MAS & PAC Nepal Service Learning Adventure September 2019

MAS & PAC Nepal Service Learning Adventure September 2019

Trip Highlights

  • Working alongside the community of Thaprek to install one or two bio-gas ovens
  • 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
  • Explore Kathmandu and Pokhara

Trip Summary

Coordinated by Mrs Graydon (MAS) and Mr Wright (PAC)

For a trans-formative experience for youth in their formative years, there is simply no other destination like Nepal.

Upon arrival in Kathmandu we explore the atmospheric squares and temples of Kathmandu, taking a half day guided sightseeing tour of the most significant places for the Hindu and Buddhist religions. We drive two hours north of Kathmandu to the Shivapuri district and hike four hours into the village of Thaprek, where we spend the next two and a half days installing a bio gas oven (perhaps two depending on group size) to bring methane gas into the kitchen of 1 or 2 families. The bio gas oven brings a clean and efficient cooking fuel to the beneficiary and also protects the surrounding environment from deforestation. During the service work students will apply mathematics and science, they will work as a team, collaborating with their fellow students and the local community, they will be taken outside of their comfort zone to build resilience and independence and return home to Australia with an authentic insight into rural subsistence lifestyle in Nepal.

We return to Kathmandu before flying 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 four 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 their traditional charm. This provides the opportunity to learn about the culture, traditions, social structure and the way of life in rural Nepal. We have some downtime in Pokhara before returning to Kathmandu for our flight home.

Suitability

This trip 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 among 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.

Itinerary

Departs Sydney on Thai Airways flight at 10:00am, arriving in Bangkok at 4:20pm. Accommodation: Novotel Airport hotel TG476/28SEP SYDBKK 1000 1620 ( flights subject to change)

Meals:  Nil

We check out early from the hotel and walk to the nearby airport for the 10:15am flight, arriving in Kathmandu at 12:25pm. Upon arrival in Kathmandu we are met by our group leader and transferred to the comfortable and well located hotel. This afternoon your guide will conduct a trip briefing where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag, liner, closed cell sleeping mat and down jacket. Your guide will take you out to exchange money. We enjoy a welcome dinner at a nearby restaurant. Tomorrow will be an exciting and fascinating day exploring historic Kathmandu so we suggest an early night! Accommodation: Le Himalaya Hotel 29SEP BKKKTM 1015 1225 ( flights subject to change)

Meals:  D

Today we enjoy a half day of sightseeing in Kathmandu, including Boudhanath boasting the world’s largest Tibetan stupa, and surrounded by approximately 700 mani wheels, visited 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). Accommodation: La Himalaya Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we depart Kathmandu by private vehicles and drive north for 2 hours to the Shivapuri district. We disembark the vehicles at the trail head and begin a 3 hour trek to reach the community of Thaprek, where we will be based over the coming 3.5 days installing a bio gas oven (depending on group size we may install two ovens) that will benefit 1-2 families by providing an efficient and safe fuel source for cooking. Accommodation: Wilderness Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

The days begin with breakfast and a project briefing where the objectives of the day are discussed, the group is divided into sub-groups and tasks are assigned. Throughout the day sub-groups will rotate through the tasks. You will be working alongside local volunteers and experts to ensure the job is completed. All materials and equipment required will be on site and ready to be used. The work will be hard although very rewarding. Regular breaks will be provided to ensure that energy levels remain high. Please be prepared to working in variable weather conditions. We encourage you to wear clothing which you do not mind getting dirty. In the afternoons of the service days you will be taken on short hikes from the village to gain views of the surrounding Himalayan mountain range. Accommodation: Wilderness Camp

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 the community of Thaprek and begin the walk back to the trail head. We will be met by private vehicles for the drive back to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu we return to the La Himalaya Hotel to shower and freshen up and we enjoy some free time before dinner. Accommodation: Le Himalaya Hotel

Meals:  B,L,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. 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 private eco campsite affords dramatic views of Annapurna South. Accommodation: Private Eco-Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Our destination today is easily seen across the valley, the attractive Gurung village of Ghandruk. 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: Private Eco-Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

We rise early today to take a short trek to Nayapul before being transported back to Pokhara, arriving in time for an early lunch. The remainder of the afternoon is free to explore Pokhara. Accommodation: Private Eco-Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning is free to explore Pokhara, and then we take an afternoon flight to Kathmandu. We celebrate the end of our great adventure with a farewell dinner. Accommodation: Le Himalaya Hotel

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast this morning, we have some time for some last minute shopping before transferring to the airport for our flight home to Sydney, departing at 1:30 and arriving in Bangkok at 6:15, departing again at 7:20pm. TG320/11OCT KTMBKK 1330 1815 TG475/11OCT BKKSYD 1920 0820 (12 Oct) (flights subject to change)

Meals:  B

The flight arrives in Sydney at 8:20am, where this incredible adventure comes to an end. TG475/11OCT BKKSYD 1920 0820 +1 (flights subject to change)

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • 12 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 12 dinners
  • Return flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara
  • Hotel accommodation on a twin share basis in Kathmandu and Bangkok
  • All internal transport by private bus
  • Gear package including kit bag and 10 Pieces litter 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 insurance
  • Group leader, sirdar, guides and kitchen staff
  • Half day sightseeing in Kathmandu including entry fees
  • International Thai Airways Return Economy Flights with Taxes

What's Not Included

  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, email etc.
  • Tips - approx $60
  • Visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Fundraising >> 1 bio gas oven for 15-25 students = US$750, 2 bio gas ovens for 26-50 students = US1500
  • Meals during transit

Upcoming Travel Dates

 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:13 Days
Countries:Nepal
Starting Point:Sydney. From 20 participants
Grade:Introductory to Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG5661