Newington College Sherpa Trails & Medical Clinic Project 2016

Newington College Sherpa Trails & Medical Clinic Project 2016

Trip Highlights

  • Working alongside the community at the Jubing Village Health Clinic to improve the medical facilities in their village
  • Returning home with an intimate insight into the beautiful Sherpa culture and of Nepal
  • Enjoying a spectacular trek in the Everest Himalaya range and the views of Mount Everest from Thyangboche Monastery
  • Visits to the SOS Schools in Kathmandu
  • Thorough sightseeing itinerary throughout the Kathamndu valley, including: Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Swayambhunath (the Monkey Temple), Pashupatinath (a major Hindu shrine), the giant Buddhist stupa at Bodhnath, and the Fred Hollows funded Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology
  • Fully supported camping based trek with ample acclimatisation days built including 3 hearty meals per day prepared by our cooks
  • Himalayan Mountain flight from Kathmandu to Phaplu then Lukla to Kathmandu

Trip Summary

With ample time and expert guides you will explore the ancient Buddhist and Hindu pagodas, temples and monuments of the Kathmandu valley followed by a special visit to the Fred Hollows Foundation supported Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology. From Kathmandu we take a scenic flight into the Solu region to Phaplu where we commence our trek through picturesque and fertile farming communities which will provide a rare insight into the day to day village life of this predominantly Sherpa region. It is in Jubing where you will complete a 3 day community service project at the Jubing Village Medical Clinic working on essential building repairs and improvements. World Youth Adventures has had a long and close relationship with the clinic and you are guaranteed of a warm welcome. This remote medical clinic has become a vital service for the community with the objective to improve the health of the orphaned and disadvantaged and to promote a better understanding of good health practices in order to reduce the rate of premature and preventable death. On completion of the project work, participants will take a fully supported camping based trek into the Everest region to Namche Bazaar and Thyangboche to experience the most stunning mountain scenery on earth. A flight from Lukla returns you to Kathmandu where you visit the SOS School and have an opportunity for some last minute shopping before your flight home to Sydney. This is a learning and service adventure which will develop a range of characteristics in the Newington participants and also provide long term benefits to the people who rely on the Jubing Medical Clinic. Come be a part of a great Newington tradition!

Suitability

This trip involves trekking for up to six or seven hours a day at a steady pace. These trips do not spend extensive time at altitudes above 4000m. 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 strongly recommended.

Sample Itinerary

After all this time planning, preparing and training for Nepal, the time has finally arrived to depart on this exciting adventure. We will depart from Sydney bound for Nepal on a Cathay Pacific Airlines flight CX138 at 10:20pm arriving the following day at 5:00 am. Unfortunately the flights do not connect and there is a forced 14 hour stopover before your flight to Kathmandu departs. 1 CX 138 27DEC SYD HKG 2220 0500+1 (14 hour stopover)

Meals:  Nil

Due to the forced stopover in Hong Kong you now have an opportunity to get out on a 'whistle stop sightseeing tour of Hong Kong! This has been included in the trip cost and will make the most of this opportunity instead of spending the day in a transit hotel. Hong Kong Island Orientation Tour description: Pick up: 0900hrs, near McDonald’s (Arrivals Hall, Level 5, Hong Kong Airport) Finish: approx. 1400hrs at Hong Kong Airport. Flight departs at 1900hrs. Duration: Approx. 5hrs https://www.splendid.hk (There will not be jade/art/silk/jewelry etc factory shopping visits.) As the vibrant city centre, Hong Kong Island is a perfect harmony of opposites. Traditional sampans against a backdrop of high rises, lush greeneries framing your path to Victoria Peak and a fishing village turned local shoppers' haven, experience this dynamic city tour that showcase the key landmarks on the island. Victoria Peak - ~(25-30mins) The location to capture one of the best views in the world, Victoria Peak offers you a magnificent panorama of Hong Kong, Kowloon and the nearby islands. Aberdeen Fishing Village - (~25-30mins) Explore the origins of Hong Kong as a fishing village and take a ride on a traditional ‘sampan’ and gain insights into lively floating community still in existence today. En Route Repulse Bay Lookout Check out the picturesque Repulse Bay en route to Stanley, with its majestic view of the South China Sea and beautiful Repulse Bay Hotel, reminiscent of colonial grandeur from a bygone era. Stanley Market - (~35-40mins) Evolved from a charming fishing village, this former British military garrison turned into a popular open-air market and attracts bargain shoppers from all over the world. Upon returning to Hong Kong Airport you will have time for a meal or even a shower - both at your own expense. After your stop over in Hong Kong, you will arrive in Kathmandu at 22:00. Welcome to Nepal! Upon arriving in Kathmandu you will be met by your group leader and transferred to the comfortable and well located Pagoda Guest house in the historic city of Bhaktapur. The guest house is the perfect home away from home and the owners are very familiar with Newington College having hosted many previous groups, you will be greeted like old friends! Due to the late arrival of the flight the group briefing will take place tomorrow. Tomorrow will be an exciting and fascinating day exploring historic Kathmandu so we suggest an early night! KA104 28DEC HKG KTM 1900 2200 Accommodation: Pagoda Guest House

Meals:  Nil

Today a full day sightseeing tour has been arranged, taking in the key attractions in and around the Kathmandu valley. 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 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). Nearby is the Fred Hollows funded Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology where you can witness important research, eye examinations and the manufacturing of intraocular lenses. You will also have an opportunity to meet the staff who make this not for profit organisation run. Our final visit is possibly the most fascinating as we return close to where our guest house is located to explore the the UNESCO World Heritage listed town of Bhaktapur. Here in the winding alleyways and numerous squares and temple grounds you will witness life as it has occurred for hundreds of years. Well known as a base for artists the area houses many museums and gallery's. Kathmandu has excellent bookshops, extensive markets, and novelty and handicraft shops which contrast with fantastic centers of cultural and spiritual significance - Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world. 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. Tonight our hosts have arranged a welcome dinner which will be enjoyed in the restaurant. Accommodation: Pagoda Guest House

Meals:  B,D

This morning we take a flight to Phaplu, the hub of the Solukhumbu region and commence our trek towards the Khumbu Valley. Soon we cross a wooden bridge and come to a junction. The right side leads to Phaplu airstrip but we follow the main trail steeply uphill to the end of the ridge to Phurteng (3040m), an excellent first viewpoint of Everest dwarfed by its much lower neighbors: Thamserku (6608m), Kantega (6779m), Kusum Kangru (6367m), and Mera Peak (6480m). We descend towards a steel suspension bridge over Ringmo Khola where a gradual ascent takes us to Ringmo village. It ís then a steep, short ascent towards Taksindu passes (3071m), marked by a large chorten. After the pass, we come across the imposing Taksindu Monastery and our nearby camp site for the night. Accommodation - camping

Meals:  B,L,D

We descend through dense forest of rhododendron alive with birds and cross a wooden bridge over a picturesque stream to Nunthala, and continue on to Khari Khola, the location of our community service project. Set in a green picturesque valley, Khari Khola is a pretty village in the foothills and a lovely place to immerse ourselves in the local culture whilst enjoying our surroundings. It is here where you will spend the following three days refurbishing the external walls of the original building of the Jubing Medical Clinic. The village 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 under way. Accommodation - camping

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will commence three days of community project work where you will work closely with the local people, and have a rare insight into village life in the Solukhumbu. The village will be ready for our arrival and we will participate in a variety of maintenance and improvement works across the clinic. The health clinic in Jubing village was badly affected by the 2015 earthquake and it receives very little government funding and even less from foreign donors or sponsors. There is a nearby school which we will be able to visit. The health post would like to repair the compound wall which was damaged and which will require extensive load carrying and muscle - perfect for this group of strong men! We will first meet with one of the doctors who will take us on a tour of the clinic and also 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 3 days will involve debris clearing, shoveling, sweeping and general cleaning, and if time allows preparing then painting walls, ceilings and any exposed timber 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 all for a worthy cause. Please wear suitable clothing and footwear and gardening gloves. There will be a local professional builder supervising the project and ensuring we get all the work completed on time. In addition to the service work we will also have opportunities to visit the nearby School and Monastery where you will provide valuable lessons on general hygiene and to promote a better understanding of good health practices to the lower secondary students and trainee monks. We will camp in a peaceful campsite by the village and all meals will be prepared by the WYA chefs and a warm bowl of washing water will be provided each morning and afternoon. Accommodation - camping

Meals:  B,L,D

Gently climbing through the forest, we can see the very steep Dudh Kosi canyon and savor stunning views of Khumbila and Cho Oyu (8153m) peaks. We traverse through Than Danda and cross a stream on a wooden bridge where we pass Puiyan village. Traversing and climbing to another danda and a ridge that offers a good view of the Khumbu region. Today is a reasonably difficult day as the terrain is steep and continually heading up or down hill. Accommodation - camping

Meals:  B,L,D

After a steep climb to Lukla we are immediately impressed by the scale of the huge peaks that surround the village but this is only a foretaste of what is to come. We head downhill towards the Dudh Kosi, a raging river that flows from the highest peaks. The broad and well-marked trail meanders around fields of potatoes and buck-wheat and passes through small villages, as we pass rows of tree dahlia to make our way to our first overnight stop at our exclusive fixed camp at Ghat. Accommodation - Permanent Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Sections of today's walk are through pine forest, and cleared areas reveal terraced fields and a variety of crops. We pass small groups of donkeys, yaks and dzopko carrying trading goods and trek - gear along the trail. A dzopko is a yak-cow crossbreed while a yak is a full-blood long haired male, more commonly found at higher altitudes. We pass through a variety of small hamlets as we slowly gain altitude. Spectacular mountain peaks unfold above us, and seem to hover above the tree-line as they rise above the deep river valley. Shortly after leaving camp we cross the Kusum Khola, a tributary stream to the Dudh Kosi, and the peak of Kusum Kangru (6369 m) can be seen to the East at the head of the valley. Further along the trail, across the valley to the North-West, Nupla (5885 m) and Kongde Ri (6093 m) rise above the forested ridges. At a turn of the trail, Thamserku (6808 m) rises majestically, seemingly from the river floor. We will see our first Mani walls today. These stone structures are a compilation of many stone tablets, each with the inscription "Om Mani Padme Hum" which translates to "Hail to the jewel in the lotus", and is mantra (chant) venerated by Buddhists and Brahmans alike. Buddhists will walk to the left of these Mani Walls and chortens, but you may notice that people of the lowlands who have no knowledge of Buddhism do not follow this ceremony. The allure of the mountains is hard to resist, but we must be patient, as it is very important that we acclimatise slowly in order that we can fully appreciate our time at higher altitude. Today's walk is not a long one, and you will be eager to press-on. Slow down, and enjoy every step of the way. It is the journey, not our overnight stop, which makes the experience so special. Accommodation - semi permanent camp

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we pass through the gates of the Sagamartha National Park. The establishment of this national park is a significant attempt to stem the use of fire-wood in the area and the few local people who have a permit to cut wood must gain approval from the authorities on the basis of it being primarily for their personal use. We follow the river course to the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and the Bhote Kosi, and cross a spectacular high bridge before commencing our ascent to the village of Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa ‘capital’ of Nepal. It is a tough climb as the trail passes through forest of pine to a vantage point that provides our first view of Mt Everest. The trail continues to climb and meander to Namche, and the sight of this prosperous village spread within a horse-shoe shaped valley opposite the beautiful peak of Kongde Ri is worth every step. After lunch you may wish to peruse the Tibetan trader’s stalls or the Sherpa shops in search of a bargain. Those with a little more energy might consider heading to the very top of Namche to visit the Sagarmatha National Park Headquarters which offers a very interesting display of photographs, memorabilia and information on the park, and a wonderful vantage point for the spectacular view up the Imja Khola Valley towards Everest. Also nearby is the Sherpa Cultural Centre at the Sherwi Khangba Eco Lodge which has an interesting collection of mountaineering memorabilia and photographs. The change from the narrow lowland valleys to the broad glacial ones is immediately obvious. The steep-sided glacial valley before us gradually winds towards the base of Everest, broken only by the moraines left by retreating glaciers. Towering to over 4000 meters above the valley floor, spectacular peaks seem to engulf us. Around us are Taweche (6542 m),Thamserku (6808 m), Kantega (6685 m), Ama Dablam (6856 m), Nuptse (7896 m) and Lhotse (8511 m). The greatest of all, Mt Everest (8848m), rises at the head of the valley. Again we stay in a well appointed semi permamnet camp which has amazing views from the warm dining room. Accommodation - Permanent Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

This rest day in Namche Bazaar is very important for safe acclimatisation and is not really a rest day in the true sense of the word as we head out on a relatively flat day walk to the ancient trading town of Thame. Thame is a very traditional and pretty village, and as it is not on the main Lukla to Everest trail it receives less visitors than many other villages in the area. Thame was the last year-round village on the salt trading route that existed between Tibet, Nepal and India. It is the home to many famous Sherpa mountaineers, including Apa Sherpa, who holds the world record for summiting Everest 21 times. It was also a childhood home of Tenzing Norgay, who was (with Sir Edmund Hillary) one of the first men to climb Mt Everest. We return to Namche Bazaar to our permanent campsite. Accommodation - permanent camp

Meals:  B,L,D

The walk to Thyangboche is one of the most pleasant in Nepal. The trail meanders easily around the ridges and Everest can be clearly seen on the horizon ahead before we descend through splendid rhododendron forest for lunch. After lunch we cross the Dudh Kosi and begin the ascent to the top of a long ridge which leads to the summit of Kantega. Our trail takes us through pine and rhododendron forest, and, as this is a devout Buddhist region, the wildlife is unharmed and not too shy. As a result there is a possibility that we may see Hog Deer and other animals in the forest and around our campsite. As we approach the top we pass through a traditional gateway and pass around a chorten before cresting the ridge onto a wide grassy meadow at the monastery village of Thyangboche. The monastery was recently re-built with the assistance of Sir Edmund Hillary after it was destroyed by fire. Your leader will arrange for you to be shown around the monastery and explain the relevance of the many ceremonies that take place, and discuss the life of the monks in residence. The views of the Everest massif, as well as all the other major peaks of the area are astounding and, if we are lucky, we will see the glowing colour of the sunset, and perhaps even the moonlight on the mountains around us. Accommodation - permanent camp

Meals:  B,L,D

If clear the mountain views from Thyangboche monastery on our way through are outstanding. Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse are at the head of the valley, their line of sight flanked by Taweche on one side and Ama Dablam on the other. Almost directly above us are Kantega and Thamserku. Completing a 360 degree panorama of mountains are Khumblia and Kongde Ri which encircle us from across the valley. It is a comfortable day’s walk, with time to explore these unique and more traditional villages. As we near the villages we pass through terraced fields that are home to a brightly colored pheasant, the Danphe Pheasant, the national bird of Nepal. Overnight private eco camp site at Portse Tenga.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we descend all those hard fought metres in altitude and return to the village of Namche Bazaar via the historic villages of Khunde and Khumjung. Khumjung is where Sir Edmund Hillary built his first school which he wrote about in the book “Schoolhouse In the Clouds” and the famed Khunde hospital is close by. World Youth Adventures supports both of these famous community facilities, as well as the many other projects operated by the Himalayan Trust. There will generally be the opportunity for you to visit the hospital and school. We will also be able to visit the monastery at Khumjung where we may have the opportunity to see the “scalp of a yeti”. It is not so far now to reach Namche where we will stop for the night at our private eco camp site. Accommodation - permanent camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Following the trail down we continue down through the forest to the valley floor to follow the Dudh Kosi downhill and out of the national park. Today's walk is long and with a few small hills which surprisingly have have a 'sting' to them. We pass through a variety of settlements and forests before an undulating climb to the finish line at Lukla. We savour our final mountain sunset of the trek as we complete this exhilarating journey. Our last evening of the trek is a good time to have a small party for all the team, especially the porters who will return to their villages from here. There is usually lots of music, dancing and singing and if we are lucky, one of the superb cakes that our Nepali chefs are renowned for. Accommodation - Lukla Eco Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

We fly to Kathmandu, a thrilling take off followed by a patch work quilt of terraced fields, forest and villages, with the Himalayan chain to the north. On arrival, we transfer to the Pagoda Guest House. The rest of the day is your own to do some shopping or sightseeing. Accommodation - Pagoda Guest House

Meals:  B

You will visit two schools which Newington have had a long and fulfilling relationship with. Here you will meet the students and staff and have opportunities to experience what school life in Kathmandu is like. A special dinner has been arranged at the Pagoda Guest House where you can enjoy one last Nepali feast! Accommodation - Pagoda Guest House

Meals:  B,D

Today as a group you can decide what you would like to do. With access to a vehicle you could venture into Kathmandu to do some last minute shopping or sightseeing. After a final farewell to our guides we will be transferred to the airport for our return flight home. The Cathay Pacific Airways flight departs at 23:00 and arriving in Hong Kong early tomorrow morning. KA103 15JAN KTM HKG 2300 0530+1 (Arriving Hong Kong 16 Jan) Accommodation - Day use access at Pagoda Guest House

Meals:  B

Once you arrive back in Sydney then the trip and all services comes to an end, although the memories, friendships and lessons learned will last a lifetime. Congratulations on completing a phenomenal adventure which has also provided real and long standing benefits to the Jubing Village Health clinic. CX 139 16 JAN HKG SYD 0840 2045

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • Return economy Cathay Pacific flights from Sydney to Kathmandu via Hong Kong including your international airport taxes approx $240
  • 18 breakfasts, 14 lunches & 16 dinners
  • Use of private vehicle with driver for all airport transfers, sightseeing, & required vehicle transportation
  • Flights Kathmandu/Phaplu & Lukla/Kathmandu US$368 approx
  • Expert bilingual group leader, sirdar, assistant guides and kitchen staff
  • Extensive group medical kit carried at all times
  • Good quality accommodation in Kathmandu (Bhaktapur) at the Pagoda Guesthouse
  • Trek pack including sleeping bag, down or fibre filled jacket, insulated mat and a souvenir World Youth Adventures kit bag
  • All park entrance fees, trekking permits and sightseeing entrance fees
  • Porters to carry all personal and group equipment and porters insurance
  • Extensive sightseeing program throughout the Kathmandu valley
  • Detailed Pre Departure Information Kit with all you need to know to prepare

What's Not Included

  • Lunch x 5 & dinner x 3 (allow approx US$15 per meal)
  • $200.00 donation required for the purchase of materials to be used for the community projects. This should not be seen as an out of pocket expense as we encourage this amount to be fundraised through school sanctioned events.
  • Bottled water & aerated drinks (drinking water, hot drinks & cordial supplied whilst trekking & at the project)
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, email, laundry, etc
  • Tips (not compulsory. If you would like to contribute then approx US$60 would be suitable)
  • Nepal Visa - compulsory approx $75
  • Travel Insurance - compulsory. Approx $159 (Suresave Necessities policy inc. a 20% discount)
 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:21 Days
Countries:Nepal
Starting Point:Sydney. 12 + Passengers
Activities:Community Project
Trekking
Camping
Grade:Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG3728