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Nepal Himalayan Trek and Hospice Project

30th Oct 2021 - 10th Nov 2021

12 days/Nepal /Challenging

Overview

Starting in Kathmandu, you will make a difference at a local hospice by taking part in hands-on tasks such as refurbishment and redecoration. After the project you set off for the lakeside town of Pokhara and spend five days trekking in the breathtaking Annapurna region of Nepal.

A challenging trip because of the combination of long days trekking over varying terrain (including some days where you will trek uphill all day), the changeable climate and the basic conditions at the teahouse accommodation. Each day’s trek is between 5 and 8 hours in duration (variable depending on group pace).

You will be accompanied throughout the trek by English-speaking local Sherpa guides who have an excellent knowledge of hiking in the region. The guides are first aid trained and will support you throughout your journey, sharing their experience and wisdom with you. You will also be supported by a team of assistant guides and a Different Travel UK tour manager. Your luggage is carried by a team of local porters.

The first two days you will gain altitude so you will spend more time going uphill. On day three you will spend the morning ascending and the afternoon descending, and the final two days will be descending. It is essential that your training includes plenty of hillwalking and trekking up gradients over consecutive days in order to condition your muscles to this type of exertion. Underfoot you will find stony trails, muddy forest floors, rocky steps or scree slopes. In some places it will be very dusty (bring a ‘Buff’ to cover your nose/mouth). There are some suspension bridges to cross.

October is one of the best times to trek in Nepal and generally offers dry days with clear skies to enjoy incredible views of the mountains. Daytime temperatures can range between 15°C to 25°C during the day, dropping to 0°C to -5°C at night. It tends to get dark at around 6pm.

Please note: the conditions above are historically accurate but climate change can lead to uncharacteristic conditions which are out of our control. The guides will assess the situation and make decisions to ensure the best enjoyment and safety of the group.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included throughout the trip as specified on the itinerary. You will eat at local restaurants in Kathmandu and Pokhara and at teahouses along the trail during the trek. Although the food is plentiful during the trek the menus are not varied and most teahouses offer the same variations of rice, potato and noodle dishes, and soups.
A typical breakfast may include a choice between: eggs, omelette, toast, pancakes and porridge.
A typical lunch may include: dal bhat, pasta, noodles, vegetables, rice, soup, fried potato, momos.
A typical dinner may include: soup, dal bhat, vegetables, pasta, noodles/rice, potato dishes.

You will stay at a hotel in Kathmandu for three nights at the start of the trip and one night at the end of the trip. You will stay at a hotel in Pokhara for one night before the trek, and one night after the trek. All hotels have en-suite facilities and are on a twin or triple-share basis. A single-occupancy hotel room may be possible subject to availability and payment of a single supplement. During the trek you will stay for four nights in tea houses with shared bathroom facilities. There will be two, three or four people per room at each teahouse.
Tea houses are locally-owned lodges which comprise of a heated dining area, shared bathroom facilities and bedrooms. The tea houses are comfortable but very simple. You will eat your meals in the dining room and in the evenings you will likely enjoy the warmth of the room to play cards and get to know each other before retiring to bed. Battery charging facilities, soft drinks, hot drinks, snacks, toilet paper etc. are available to purchase from the reception area in the dining room. The bedrooms have mattresses, pillows and blankets but are not heated.

The hotels have en-suite facilities with flushing toilets and hot showers. The shower and toilet facilities at the tea houses during the trek will vary. Most now have gas-powered hot water showers, payable locally (approx. 400-750 rupees). You need to bring your own towel. A highly absorbent but lightweight and fast drying trek towel is recommended.
There will be Western and Asian squat toilets which flush. Toilet paper should always be placed in the bin, not flushed. If you need to use the toilet during the trek day you must find a private area off the trail. Used toilet paper must be packed up into a nappy bag or sanitary disposal bag, carried in your daypack and disposed of properly at the teahouse (please bring your own nappy sacks with you). You should bring one to two rolls of toilet paper for your own use but more can be purchased along the way if you run out. You are advised to bring a small pack of baby wipes and use natural or biodegradable soap/shampoo e.g. from Little Footprint Gifts where you are entitled to a 10% discount.

An ideal candidate for the trek would be someone who enjoys trekking and being out of their comfort zone; is interested in different cultures and is willing to train for the challenge.  The minimum age is 18, although 16-17 year olds may register if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

The trek does not require technical climbing skills but it is still a tough trek so it is important to take your training seriously and arrive in Nepal as fit as you can be. The local guides, in consultation with your Different travel tour manager, may advise that if you are not fit enough to continue that you leave the trek.
Please note that attempting to complete the trek without any training may make the experience unneccesarily difficult and hinder your experience, and also the experience of your teammates.
You should start training at least 6 months before your departure. The best form of training for a trek is get outside and start walking. If you’re not a regular walker, start slowly with short distances then as you get more comfortable, increase your mileage and add in more challenging terrain until you can comfortably walk for several consecutive days, for around 8 hours at a time, on hilly terrain while maintaining a comfortable pace without needing to stop frequently or more than once an hour for a 5-minute rest.
Hill walking while carrying a fully packed backpack while wearing your hiking boots should feature predominantly in your training as this will help prepare your body for the terrain and baggage load you will experience during the trek.

This trek is graded challenging because of the combination of long days trekking over varying terrain (including some days where you will trek uphill all day), the changeable climate and the basic conditions at the teahouse accommodation. Each day’s trek is between 5 and 8 hours in duration (variable depending on group pace).

You will slowly ascend to an altitude of 2800m, then trek to the highest point on the trek at 3400m (Poon Hill) where you will spend a short period of time before descending back to 2800m. Despite 3400m being within the agreed threshold for high altitude (3000m+), your time at this altitude is very limited so you are unlikely to feel symptoms of altitude exposure. Your local guides are experienced in spotting altitude related symptoms but please speak up if you are concerned about how you feel.

We require a medical form to be completed by everyone upon registering, and any pre-existing conditions, medications used and other medical issues must be specified. All your medical details are treated in the strictest confidence.

The information will be securely screened by a qualified medical professional, and details provided to your tour manager and local guides so our staff are adequately informed and prepared to support you during the trip. By completing this booking form you are giving consent for us to contact you confidentially with any follow up questions regarding your health.

If you declare any medical conditions you may be asked to provide more information, or we may request to contact your GP. We must be informed if any conditions or medication change, or if new conditions develop. If necessary confirmation of fitness to travel from your GP or specialist may be required.

In the event that your medical issues represent a concern for your safety and wellbeing, or the safety and wellbeing of others in the group, you may be recommended not to take part. If this happens your deposit will be refunded. Please note that we will never unreasonably deny participation on a trip nor contravene the Equality Act 2010.

Essentials

E-tickets + pre-departure info
Passport & copy
Nepal visa or US$30 plus visa-on-arrival authorisation form
Passport photo (for trek permit)
Insurance policy details
Pen for immigration forms
Cash (£) / ATM card(s)
LED head torch + spare batteries
Adaptor 2 round pins (Euro)
Sunglasses (100% UV)
Camera + spare batteries
Mobile phone + charger

Clothing & Accessories

Hiking boots*
Trainers/camp booties for evenings
Trek socks & underwear
Non-cotton base layer
Non-cotton t-shirt
Warm jacket (e.g. down/Primaloft)
Warm mid layer or fleece
Waterproof jacket + trousers
Thermal top + bottoms
Sun hat
Lightweight trek trousers
Warm gloves
Warm hat
Buff www.buffwear.co.uk (for dust)
Scarf/pashmina (for temples)
Casual attire for travel days
Scarf for pashmina (for temples)
Old clothes for project
Comfortable footwear for project

Hygiene

Shampoo + shower gel*
Toothbrush + toothpaste*
Antiperspirant deodorant*
Wet wipes (small pack)*
Toilet paper (1-2 rolls)*
Sun cream (SPF 30+)
Hand sanitizer
Small travel towel
Feminine hygiene products*
Nappy sacks (for used toilet paper)*

First Aid Kit

Prescription medicine
50% DEET insect repellent
Ibuprofen and Paracetamol
Plasters
Blister plasters (Compeed)
Imodium (Loperamide)
Rehydration (e.g. Dioralyte)
Muscle rub (tiger balm/Deep Heat)
Anti-histamine tablets/cream
Antiseptic cream (e.g. Savlon)
Indigestion remedy (e.g. Gaviscon)
Lip balm with SPF protection
Decongestant
Throat lozenges (optional)
Scissors/tweezers
Zinc oxide tape (optional)
Spare glasses/contact lenses

Optional

Video Camera + charger
iPod/MP3 player
Walking pole(s)
Notebook/diary and pen
Books/playing cards
Packing cubes/luggage organiser
Portable powerbank/device charger

Luggage

Suitcase for checked luggage
Kit bag (65-70 litres)
Daypack (25-30 litres)
Combination padlocks
Dry bag/rucksack liner

Eating and Drinking

Energy snacks
2-litre water bottle (e.g. CamelBak) plus
1-litre standard water bottle or
3x 1-litre water bottles
Water purification (e.g. Biox Aqua)
Electrolyte tablets (e.g. NUUN)
Flask/Thermos (optional)
Favourite tea/coffee/choc (optional)

Sleeping

Ear plugs (essential)
Sleeping bag (comfort -5°C)
Silk sleeping bag liner
Pyjamas (use your thermals on trek)

Please note: This list is just a guideline and is not exhaustive. The items on this list do not take into account your personal preferences based on your previous trekking experience, or individual requirements. For information about items on this list please refer to the trip dossier or contact The Different Travel Company on info@different-travel.com

*Please ensure you pack your hiking boots into your hand baggage in the unlikely event your checked luggage goes missing or is delayed.

*Please consider eco-friendly or biodegradable options. Consider shopping at Little Footprint Gifts.

Itinerary

Day 1-2 (Saturday 30 – Sunday 31 October 2021)

London to Kathmandu
Depart for Kathmandu on an indirect overnight flight. Upon arrival in Kathmandu you will transfer to a central hotel. Depending on flight times there may be an opportunity to do some independent sightseeing before gathering together for a briefing on the days ahead and a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Meals: Dinner

Days 3-4 (Monday 1 – Tuesday 2 November 2021)

Kathmandu
The next two days will be spent assisting at the hospice care project in Kathmandu on a range of tasks such as painting, decorating, gardening and so on. We will stay at a hotel each night.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5 (Wednesday 3 November 2021)

Kathmandu to Pokhara
After breakfast we depart for the scenic drive to Pokhara (approx. six hours). Upon arrival in this beautiful lakeside town we check into the hotel then the afternoon is free to take in the sights or even do some souvenir shopping.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6 (Thursday 4 November 2021)

Pokhara to Nayapul to Ulleri
This morning we transfer to Nayapul (approx. 2 hours’ drive) from where you commence the trek. You will follow the banks of the Bhurungdi Khola River as far as Tikhedhunga (1575m) where your final challenge for the day is a steep uphill walk to Ulleri where you stay the night in a teahouse (2073m).
Approx. 10km trek / 530m ascent
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7 (Friday 5 November 2021)

Ulleri to Ghorepani
A day of ascent! Today we will gradually gain more altitude as we walk for about 5 hours uphill to the overnight teahouse in Ghorepani (2800m). As we approach Ghorepani we will pass through stunning rhododendron forests.
Approx. 11km trek / 1400m ascent
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8 (Saturday 6 November 2021)

Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani
An hour-long pre-dawn ascent gives us the opportunity to see the fascinating views of the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri glowing in the morning sun from Poon Hill (3400m). After breakfast back at the teahouse, it is a mostly downhill walk through magnificent oak and rhododendron forests, to reach our teahouse in Tadapani, where you will have another chance to enjoy views of Annapurna South and Machapuchare (Fishtail Mountain).
Approx. 11km trek / 330m ascent / 640m descent
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9 (Sunday 7 November 2021)

Tadapani to Ghandruk
The descent to Ghandruk is a shorter and easier walk, mostly downhill. From Tadapani you descend through mossy forests and deep gorges, before the scenery changes to a drier more sparse forest as we approach Ghandruk, where we will stay in a teahouse tonight. Ghandruk is a beautiful Gurung Village, where many of the inhabitants are Gurkhas.
Approx. 8km trek / 700m descent
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10 (Monday 8 November 2021)

Ghandruk to Pokhara
Today is our final day of trekking as we descend to Birethanti, from where we travel by road back to our hotel in Pokhara.
Approx. 13km trek / 1000m descent
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11 (Tuesday 9 November 2021)

Pokhara to Kathmandu
This morning we transfer back to our hotel in Kathmandu (approx. 6 hours), stopping for lunch en-route. Upon arrival in Kathmandu we will freshen up before a farewell dinner at a local restaurant this evening.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 12-13 (Wednesday 10 – Thursday 11 November 2021)

Kathmandu to London
Transfer to the airport for the return flight to London. You may arrive on Thursday 11 November depending on flight schedules.
Meals: Breakfast

N.B. This itinerary has been prepared in advance so while we do not anticipate changes, this itinerary may be subject to alteration due to flight schedules, hotel availability and other factors outside our control. During the trip itself the itinerary will depend on the group ability, weather and the daily circumstances. Any changes in the itinerary will be made in the interest of group safety and enjoyment. In-country, your guide and tour manager will have the final say in the interest of the health and safety of the group.

Costs & How to pay

Registration fee: £295
and then either…

Self-funded: £1995

or

Sponsorship: £3990

or 

Flexi: £1995 trip costs and £1995 sponsorship for a charity of your choice

SELF-FUNDED

This option is for those who choose to pay the trip costs (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) themselves. There is no sponsorship required although if you wish to raise sponsorship for a charity you are welcome to do so.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • Trip cost balance is payable to Different Travel 10 weeks prior to departure.
  • You are welcome to fundraise separately for any charity of your choice but this is not mandatory. Any fundraising undertaken cannot be used for your trip costs.

SPONSORSHIP

This option is for those who wish to raise sponsorship to cover both the costs of the trip (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) and a donation to their chosen charity. There is a minimum sponsorship amount for each trip that you are required to raise in order to participate.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • The minimum sponsorship must be paid to the charity 12 weeks prior to departure.
  • The amount the charity receives is at least 50% of the minimum sponsorship total.

FLEXI

This option is for those who choose to pay the trip costs (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) themselves while still raising some funds for the charity.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • Trip cost balance is payable to the charity 12 weeks prior to departure.
  • Any fundraising undertaken cannot be used for your trip costs.

What's included

  • Return flights from London
  • Airport taxes and charges
  • All transport in Nepal
  • All accommodation (hotel in Kathmandu (4 nights), Pokhara (2 nights), guesthouses on trek (4 nights))
  • All meals as specified
  • English-speaking guides and support crew
  • Trek permits
  • Project co-ordination and materials
  • Different Travel UK tour manager

What's not included

  • Nepal visa (current cost US$30)
  • Transport to/from UK airport
  • Bottled water
  • Personal expenses (e.g. drinks, showers, souvenirs, etc.)
  • Vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips (approx. £25-£30 per person)
  • Trek kit and equipment

Got a Question?

If you’ve a question about this challenge that you can’t find the answer to within the given information then complete this quick form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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