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Wave 105 Cash for Kids Trek the Himalayas

30th Sep 2022 - 11th Oct 2022

12 days/India /Challenging

Overview

Join Mark Collins from Wave 105 to raise money for Cash for Kids. This stunning itinerary lets you soak up the sights and sounds of India as you discover the delights of Darjeeling and trek for six days along one of the most tremendous trekking trails in the Indian Himalayas.

A challenging trip due to the combination of 6 long days of trekking over varying terrain, the changeable climate, some exposure to high altitudes, and the basic conditions at campsites. Each day’s trek is between 5 and 7 hours in duration (variable depending on group pace).

As well as Mark Collins from Wave 105, you will be accompanied throughout the trek by English-speaking local 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 support staff, porters and a Different Travel UK tour manager.

The first 4 days of trekking take you predominantly uphill on undulating terrain. On trek day 5 you will have a long descent, and on your final day you will ascend in the morning before the final descent in the afternoon. It is essential that your training includes plenty of hill walking and trekking up and down 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.

October is a great time of year to trek in India and generally offers dry days with clear skies to enjoy incredible views of the mountains. Daytime temperatures can range between 8°C to 10°C during the day, dropping to 0°C to -5°C at night. Please note: Climate conditions in mountainous regions are unpredictable so you should be prepared for all eventualities. The information above is 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.

All your meals are included, as specified on the itinerary. You will eat Indian food throughout the trip. During the trek the food is plentiful although the menu may be repeated. In the cities you will eat meals either at your hotel or in local restaurants.

You will stay at a hotel in Delhi on your first night in India, then a hotel in Darjeeling for one night before the trek. During the trek you will camp in tents for 5 nights; two people per tent. After the trek you will spend two more nights at the hotel in Darjeeling and depending on flight schedules you may also stay at an airport hotel in Delhi on your final night. All hotels are on a shared basis (2-3 people per room). A single-occupancy hotel room may be possible subject to availability and payment of a single supplement.

The hotels have en-suite facilities with flushing toilets and hot showers. At campsites, toilet facilities will comprise of a dug pit toilet with a privacy tent. If you need to use the toilet during the trek day you must find a private area off the trail. You must never leave used toilet paper on the ground; this must be packed up into a biodegradable nappy bag or sanitary disposal bag, carried in your day pack and disposed of properly at camp (please bring your own nappy sacks). You should bring one to two rolls of toilet paper for your own use. There are no showers during the trekking but a small amount of hot water is provided for you to wash your hands and face each day. You are advised to bring a pack of baby wipes for your general hygiene during the trek, and to use natural or biodegradable soap/shampoo at the hotels.

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 India as fit as you can be.

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 more than frequently 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. Other activities which can complement hill walking include running, cycling, gym workouts and boot camps etc. Developing your core and leg muscle strength is also important so exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, planks and crunches will really enhance your training. These exercises can be done at home; no gym needed. You can download a number of free apps, which will help you train and track your progress, for example MapMyWalk, C25K (couch to 5k run), MyFitnessPal.
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.

This trek is graded challenging because of the combination of 6 long days of trekking over varying terrain, the changeable climate, some exposure to high altitudes, and the basic conditions at campsites. Each day’s trek is between 5 and 7 hours in duration (variable depending on group pace).

Over four days of trekking you will ascend in altitude from 2,256m to 3,636m (at Sandakphu). From here you will descend back to 2,256m over the next two days of trekking. The generally accepted threshold for high altitude is 3,000m and above however you will only spend two days in high altitude areas, following acclimatisation during the days prior. Although your exposure to high altitude is short, rest assured that tour local guides are experienced in spotting altitude related symptoms. Please alert them 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
Indian e-tourist visa
Insurance policy details
Pen for immigration forms
Cash (£) + credit / 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 for evenings
Trek socks + underwear
Non-cotton base layer
Non-cotton t-shirt
Warm jacket (down/Primaloft)
Warm mid layer or fleece
Thermal top + bottoms
Lightweight trek trousers
Waterproof jacket + trousers
Warm gloves
Warm hat
Sun hat
Buff www.buffwear.co.uk (for dust)
Scarf/pashmina (for temples)
Casual attire for travel days

Hygiene

Shampoo +  shower gel*
Toothbrush + toothpaste*
Antiperspirant/deodorant*
Wet wipes*
Toilet paper* (1-2 rolls)
Biodegradable nappy sacks* (for used loo roll)
Sun cream (SPF 30+)*
Hand sanitiser
Small travel towel
Feminine hygiene products*

First Aid Kit

Prescription medicine
50% DEET insect repellent
Ibuprofen and Paracetamol
Plasters/blister plasters (Compeed)
Imodium (Loperamide)
Rehydration (e.g. Dioralyte)
Muscle rub (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
MP3 player/headphones
Walking pole(s)
Notebook/diary + pen
Books/playing cards
Packing cube/luggage organiser

Luggage

Suitcase/rucksack for luggage
Trek kit bag/holdall
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
3 x 1-litre water bottles
Water purification (optional)
Electrolyte tablets (e.g. NUUN)
Favourite tea/coffee/hotel chocolate (optional)

Sleeping

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

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 (Friday 30 September – Saturday 1 October 2022):

London to Delhi
Depart for Delhi on an overnight flight. Upon arrival you will transfer to your hotel and freshen up before a short city tour of Old Delhi. You return to the hotel for a welcome dinner and overnight stay.
Meals: Dinner

Day 3 (Sunday 2 October 2022):

Delhi – Bagdogra – Darjeeling 
After breakfast we transfer to Delhi airport for the short domestic flight to Bagdogra. From here we transfer for approx. 90km/4 hours to Darjeeling, stopping for lunch en-route. Upon arrival we check into the hotel and the rest of the afternoon is free to relax, rest and take in the sights before dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4 (Monday 3 October 2022):

Darjeeling – Rimbik (2256m) – Gumbadara (2300m)
This morning we transfer to Rimbick (approx. 70km/4 hours’ drive) and commence the trek. We follow the trail uphill through the forest, passing small villages and terraced farmland on the way to our campsite in the small town of Gumbadara (2300m) which means ‘hilltop monastery’.
Trekking: Approx. 4km trek / 2 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5 (Tuesday 4 October 2022):

Gumbadara (2300m) – Gurdhum (2800m)
Today we will gradually gain more altitude as we walk for about 5 hours on gradually uphill terrain through dense alpine forests to Gurdhum (2800m), a small village nestled in the lap of the Himalayas.
Trekking: Approx. 9km trek / 5 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6 (Wednesday 5 October 2022):

Gurdhum (2800m) – Sandakphu (3636m)
After an early breakfast we trek uphill through alpine and bamboo forests, then stunning rhododendron and magnolia forests to our campsite at Sandakphu. Sandakphu is a great basin set amidst the hills, with slopes covered in rhododendron and silver fir trees and offers one of the best views in the Himalayan range, spanning the Eastern Nepal Himalaya and the Sikkim Himalaya; from Everest in Nepal and Kangchenjunga in Sikkim to Chomolhari in Bhutan.
Trekking: Approx. 15km trek / 7 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7 (Thursday 6 October 2022):

Sandakphu (3636m) – Phalut (3600m)
We wake up before dawn and walk to Sandakphu peak viewpoint to watch the sunrise over Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain on the planet at 8586m, as well as the distinctive profiles of Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8512m) and Makalu (8462m), if weather permits. These magnificent giants represent four of the five highest mountains on earth; a truly inspiring sight that will stay in your memory long after the trek is over. After returning to camp for breakfast we start the trek to Phalut. The walk today is fairly gradual, heading east across the most scenic and stunning part of the entire trek. A long, fairly level hike follows the ridge, taking in the towering slopes of the Kangchenjunga once more.
Trekking: Approx. 14km trek / 6 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8 (Friday 7 October 2022):

Phalut (3600m) – Gorkhey (2200m)
After breakfast we descend to the small alpine village of Gorkhey on a long downhill path that passes through an ancient forest where countless species of birds make their home. The ridges and hills are often covered in a profusion of colour, as winter approaches and the trees become ablaze with dazzling autumnal hues.
Trekking: Approx. 15km trek / 5 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9 (Saturday 8 October 2022):

Gorkhey (2200m) – Srikhola (1800m) – Darjeeling
Today we set off for the last day of our trek. The first half of the route takes us uphill to Rammam village (2560m) before the trail meanders downhill through forests filled with flowers and moss laden trees, gentle streams and picturesque villages to Srikhola where the vehicles will be waiting to take us back to Darjeeling (approx. 4 hrs. drive).
Trekking: Approx. 8km trek / 4 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10 (Sunday 9 October 202):

Darjeeling
After a well-deserved night in our hotel, we have full day of sightseeing in Darjeeling, one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. Our first stop is the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Subject to operation, we will take a journey from Darjeeling to Ghoom and back, watching the spectacular landscape unfold as the 2-foot gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which opened in 1881, transports you at about 10mph, crisscrossing the landscape. It has tiny 4-wheel locomotives (some over 100 years old) and is a work of genius and technological achievement as well as great social and cultural importance.
This afternoon we will visit a number of Darjeeling’s highlights such as St. Andrew’s Church, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Tenzing Norgay mausoleum, and the Tibetan Refugee Centre.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11-12 (Monday 10 – Tuesday 11 October 2022):

Darjeeling – Delhi – London
Today we transfer to Bagdogra airport for the return flight to Delhi. Depending on the time of your international flights back to London you will either check in for your flight home, or you will stay at an airport hotel in Delhi and depart on Tuesday 11th, arriving late the same day.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner (depending on flight times)

N.B. This itinerary has been prepared far 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: £380
and then either…

Sponsorship: £3050

or

Flexi: £1525 trip costs and £1525 sponsorship for Wave 105 Cash for Kids

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 London
  • Airport taxes and charges
  • Local transfers and transport
  • Return domestic flights between Delhi and Bagdogra
  • Accommodation in hotels in Delhi and Darjeeling and tents and sleeping mats on trek
  • English-speaking local guides, porters and support crew
  • All meals as specified
  • Trek permits
  • National Park entry fees
  • Different Travel UK tour manager

What's not included

  • Any necessary vaccinations
  • Indian e-tourist 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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