley. Accommodation: Eco Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

Setting off early today we make our way downward towards the valley floor, eventually entering the old growth forest once more where the small trail leads to a pleasant lunch stop in a grassy clearing surrounded by colourful rhododendron. We glimpse a small settlement lower down at Chistibung before we divert directly up the ridge for a few hours before we level out and contour grassy hillsides before our final ascent to our stunning wilderness campsite above Kopra. The views here are truly amazing and some of the best in the entire Annapurnas. Dhaulagiri dominates the scene and towers above the deepest gorge in the world, the Kali Gandakhi. Today is a challenging day of trekking and well worth the effort as we relax and take in the views in this very special and exclusive campsite. Accommodation: Eco Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

For those who are feeling fit and enthusiastic, the trip to Kaire Lake high above us is well worth the effort, not only for views and the feeling of exhilaration after your achievement but to also see shrines that are the site of the annual Badau Purnima Festival. Weather dependent, the optional walk can take up to 11 hrs, and contours the steep hillsides and takes us even closer to the impressively sheer cliff face of Fang. In the early afternoon, we will descend back to our eco lodge above Kopra. Accommodation: Eco Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

We descend steeply from our camp, following the ridge line towards the Kali Gandaki and pass shrines used by pilgrims on their annual visit to the sacred lakes. There may be shepherds on the trail, as well as villagers going about their daily activities as we descend. There is more activity and signs of settlement, a marked contrast to the trekking we have enjoyed on the high ridges. Accommodation: Permanent Eco Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

A short walk brings us to Chitre where 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 our lunch stop at Ghorepani. This is a sizeable town which is on the main tourist trail. You may wish to wander through the bazaar for a short period following lunch, as there are many Tibetan wares on display, and also a bakery or two. Most trekkers to Ghorepani take a a pre dawn 45 minute climb to the summit of Poon Hill (3200m), which is a highlight of trekking in the Annapurnas. We will make the climb in the afternoon, when there are no crowds. From Poon Hill we leave the main trail and traverse on old yak herder trails to a private camp at Upper Phulbari, which is set above the level of Poon Hill. The location affords even more spectacular views which we enjoy from the comfort of our campsite and with the luxury of no pre-dawn start, unless of course you chose to photograph the stunning views at sunrise. Accommodation: Eco Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

The views in the early morning are tremendous, with forested foot hills as a fore ground and some of the world's greatest mountain ranges surrounding us. If you are up early enough, the glow of the rising sun catches Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri and Annapurna. Our trail takes us through beautiful forests of rhododendrons, fir, pine, cedar and bamboo, there are many small trails through the forest, and we are unlikely to see any other westerners in this section of the trek. Eventually we emerge to open grassland ridges that offer a particularly pleasant trekking experience, before descending to a pretty lunchspot in a narrow valley skirted by multicoloured rhododendron bushes. From here there are three trails, we take the south trail which leads us to our campsite at Jaljala Dil. Accommodation: Permanent Eco Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Trekking along the ridge of Bharmakot Dhanda we gain excellent views of Annapurna South, Machapuchare, Hiunchuli and the Manaslu ranges. Ghibrang is a delightful village, largely untouched by western influence, and our campsite offers yet more stunning views in a peaceful terraced setting amidst this pretty village. Accommodation: Permanent Eco Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Have your trekking poles at the ready today as our descent is approx. 1000m. We pass through interesting villages situated on steep rocky hills and terraces. The villages we pass are mixed communities of predominantly Gurung, Brahmin & Chettri. The final descent into Nayapul is 20 minutes on stone stairs. Here we will have a quick lunch break and then board the bus for Pokhara and our private permanent camp. Once settled in we highly recommend you take a stroll down to the lake at Pokhara, there are many stores selling Tibetan wares which are less expensive than Kathmandu. The main street running along the lake is vibrant and an interesting place to sit and watch the world go by. Accommodation: WYA Permanent Eco Camp, Pokhara

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we bid farewell to our trekking crew and catch the scenic flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu. The flight traverses the Annapurna and Manaslu ranges and provides amazing views. Upon arriving in Kathmandu we transfer by private coach to the Hotel Manaslu. There will be opportunities this afternoon to do some last minute sightseeing or shopping before a farewell dinner tonight where you can celebrate the previous 3 weeks of hard work, achievements and lessons learned. Accommodation: Hotel Manaslu http://hotelmanaslu.com

Meals:  B,L,D

The morning is free for you to explore Kathmandu. After lunch we have a final farewell to our guides we will be transferred to the airport for our return flight home. The Singapore Airlines flight departs Kathmandu at 13:05 arriving Singapore at 20:15. You will have approximately 3 hours in transit between flights. MI 411 18 DEC KTM SIN 1305 2015

Meals:  B,L

Singapore Airlines flight SQ225 is scheduled to arrive into Perth Airport at 05:20am. Upon arrival all services will finish although the memories and lessons learned will last a lifetime! SQ 225 19 DEC SIN PER 0010 0525 

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • return economy Singapore Airlines flights from Perth to Kathmandu including your international airport taxes approx $820
  • all meals - 22 breakfasts, 21 lunches and 21 dinners
  • airport transfers throughout using modern coaches and expert drivers
  • private vehicle transportation throughout using modern coaches and expert drivers
  • flight Kathmandu to Pokhara return US$266 approx
  • expert bilingual Nepali guide from day 2 to 23
  • extensive group medical kit
  • good quality accommodation in Kathmandu
  • accommodation on trek in a combination of our comfortable permanent eco camps, eco lodge or wilderness camping
  • the use of a World Youth Adventures trek pack which includes a quality sleeping bag, down or fibre fill jacket and insulated mat (valued at over US$500)
  • souvenir World Youth Adventures kit bag which is yours to keep
  • all park entrance fees and trekking permits and site entry fees
  • porters to carry all personal and group equipment and porter's insurance
  • sightseeing and entrance fees across the Kathmandu valley
  • tipping is customary in the Himalayas and $50 per student has been included. These will be distributed to the crew at the conclusion of the trek by the students

What's Not Included

  • Bottled water or aerated drinks. Please note that all hot drinks, cordial and boiled water is included on trek and whilst at the project
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, email, laundry, snacks etc
  • Nepal entry visa (approx $85)
  • Travel Insurance - compulsory (approx $185)
  • Fundraising component of $250 per traveller which will be pooled and will form the budget to cover the cost of the materials, equipment and additional assistance to complete the Community Project
 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:23 Days
Countries:Nepal
Starting Point:Perth. From 12+ Students
Finishing Point:Perth
Activities:Including 12 days trekking, 6 days Community Project, 2 days sightseeing
Grade:Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG3495

The spectacular #Annapurna range in #Nepal, the ideal #trekking region for school groups. #worldyouthadv

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