Our journey will start on arrival in Kathmandu with a transfer to the hotel and full trip briefing. The next phase of our adventure is to embark on a spectacular trek into the Annapurna region. Firstly we will source materials in Pokhara to make uniforms for the students at Jilbrang School, the site of our community project. On trek our group will visit the site of previous St Kevin's College Community groups and we can see first hand the impact these have had on the local community. We visit the iconic vantage point of "Poon Hill", gaining uninterrupted views across the whole of the Annapurna range before treking down to the remote village of Jilbrang in the foothills of the Annapurna. The school here currently houses 140 students from the surrounding area aged between 3 and 14 years. We will assist the Jilbrang area and wider community. The local school is much in need of renovations and a fence to be erected around the perimeter of the school. We will work with the local community in what will be an extremely rewarding adventure. A truly rewarding experience.
After the months of planning and preparation the wait is finally over! You will need to check in at the International Airport 2 hours prior to your flight.
TG462 DEP MELBOURNE 0030 ARR BANGKOK 0600
TG319 DEP BANGKOK 1015 ARR KATHMANDU 1225
On arrival you will be met at Kathmandu airport and transferred to the Radisson Hotel. This afternoon we explore some of the cultural heritage of Nepal's capital city. We will take in the main points of interest including the Hindu temple Pashupatinah and the Boudhanath stupa. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fiberfill jacket.
This morning we take a flight west to Pokhara, Nepal's second largest town (820 m). On arrival we transfer to World Expeditions permanent campsite located on the outskirts of Pokhara town. We have the rest of the afternoon in Pokhara for the group to work together to source materials for the Jilbrang Community project. The boys will split into groups and will be responsible for specific roles in the greater process.
Overnight in Pokhara permanent campsite
This morning after breakfast we head out to Kande to start our trek to Tolka, the site of the first St Kevins Community Project to see the fantastic work that has been done here by the first St Kevin's Nepal Community group. We will enjoy a look behind the scenes at the classrooms of Tolka and how the 2010 St Kevin's community project has helped the local community. We will camp in the village of Tolka for this night.
Overnight Wilderness camping
Today you are greeted with spectacular views of the Annapurna range. We will have a look at the Tolka school the previous St Kevins group worked at before heading out for our trek to Ghandruk. Our trail winds uphill through terraced fields and mixed oak and rhododendron forest. As we trek up the many staircases, we enjoy the beauty of the Himalaya at a relatively close range and observe the glaciers flowing from them to form the rivers below us. It really is a magnificent location and a photographer's delight. Our approach along these ridges with their fine mountain views ensures proper acclimatisation and the un-hurried opportunity to fully savour this magnificent scenery. We trek to Landrung before heading down into the valley for a river crossing before up a steep section on the other side to Ghandruk, the second largest Gurung settlement in Nepal. Gandruk provides a further insight into the lifestyles of villages that have traditionally provided the backbone of the famous Gurkha regiments. Here we will visit the Gurkha Museum and hear from a Gurkha about their history.
Overnight permanent eco-campsite
Our trail meanders uphill 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. Tadapani is a clearing in the forest and a rest place for porters. We make camp here and observe the local people as they travel by. This afternoon we will consult our maps and study the distance we have traveled as well as where our trek will take us over the coming days.
Overnight wilderness campsite
Our walk today joins the old Tibet-Nepal trade route. The trek offers excellent views of the Dhaulagiri range as the trail zigzags until we reach Ghorapani. This is a sizeable town complete with interesting markets and bazaars. We have the chance to wander through the trading areas this afternoon before heading to bed early in preparation for our early morning climb on Poon Hill. Tonight we will camp in the backyard of a local lodge.
Overnight wilderness campsite
This morning we wake early for our steep climb to the famous view point of Poon Hill. From Ghorepani a pre dawn 45 minutes mostly staired climb brings us to the summit of Poon Hill (3200m). The view of the Himalaya from here are tremendous, with forested foot hills as a fore ground and some of the world's greatest mountain ranges surrounding us. The glow of the rising sun catches Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri and Annapurna, making the early morning rise more than worth the effort. From Poon Hill we leave the larger trail and traverse along old Yak herder trails to Upper Phulbari, which is set on the same level as Poon Hill. The location affords stunning views, with the luxury of no pre dawn start! This afternoon we arrive to camp early and have the opportunity to relax, explore or maybe try our hand in a game of cricket against our Sherpa crew!
Overnight wilderness camping
The views in the early morning are tremendous, with forested foot hills as a fore ground and some of the world’s greatest mountain ranges surrounding us. If you are up early enough, the glow of the rising sun catches Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri and Annapurna. Our trail takes us through beautiful forests of rhododendrons, fir, pine, cedar and bamboo, there are many small trails through the forest, and we are unlikely to see any other westerners in this section of the trek. Eventually we emerge to open
grassland ridges that offer a particularly pleasant trekking experience, before descending to a pretty lunchspot in a narrow valley skirted by multicoloured rhododendron bushes. From here there are three trails, we take the south trail which leads us to our private eco campsite at Les Par (Swarga).
Overnight permanent campsite
Trekking along the ridge of Bharmakot Dhanda we gain excellent views of Annapurna South, Machapuchare, Hiunchuli and the Manaslu ranges. Ghibrang is a delightful village, largely untouched by western influence, and our private eco campsite offers yet more stunning views in a peaceful terraced setting amidst this pretty village.
Overnight permanent eco-camp
This morning is only a short walk to our project site. We descend further through small settlements to reach our next camp and the site for our Community project at Jilbrang village. After a welcome from the local community heads we will liaise with the school committee and assess the work that needs to be done at the local school and start our project.
COMMUNITY PROJECT JILBRANG - The school has approximately 140 students consisting of boys and girls aged between 3 yrs to 14 yrs. The school presently has classes from Nursery to Standard form 6. There are currently 6 classrooms and one office. The previous St Kevin’s Nepal groups have provided excellent support here in preparing tables and chairs for the students, putting the foundations down and completing a retaining wall and steps. We will provide further support for this
community as well as taking on a mentoring and teaching role to the students at the school.
Over the next 2 days we will be working alongside the local community helping renovate the Jilbrang classrooms and complete the retaining wall around the school grounds. The project is set up alongside our Travel, Give, Grow concept offering unique experiences to help foster respect for the natural world as well as the diverse peoples and cultures that live in it. This style of travel helps develop confidence, resilience, tolerance, problem solving abilities, team work, fitness and key life skills. The students will be responsible to put together a presentation on their lives to show to the local students in a culture sharing program. On the afternoon of 7th April we will be joined by St Kevin's group 2 and spend the afternoon assisting with the hand over of the project to the second group.
Our accommodation will be camping in the grounds of the Jilbrang Community.
This morning we finish any work required at the project before saying goodbye to our new friends and handing the project over to group 2 to complete the tasks. It is a wonderful rewarding experience looking back on the work that we have completed and often a sad experience as we leave our new friends. We then head out to the road head and drive to Pokhara.
Overnight permanent eco-campsite
After breakfast we will transfer to the airport for your flight to Kathmandu. On arrival transfer to your hotel. This afternoon we will have the opportunity to explore Kathmandu before enjoying a final group dinner.
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your Thai Airways flight to Melbourne.
TG320 DEP KATHMANDU 1330 ARR BANGKOK 1815
TG465 DEP BANGKOK 0015 ARR MELBOURNE 1205
Arrive in Australia
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