THE FOLLOWING ITINERARY IS A SAMPLE OF A PAST PROJECT. THE SCHOOL YOU ASSIST WILL BE DIFFERENT TO THE ONE IN THIS ITINERARY, WHICH COULD ALSO MEAN THE TREK IS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT, BUT YOU WILL GET A GOOD IDEA OF WHAT A TREK + COMMUNITY PROJECT WILL ENTAIL.
The country of Nepal holds a special place in a growing number of people’s hearts from across the PAC community. In September 2015 you have an opportunity to be part of a team of people who will travel to Nepal to continue the hard work from the three previous PAC groups from 2009, 2011 and 2013. You would be hard pressed to find a better introduction to experiencing Nepal than joining this expedition. From the atmospheric squares and temples of Kathmandu Valley we travel to the adventure capital of Nepal, Pokhara. Located on the banks of a huge lake and at the foot of the Annapurna range, which stretches like a giant wall the views in all directions, are incredible. It is here where we venture out into the Himalaya on a fully supported seven day trek escaping Nepal's tourist trails to explore the forests which flank the lofty Annapurna peaks. 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. We will follow trails through oak and rhododendron forest and camp in serene locations that showcase dramatic views of the Annapurna range. This provides the opportunity to learn about the culture, traditions, social structure and way of life in rural Nepal. You will be greeted like family and offered a warm welcome in the village of Jilbarang (1500m), the site of our three day Community Project. We will be refurbishing the local school building by painting a classroom both internally and externally and re-plastering the walls where required. (Exact project specifics will be provided in early 2015.) It will be equally hard work as it will be fascinating, educational and uplifting in every sense. To assist us there will be help from eager and appreciative local school kids and from a team of professional labourers who will ensure we complete the work we start on time and on budget. After completing the project we will bid farewell and trek to the trail head where we return by private vehicle to Pokhara then onto Kathmandu for an opportunity to do some last minute shopping before our return flight home. This is a learning service adventure to get excited over!
The trek 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 amongst 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.
Upon arriving in Kathmandu you will be met by your group leader and transferred to the comfortable and well located Radisson Hotel. We will have a pre-trip briefing in the early afternoon where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag, liner, closed cell sleeping mat and down jacket and also gives you an opportunity to get acquainted with your guides.
The hotel is the perfect home away from home and the staff are very familiar with our school groups and subsequently you will be greeted like old friends! In the evening and in the company of your guide you will go go to a restaurant for dinner (own expense). Tomorrow will be an exciting and fascinating day exploring historic Kathmandu so we suggest an early night!
Visit Boudhanath boasting the world's largest Tibetan stupa, and surrounded by approximately 700 mani wheels, it is heavily patroned by faithful worshippers 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 by approximately 2pm, where the rest of day is at leisure. Tonight you will enjoy a welcome dinner at the Nepali Chulo restaurant which is located in a restored 160 year old Rana Palace.
Accommodation: Radisson Hotel
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. Once we have arrived in Pokhara we take a 2.5 hour drive to Nayapul and commence our trek to Syauli Bazaar (1100m). This is a very gentle walk along an often busy trail which follows the Modi River, past tea houses and villages. Villagers greet us with “Namaste”, the traditional Nepalese greeting, as we pass their homes and continue to your camp for the night.
Walk approximately 1.50 hours
Todays trek to the facinating Gurung village of Ghandruk should be taken slowly and steadily as there are some big energy sapping up hills to tackle, welcome to the Himalayas! It is a beautiful walk and one which gets better as the day progresses. 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. As you gain height the views keep improving till once you reach camp you see the beautiful peaks of Annapurna South and Machapuchare.
Walk approximately 6-7 hours.
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.
Walk approximately 5 hours.
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).
Walk approximately 6 hours.
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 Annapurnas as the views from this popular vantage point are impressive.
During the day you will have an opportunity to explore this sizeable town which is on the main tourist trail and where there are a number of things to see and do. Ghandruk is a delightful 'Gurung' village which has grown large and prosperous on the pensions of retired Gurkha soldiers. From the village, dramatic views of Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Hiunchuli and the oh-so-famous Machhapuchhre (Fishtail Mountain) are there for all to enjoy.You may wish to wander through the bazaar where there are many Tibetan wares on display, visit the museum or the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ANCAP) office or visit a bakery or two! Weather depending we may also consider making the climb back to Poon Hill so as to enjoy the views, without the crowds and see a spectacular sunset.
Walk approximately 3 hours.
The trail 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. Ulleri is a clearing with more spectacular views of Annapurna South and Hinchuli.
Walk approximately 3-4 hours.
Today we leave the main trail and make our way to Jilbarang village school where we will commence the community project. The school kids will be expecting our arrival and we will be welcomed into there village like family, prepare for lots of noise, singing and above all appreciation for the work about to get underway. We will first meet with the local foreman who will take us on a tour of the school showing us what work we will be doing. The group will be divided into smaller work teams and each assigned separate tasks. Some of the work across the next 3 days will involve sanding and 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 and the ability to roll your sleeves up and get a little dirty (you should wear suitable clothes), all for a great cause. There will be a local professional builder supervising the project and ensuring we get all the work completed on time.The residents of Jilbarang will be ready for our arrival and they will also participate on the refurbishment of the classroom.
Working alongside the locals, teachers and students will provide a rare insight into the people of Nepal and the incredible Nepali people. We will camp in a peaceful spot nearby the village 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. On completion of the project a handover ceremony will take place, a plaque will be unveiled and lots of singing and dancing will follow before all enjoying a celebratory dinner!
Our community work concluded, we leave Jilbarang and recommence our trek towards Pokhara. 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.
Walk approximately 3-4 hours then drive 2 hours
We transfer to Pokhara Airport for our early flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu you are transferred to The Radisson Hotel where we will do our best to ensure that the rooms will be ready for an early check in. There are a million things to see in Kathmandu and we recommend you spend this day wandering the town and exploring the valley on foot or by taxi. Bhaktapur and Patan, which have not been covered in our sightseeing on day 2, are highly recommended. This evening a celebratory farewell dinner will take place where you can celebrate the previous 2 weeks of hard work, achievements and lessons learned.
After a final farewell to our guides we will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Sydney, via Bangkok.
Per Person, Twin Share