Janapriya Primary School is located near Dhampus in the Annupurna region of Nepal, 200km west of Kathmandu. The small primary school has 29 students attending kindergarten to standard 5 classes. The students come from the nearby village of Dhampus. The school was originally established for the lower caste Dalit people of the village, but over the years the school community has become mixed. The school employs three teachers, of which two are provided by the Government and one from the local community. This school was damaged during the 2015 earthquakes and consequently had to demolish some of the classrooms because they were unsafe. Over the course of seven days George School students will assist the school community in laying the foundations for two new classrooms. The school has secured further funding from the Government to build the classrooms beyond the foundations once George School students leave. Following the service learning work the students embark on a four-day hike into the lower foothills of the great Annapurna massif, walking through traditional Hindu villages to enjoy spectacular views of the mountains. The trails explore lush oak and rhododendron forests, and we camp in serene locations that showcase dramatic views of the Annapurna Range. All this in the company of our magnificent crew whose friendship, sense of humor and caring nature will ensure that the hike is a rewarding and memorable one.
These trips involve trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or sea kayaking for up to five or six hours a day at a slow but steady pace and should never be misinterpreted to mean they are easy trips. 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 and 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. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week for three months prior to departure is recommended.
You will be met at the airport in Kathmandu by a representative of World Youth Adventures and transferred to the Hotel Manaslu. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given in the late afternoon / evening at the hotel, where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down /fibrefill jacket. Overnight at the Hotel Manaslu in Kathmandu.
Today we have a full day to explore Kathmandu’s bustling streets and significant landmarks. We’ll start with a sightseeing tour of the city’s two most important World Heritage Listed spiritual sites: Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple and an important cremation site; and Boudhanath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal and the most sacred Tibetan Buddhist shrine outside of Tibet. We return to the hotel by 2pm, after which you’ll have the afternoon free to keep exploring Kathmandu by foot, bicycle or rickshaw. You could wander through the markets and shops of the busy Thamel precinct or explore some more of the city’s significant sites such as Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) or the World Heritage Listed plazas of Patan, Bhaktapur or Durbar Square. Overnight at the Hotel Manaslu in Kathmandu.
This morning we take a flight west to Pokhara, Nepal’s second largest town (820m). In good weather we are greeted with sights of the entire Annapurna Range. From here we drive for an hour to a pass between two river valleys to the village of Khare, where we commence our trek. There is no need to rush as this is a short day with plenty of time to reach our overnight stop. The trail ascends for the first hour, following a ridge through fields of bamboo clusters to magnificent rhododendron forest. Villagers greet us with “Namaste”, the traditional Nepalese greeting, as we pass their homes and continue to the ridge top where at the crest the scale of the mountains astounds us. Machapuchare (6993m), Hiunchuli (6441m) and Annapurna South (7219m) can be seen from our immediate viewpoint. Overnight wilderness camp.
Over the course of the next eight days we will work hard to complete the foundations for two new classrooms. Following a hearty breakfast we'll work for 2 hrs before stopping for morning tea, and resume work for another 2-3 hrs before stopping for lunch. We complete another 2-3 hrs of work before finishing up for the day and a snack before our evening meal. There should be a few free hours in the afternoon before the evening meal to relax, read, complete your journal, watch village life and enjoy the surrounds. Overnight wilderness camp.
The views from our campsite are excellent and the morning generally offers the best opportunity to view the huge peaks. As we walk, the peaks of the Annapurnas will be visible through the scattered rhododendron forest, offering a sample of the trek to come. After our longer uphill morning session, this afternoon will be a more gradual. We descend towards the Mardi Khola, trekking through dense forest of rhododendron, oak and birch until we reach the terraced fields of Landruk. We have time to explore the village and visit the nearby waterfall before we overnight at our private eco camp site.
High on the opposite side of the river, you can explore the village of Ghandruk. From this point, the trial descends along terraced slopes & forest down to the river. After crossing the river at New Bridge, the trail ascends steeply 500m to join with the trail from Ghandruk. From here it is a short walk to Chomrung (1960m). Chomrung is a village which offers spectacular views of Annapurna South & Machapuchare. Overnight eco lodge.
It is a wonderful traverse through the forest and a fine contrast from the previous stages on the trek. We gain views of Annapurna South from Bhaisi Kharka before heading through a series of clearings that define the trail to the substantial Gurung settlement of Ghandruk (1990 meters). We visit the local Gurung museum in the heart of the village and then overnight in our private eco campsite.
This morning the trail descend 900m before leveling out as we pass through the village of Birethani. After lunch we are picked up by private vehicles and transfered back to Pokhara for an overnight stay. Remainder of the day is at leisure to explore the Pokhara city. Overnight at eco-campsite.
Note: It is important to us that this trek follows few of the commercial tea-house trails. Accordingly the route and campsites may be varied at the discretion of the group leader. Note that the walking hours include rest stops, are a guide only and can vary due to trail or weather conditions.
Following breakfast we fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu. There are a million things to see in Kathmandu and we recommend you spend this day wandering the town and exploring the valley on bicycle or by taxi. The old Royal Palace, Durbar Square, Swayambhunath (the Monkey Temple). Overnight at the Hotel Manaslu in Kathmandu.
After breakfast, the group will be transferred to the airport.
Per Person, Twin Share