Penrith Anglican College Rebuild Shree Baljoyti Basic School & Annapurna Trek 2018

Penrith Anglican College Rebuild Shree Baljoyti Basic School & Annapurna Trek 2018

Trip Highlights

  • Continue the PAC tradition of helping remote communities in Nepal
  • Help to rebuild the Shree Baljoyti Basic School after the 2015 earthquakes damaged the classrooms
  • 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 including 3 hearty meals per day prepared by our cooks
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu Swayambhunath (the Monkey Temple), Pashupatinath (a major Hindu shrine) and the giant Buddhist stupa at Bodhnath

Trip Summary

For a life-changing experience for youth in their formative years, there is simply no other destination like Nepal. The country of Nepal has long held a special place in the Penrith Anglican College community. In 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Penrith Anglican College students played an instrumental role in helping the community of Nuwakot renovate and construct its school. The aim of our involvement in assisting communities is to someday say ‘goodbye’ having contributed to a sustainable project that the community can carry forward. That is the case with the Nuwakot community. The students travelling to Nepal in 2018 will be the first to work at Shree Baljoyti Basic School, in the Sindhipalchok District.

From the atmospheric squares and temples of Kathmandu Valley we drive north east to the Sindhipalchok District, where we will complete a service learning project at Shree Baljoyti Basic School. This region of Nepal was badly impacted by the 2015 earthquakes and in many cases communities are still waiting to receive assistance from the government to rebuild their schools. Shree Baljoyti Basic School is a small school with 40 students attending and with 3 teachers. The school services the surrounding villages of Lopsai, Solitole, Samitole and Thapatole. Following the 2015 earthquakes the school building was rendered unsafe for occupancy and since then the classes have been held in very rudimentary makeshift corrugated sheds. The school has asked Penrith Anglican College to help them rebuild the school classrooms over the coming years. Following the project work we return to Kathmandu to freshen up and we then 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 return by private vehicle to the beautiful lakeside town of Pokhara before returning to Kathmandu. This is sure to be a life-changing experience for those involved, don’t miss out.

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 the 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 day-pack 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

After all the preparations and training for Nepal, the time has finally arrived to depart on this exciting adventure. You will depart from Sydney bound for Nepal on a Singapore Airlines flight SQ212 at 07:55am arriving in Singapore at 2:15pm. The flight to Kathmandu departs Singapore at 6:30pm and arrives into Kathmandu at 9:05pm. Your group will be collected by a World Youth Adventures representative from the airport in Kathmandu and transferred by private coach to the Radisson Hotel for check in. 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! Accommodation: Radisson Hotel SQ 212 28SEP SYDSIN 0755 1415 MI 414 28SEP SINKTM 1830 2105

Meals:  Nil

Following breakfast this morning we have the pre-trip briefing at the hotel where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag, liner, closed cell sleeping mat and down jacket. This morning is also used to change currency. We then embark on a sightseeing tour of Kathmandu, visiting Boudhanath, the world's largest Tibetan stupa surrounded by approximately 700 mani wheels. This temple it is heavily patroned by faithful worshipers circling its base. Nearby and standing on the banks of 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, and the rest of day is at leisure. In the evening and in the company of your guide you will go to a restaurant for a welcome dinner. Accommodation: Radisson Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we depart Kathmandu by private coach to the village of Tepni in the Sindhupalchok region, where the community project will take place. The drive will take approximately 4-5 hours and then there is a 3km walk to the school from where the bus drops us off. The village will be expecting your arrival so prepare for a warm welcome with dancing, singing and garlands. We will meet with the local foreman who will take us on a tour of the school showing us what work we will be doing over the coming days Accommodation: Wilderness Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

The group will be divided into smaller work teams and each assigned separate tasks. The work will involve debris clearing, shoveling, 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 for up to 6 hours per day. There will be a local professional builder supervising the project and ensuring we get all the work completed on time. 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. 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 our friends and return to Kathmandu and to the Radisson Hotel. There will be opportunities this afternoon to do last minute shopping prior to the trek commencing tomorrow. Accommodation: Radisson Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we transfer to Kathmandu’s domestic terminal to take our flight to Pokhara (827m), the main gateway for trekkers into the Annapurna region. This is one of the most scenic flights in the Himalaya, as we trace the backbone of the monstrous Ganesh, Manaslu and Annapurna ranges. The flight path heads west up and over the rim of the Kathmandu Valley along the Trisuli River to Pokhara, Nepal’s second largest town. Upon arrival in Pokhara we transfer to the World Youth Adventures permanent campsite where we will spend the night and lunch will be served. In the afternoon we stretch our legs on a scenic walk to the Japanese Peace Pagoda which commands an incredible location looking over Phewa Tal (lake) and the Annapurna range. Accommodation: Private Eco-Camp Walk approximately 2 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we commence our trek into the Annapurna's where we take a 2.5 hour drive to the trail head at Birethanti and commence our trek to Ghandruk (1940m). The trail starts off quite gently which follows the Modi River, past tea houses and small villages. Villagers greet us with “Namaste”, the traditional Nepalese greeting, as we pass their homes. After lunch we walk through neat Gurung villages and along well-worn trails busy with local people going about their lives. Life is simple and has not changed much over the centuries. It is a beautiful walk and one which gets better as the day progresses. The last part of the walk is up a steep hill to the fascinating Gurung village of Ghandruk. This should be taken slowly and steadily as there are some big energy sapping up hills to tackle, welcome to the Himalayas! As you gain height the views keep improving till once you reach camp you see the beautiful peaks of Annapurna South and Machapuchare. Accommodation: Private Eco-Camp Walk approximately 5 hours.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast our trek starts for Tadopani (2650m). The trek up through small terraced fields past farmhouses and into dense jungle. This is a particularly good day for bird-watchers and those interested in wild flowers such as rhododendron, magnolias and orchids. On arrival into our camp we will enjoy magnificent views of snow-capped mountains. Accommodation: Eco Lodge Walk approximately 4-5 hours.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we trek to Ghorepani (2880m). Initially the trail gently descends down into a dense forest and gorge valley, followed by a steep climb to Deurali Pass (3078m) where the views at the top are magnificent, to the west we see Dhaulagiri (8167m). As we continue our walk downhill to Ghorepani we enjoy views of Annapurna South (7,219m). Accommodation: Eco Lodge Walk approximately 5-6 hours.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning those who are feeling adventurous can rise before dawn to make the 45 minute climb to the summit of Poon Hill (3200m). This is often a highlight of a persons trek in the Annapurna's as the views from this popular vantage point are impressive. After breakfast we get back on the trail which meanders downhill 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. Ban Thanti is in a clearing with more spectacular views of Annapurna South and Hinchuli. Accommodation: Eco Lodge Walk approximately 6 hours.

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 by private vehicle to our permanent campsite. Accommodation: Private Eco-Camp Walk approximately 4-5 hours then drive 2 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we bid farewell to our trekking crew and catch the early morning scenic flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu. The flight traverses the Annapurna and Manaslu ranges and provides amazing views. Upon arrival in Kathmandu we transfer to the Radisson Hotel where the rest of the afternoon is free to do some last minute shopping or sightseeing. In the late afternoon we transfer to the airport for our flight home. Singapore Airlines flight SQ 5313 departs Kathmandu at 9:50pm. MI413 10 OCT KTMSIN 21:50 05:05 (+1)

Meals:  B,L

Singapore Airways flight 5313 is scheduled to arrive in Singapore at 5:05am, and the connecting flight to Sydney SQ 241 departs at 7:10am. You are due to arrive at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport at 5:50pm. Upon arrival all services will finish although the memories and lessons learned will last a lifetime. MI413 10 OCT KTMSIN 21:50 05:05 (+1) SQ241 11 OCT SINSYD 07:10 17:50

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • Return Sydney to Kathmandu economy class flights with Singapore Airlines including taxes
  • 12 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 11 dinners including all meals on trek valued at USD$420
  • Internal flights Kathmandu/Pokhara/Kathmandu valued at US$260
  • 4 star hotel accommodation at the Radisson Hotel in Kathmandu on a twin share basis with breakfast
  • All internal transport including airport transfers and to/from Tepni by private coach
  • 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 including porter's insurance
  • Emergency group medical kit
  • All park entrance fees and trekking permits
  • Half day sightseeing in Kathmandu including entry fees
  • Welcome and farewell dinner in Kathmandu

What's Not Included

  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, email etc.
  • Tips (not compulsory) - approx $60
  • Visa - approx $75
  • Travel Insurance
  • Fundraising component of $500 per student to cover the cost of the materials for the project, transport of the materials to the work site and the wages of a local trades person.
 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:14 Days
Countries:Nepal
Starting Point:Sydney. From 10 to 35 participants
Activities:Community Project
Trekking
Grade:Introductory to Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG5069