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Hospiscare Himalaya Trek with Community Project

13th Nov 2021 - 24th Nov 2021

12 days/Nepal /Challenging

Overview

This five-day trek is a great opportunity to witness the culture and tradition in the Nepalese countryside. Along the way you will enjoy the views of the snowy peaks of the Annapurnas, stay in quaint locally-owned teahouses and enjoy awe-inspiring panoramic views. A highlight will be the sunrise views which unfold from Poon Hill (3,400m), the highest point on the trek.

You will also spend two days helping a non-profit hospice care organisation in Kathmandu, which offers services and support patients with life-limiting illnesses, and their families. It was set up by a team of local doctors in 2000 and since then has provided free medicine, therapy and support to those in need. The tasks we expect to be involved with will include basic refurbishment at the hospice, such as repainting and decorating rooms,or improving the kitchen or bathroom facilities. More details on the specific project tasks will be provided before departure.

A Challenging Trip. This is because of the combination of long days trekking over varying terrain (including some days where you will trek uphill all day), the increasing altitude as the trek progresses, and the basic conditions at the teahouse accommodation.

The trek is accompanied by first aid trained local guides who have an excellent knowledge of hiking in the region. You will also be supported by an excellent team of assistant guides and porters who together make your journey possible. You will be accompanied throughout your challenge by a Different Travel Company UK tour manager.

The terrain will vary throughout the 5 days but overall there will be lots of undulating trails throughout the day. 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 critical that your training includes hill walking and trekking up and down gradients. Underfoot you will find stony trails, muddy forest floors, rocky steps or scree slopes and in some places it will be very dusty (bring a ‘Buff’ to cover your nose/mouth). There may be some suspension bridges to cross. Each day’s trek is between 5 and 8 hours in duration (variable depending on group pace).

Temperatures are dependent upon the weather which is usually clear and sunny in the morning, with clouds coming in during the afternoon. You can expect days to be sunny and warm (between 15 ̊C to 25 ̊C) and nights to be cold (between -5 ̊C to 5 ̊C). It is important to be prepared for all weather conditions and temperatures by packing technical non-cotton layers and waterproofs.
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 and meals are taken at local restaurants in Kathmandu, at the guesthouse in Pokhara and at teahouses during the trek. Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, the teahouse menu during the trek is often repeated with most teahouses offering the same variety of rice, soup, dal bhat, potato and noodle dishes. A variety of bread, pancakes and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. Lunch is typically a hearty soup, momos, fried rice, noodles or other light meal. Dinner includes dal bhat, fried rice, noodles, curry and so on. You can purchase snacks such as biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks at the tea houses (not included – payable separately). Nepali food is similar to Indian, with some Chinese influences.

You will stay in a hotel in Kathmandu, a guesthouse in Pokhara and teahouses, which are locally owned lodges, during the trek. Teahouses are comfortable but basic and feature a main lounge-dining area which is heated with a central yak-dung burning stove which makes it a very cosy environment. You will take your breakfast and evening meals in this room and will probably play cards and get to know each other here each evening too.
The bedrooms usually have two or three single beds per room which have mattresses and occasionally pillows and blankets. You should bring your own sleeping bag.
Battery charging facilities, mineral water, soft drinks, hot drinks, snacks and souvenirs may be available to purchase at many tea houses along the way.

Toilet facilities at the teahouses usually include at least one Western sit-down toilet and Asian squat toilets. The toilets usually flush but please ensure you dispose of toilet paper in the bins provided, as putting paper in the toilet will cause blockages. Toilet paper is not provided so you will need to bring your own. During the trek you will need to pack up any toilet paper you use to dispose of properly at the teahouse. Never leave toilet paper or other litter on the trail.
Most tea houses have hot water showers or access to buckets of hot water for washing (payable locally).

You must be 18+ to participate on this trek unaccompanied. It may be possible for you to participate if you are 16 or 17 years old but you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. There is no upper age limit. It is advised that you are of a good fitness level before departure to ensure fast recovery from each day’s exertions. An ideal candidate for the trek would be someone who enjoys being out of their comfort zone and trying something new.

It is advised that you are of a good fitness level before departure to ensure fast recovery each day. If you do not already regularly exercise it is crucial that you start training (including plenty of hills) before departure to ensure your best chance of enjoyment on the trip. You must be prepared to carry a daypack weighing 6-7kg once your water bottles are filled. Attempting to complete the trek without training will be difficult and will hinder your experience and the experience of your teammates.

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 increasing altitude as the trek progresses, and the basic conditions at the teahouse accommodation.

You will slowly ascend to an altitude of 3,400m by day three, after gradual acclimatisation on the previous two days. 3,400m is above the generally agreed threshold for some people to start feeling some symptoms of altitude exposure. Your local guides are very experienced in spotting the signs of altitude sickness but it is important that you also do some research into the effects so you can be aware of how your body is adjusting. A great source of information can be found at http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Altitude-sickness/Pages/Introduction.aspx or http://www.traveldoctor.co.uk/altitude.htm. Common mild symptoms of altitude sickness are headache, nausea, loss of appetite, disturbed sleep and fatigue. These generally subside after a few days, once your body acclimatises to the altitude. It is vital that you make your guides and tour manager aware of any symptoms immediately so you can be monitored.

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$25 plus visa-on-arrival authorisation form
2 passport photos (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
Plastic bags – various sizes
Protective gloves for project
Camera + spare batteries

Clothing & Footwear

Hiking boots*
Trainers/slippers for evenings
Trek socks & underwear
Base layer top (long sleeved)
Non-cotton t-shirts
Warm fleece
Waterproof jacket + trousers
Thermals for nights
Warm jacket (e.g. down)
Sun hat
Lightweight trek trousers
Gloves and warm hat
Buff www.buffwear.co.uk (for dust)
Scarf/pashmina (for temples)
Casual attire for sightseeing
Casual clothes & shoes for project

Hygiene

Shampoo/conditioner*
Toothbrush/toothpaste*
Antiperspirant/deodorant*
Shower gel/ shave kit / loofah*
Wet wipes*
Toilet paper* x 2 rolls
Sun cream (high SPF)*
Hand sanitiser
Small travel towel
Feminine hygiene products*
Nappy sacks* (for used toilet paper)
Hair brush

First Aid Kit

Prescription medicine
50% DEET insect repellent
Ibuprofen and Paracetamol
Plasters/blister plasters
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
Scissors/tweezers
Zinc oxide tape (optional)
Spare glasses/contact lenses

Optional

Video camera + charger
Mobile phone + charger
iPod/MP3 player
Walking pole(s)
Sewing kit
Notebook/diary
Books/playing cards

Luggage

Suitcase/rucksack for luggage
Trek kit bag/holdall
Daypack (25-30 litres)
Padlocks

Eating and Drinking

Energy snacks
2-litre water bottle (e.g. CamelBak)
1-litre standard water bottle
Water purification (optional)
Electrolyte tablets (e.g. NUUN)

Sleeping

Ear plugs & eye mask
Sleeping bag (comfort -5°C)
Sleeping bag liner
Pyjamas (use your thermals)

Please note: This list is not exhaustive and does not account for your personal taste or preference. It should be used as a guideline only. If you have any questions or queries regarding this list which are not answered in the sections above please contact info@different-travel.com.

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

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

Itinerary

Day 1-2 (Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 November 2021):

London – 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 for an introductory visit to the project before gathering together for a briefing on the days ahead. Welcome dinner at a local restaurant tonight.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 3-4 (Monday 15 – Tuesday 16 November 2021):

Kathmandu
The next two days will be spent assisting at the hospice project in Kathmandu on a range of tasks such as painting, decorating, and gardening.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 5 (Wednesday 17 November 2021):

Kathmandu – Pokhara
After breakfast, we depart for the scenic drive to Pokhara (approx. six hours). You will spend the afternoon in this beautiful lakeside town where you can take in the sights or even do some last minute shopping in preparation for your trek!
Overnight: Guesthouse

Day 6 (Thursday 18 November 2021):

Pokhara – Nayapul – Ulleri
A morning transfer to Nayapul (approx. two hours’ drive) where the trek commences. You will follow the banks of the Bhurungdi Khola River to Tikhedhunga (1,575m),where your final challenge for the day is a steep uphill walk to Ulleri to spend the night in a teahouse (2,073m).
Trekking: Approx. 10km trek/530m ascent
Overnight: Teahouse

Day 7 (Friday 19 November 2021):

Ulleri – Ghorepani
A day of ascent! Today we will gradually gain more altitude as we walk for about five hours uphill to the overnight teahouse in Ghorepani (2,800m). As we approach Ghorepani we will pass through stunning rhododendron forests.
Trekking: Approx. 11km trek/1,400m ascent
Overnight: Teahouse

Day 8 (Saturday 20 November 2021):

Ghorepani – Poon Hill – 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 (3,400m). After breakfast back at the teahouse, it is a mostly downhill walk through magnificent oak and rhododendron forests to reach Tadapani, where you will have another chance to enjoy views of Annapurna South and Machapuchare (Fishtail Mountain).
Trekking: Approx. 11km trek/330m ascent/640m descent
Overnight: Teahouse

Day 9 (Sunday 21 November 2021):

Tadapani – Ghandruk
The descent to Ghandrukis a shorter and easier walk, mostly downhill. From Tadapaniyou descend through mossy forests and deep gorges, before the scenery changes to a drier more sparse forest as we approach Ghandruk. Ghandruk is a beautiful Gurung Village, where many of the inhabitants are Gurkhas.
Trekking: Approx. 8km trek/700m descent
Overnight: Teahouse

Day 10 (Monday 22 November 2021):

Ghandruk – Pokhara
Our final day of trekking as we descend to Birethanti, from where we travel by road back to Pokhara.
Trekking: Approx. 13km trek/1000m descent
Overnight: Guesthouse

Day 11 (Tuesday 23 November 2021):

Pokhara – Kathmandu
Transfer back to Kathmandu (approx. six hours) and have a farewell dinner this evening.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 12 (Wednesday 24 November 2021):

Kathmandu – London
Today you will transfer to the airport for your flight home (indirect). It is possible the flight will arrive the following day, Thursday 19 November, depending on flight schedules.

NB: The day-to-day program is subject to flight schedules, weather, general conditions and the progress of the group. While we do not anticipate any changes to the itinerary, we cannot be held responsible for changes made due to unexpected circumstances. Ultimately, the safety and health of the group takes priority in all circumstances.

Costs & How to pay

Registration fee: £360
and then either…

Sponsorship: £3500

or

Flexi: £1665 trip costs and £1,835 minimum sponsorship for Hospiscare

SPONSORSHIP

There is a minimum sponsorship amount for the tour 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 the UK
  • Airport taxes and charges
  • Local transfers and transport
  • 3* hotel in Kathmandu (4 nights), guesthouse in Pokhara (2 nights), teahouses on trek (4 nights)
  • English-speaking local guides and support crew
  • National Park entrance fees
  • All meals
  • Trek permits
  • Project materials and coordination
  • Different Travel UK tour manager

What's not included

  • Any necessary vaccinations
  • Nepal visa (currently US$25)
  • Drinks (incl bottled water), laundry and personal expenses
  • Spending money (tips and gratuities, souvenirs)
  • Transport to/from UK airports
  • Personal trek kit
  • Travel insurance

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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