During the trip, we will have time to relax, engage in optional yoga or meditation (individually or as a group), and discuss topics of interest with Dr. T about Nepal's unique geography, topography, and geology, as well as its colorful history, religion, and ethnicities. We will also discuss health and nutrition topics, focusing on principles of sustainability. Dr. T has been to Nepal over 20 times and guided many groups in the past 13 years, and is happy to share his experiences. Usually in such treks, the guides are Nepali, with difficult-to-understand English. With Dr. T, the foreign accent is more understandable.
After the trek, we enjoy a peek into authentic Nepali village life, far away from places where tourists have altered the natural environment beyond repair. Part of the income from this Eco-Trek goes to support socioeconomic development in Nepal, in coordination with the Everest Learning Academy (ELA), a network of schools established by Dr. T and the Ecopolitan community, which educate and nurture 800 orphans and destitute children in the most impovrished areas of rural Nepal. Also, We have had the fortune of working with CCODER Nepal (Center for Community Development & Research in Nepal), a non-profit that helps 200,000 Nepali improve their lot by teaching them how to sustainably organize to create socio-economic, educational, and health care opportunities for themselves. ELA supports CCODER's goal and the two organizations collaborate on specific educational projects.
Overview of Trip
Duration: 15 days, 7-day trek – March 10-24, 2013.
Food: 100 percent vegan and wholesome, as specified by Dr. T. Boiled water to replenish our water containers will be provided by the kitchen staff after each meal – no plastic bottles will be purchased during the trek.
Accommodation: Five nights in Nepali hotels, breakfasts included. Seven to eight nights of tent camping, including mattresses provided by the staff. One to two nights in authentic community village homestay. Bring your own sleeping bag, or rent one in Kathmandu at around $2 per day.
Difficulty Grade: Moderate. Maximum altitude: 3,200 m (optional 4,000 m and above for the strongest trekkers). A medium-level hiking capability is required: If you can walk at a reasonable pace for two to three hours non-stop on flat surface, or for 30 minutes non-stop up and down stairs (you can build up to it within several weeks easily), you qualify. Some portions of the trek will be challenging, but we will walk leisurely most of the time, taking short breaks (and a long lunch break). People with weak knees can manage with walking sticks/poles – helpful especially during long downhill stretches – and possibly with elastic knee support.
Transportation: Private bus, depending on group size. Flight from Chitwan National Park to Kathmandu (included in package).
Luggage: Local porters (who are happy to earn the extra income!!) will carry the heavy/larger luggage pieces (bring soft-sided luggage, since they usually carry 2-3 per person), camping gear, and the mobile kitchen; the trekkers only carry a small daypack (with water, camera, and essentials - including an extra layer of clothing/fleece for higher altitudes).
Group Size: Minimum 10
Itinerary: subject to changes because of unforeseen circumstances, but every effort will be made to deliver most or all the attractions promised here in what will be enjoyable, unforgettable trips of a lifetime
Day 01 (03/10): Arrival at the Kathmandu airport NO LATER THAN afternoon. We are transported by our Nepali agency to the hotel, which is located within the colorful, vibrant Thamel market area (a shopper's delight!)
Day 02 (03/11): Enjoy a cultural heritage tour of Kathmandu Valley, exploring five out of six UNESCO listed World Cultural Heritage Sites. Free evening in Thamel.
Day 03 (03/12): Drive to Kathmandu-Dumre-Tarkughat (150 km/5 hrs) and continue drive to Bharte village (20 km/2hrs). Walk uphill from Bhoteodar to Bharte (7 km/3 hrs). Accommodation is in the tented camp.
Day 04 (03/13): Ascend Bharte to Gauda all the way uphill (5 hrs/10 km) to an altitude of 1800 m. Camp accommodation at Gauda village.
Day 05 (03/14): Walk to Ilim Pokhari (4 hrs/10 km) along the ridge at 2100 m. Camp at Ilim Pokhari. Accommodation is in the tented camp.
Day 06 (03/14): Walk Ilim Pokhari to Pamje Dada (5hrs/10 km) along the ridge at 2900m. Camp accommodation is in the forest.
Day 07 (03/16): Day excursion to Lipe Dada (3500 m and above) for a stunning view of the Annapurna and Manaslu ranges. Return back to Deurali Dada below Pamje Dada (6hrs/10 km) at an altitude of 2300 m. Accommodation is in the tented camp.
Day 08 (03/17): Downhill trek to Chepe River (5hrs/12 km). Swim in the river, hike uphill to Namki (4 hours/8 km) and camp on the ridge at an altitude of 2000 m.
Day 09 (03/18): Namki - Here we will enjoy a breathtaking view of Bouddha Himal, Himal Chuli, a small portion of Annapurna Range, the two river valleys, and the endless folds of mountains. We enjoy a taste of village culture in the evening.
Day 10 (03/19): Drive from Namki to Chhebetar (35 km/3hrs) and walk to the Rana Gaun community in Tanahun. Swim in the pool and walk one hour before arriving at the community. We enjoy a taste of village culture in the evening and stay in the villagers' homes overnight.
Day 11 (03/20): Drive to Chitwan Golaghat Resort at the confluence of two mighty rivers, close to the famous Chitwan National Park. Before arriving at the resort, we will visit the Ecopolitan Learning Academy (ELA) headquarters and take part in community outreach activities in Chitwan. Resort accommodation.
Day 12 & 13 (03/21-22): We enjoy two days of jungle activities in Chitwan National Park. Activities include an elephant ride, elephant bath, canoe ride, jungle walk, village tour, cultural program, etc. Resort accommodation.
Day 14 (03/23): Drive back to Kathmandu (200 km/6 hrs). Evening hotel accommodation.
Day 15 (03/24): Departure from Kathmandu.
Costs: $2,950 ($195 extra for single occupancy in city hotels).
Why Join Dr. T's Eco-Trek? Compared with other "off the beaten path" Nepali treks that that cost $4,000+ and only take you into one area, Dr. T will guide you throughthree areas. You will see a much greater variety of scenery and participate in more activities. Dr. T's treks are not just "off the beaten path," they are completely away from the tourist infrastructure - you will have a much more authentic experience. It is the only vegan trek in Nepal (which decreases your chance of contracting food-born illnesses) because you will eat wholesome, locally-grown vegetables. You will not be exposed to poisonous aluminum because only stainless steel cooking containers are used on Dr. T's eco-treks (all of the other trekking agencies boil water and cook food in aluminum containers). You will have a highly experienced guide that you can understand (who is also a medical doctor!), and you will have all of your health and nutrition questions answered during the trek.
Bring a friend and receive a $150 discount*
Two stipends ($300 each*) are available for qualified individuals, who will be given an assignment or a project in exchange for their services (contact us for an application). This will depend on the number of full-paying participants (minimum 10). The trip is organized by the Ecopolitan Eco-Health Community, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to global health, sustainable socioeconomic improvement, and ecological principles. It is also organized by CCODER Nepal and by the Functional and Dental Health (FDH) Foundation.
*Applied to your final payment.
Pricing Includes: Hotel accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis; double occupancy for the hotel nights listed in the itinerary (additional $195 for single occupancy in hotel rooms only); all surface transportation; sightseeing tours, as specified; all trekking arrangements (trekking permits, national park entrance fees); all camping gear and tents/mattresses; full mobile kitchen and a trained cook experienced with Dr. T's requirements; full complement of trekking crew, porters, and guides; an English-speaking main Nepali guide; unlimited boiled (safe) water; delicious vegan meals three times a day; and authentic village community home-stay that includes locally-grown food. All organized group activities, guiding, and discussions and topics covered by Dr. T are included as well. Part of this cost covers contributions to to the Everest Learning Academy for disadvantaged children, which the group will visit!
The Everest Learning Academy includes a network of schools, community outreaches, orphanages, and day care centers that educate, nurture, and protect thousands of disadvantaged children & orphans in remote Nepali villages from child trafficking, prostitution, and slavery. For contributions & volunteering - see www.Nepali-Children.org.The Ecopolitan Eco-Health Community (EEC) is dedicated to Sustainable Global Care by improving basic conditions for distressed communities and children, increasing literacy, protecting & educating the most vulnerable members of society, and providing economic opportunities. The Everest Learning Academy is funded by EEC, which is financed by Dr. T and the fundraising efforts of Ecopolitan Steering Committees around the USA. You can become a vital part of the EEC, and support and protect the children, by harnessing your wisdom, passion and enthusiasm to organize or attend events & lectures in your area, or by volunteering or contributing in the name of global health, peace, and abundance – preserving humanity for future generations.
1. A document written by Dr. T about flight preparation and protection – how to maintain maximal health despite the many challenges of air travel. Also included in this document are ways of protecting your health during the trek itself and the stay in Nepal.
2. Insights from Dr. T on preparing your body during the next three to four months for this trip. Even if you feel "out of shape" or "overweight," you can be ready to trek in as little as three months!
PRICING DOES NOT INCLUDE: air travel to Nepal and related expenses (please call Joycee from Melrose Travel – (866) 722-6440 (for group-ticketing information) - you must plan to arrive NO LATER THAN the afternoon of March 10); Nepali visa (approximately $25 - visa obtained at the Kathmandu airport upon arrival); travel insurance (required, please inquire with Joycee); 5-6 meals (lunches and dinners, around $5 each) during our free time in Kathmandu or during evenings at hotel sites; tips for the guides/porters and community organizers (approximately $80-90 per trekker, depending on the number of trekkers, is recommended for the entire trip); personal expenses; and charges incurred as a result of delays or unforeseen circumstances beyond the organizers' control. The organizers will always make every effort to ensure that your Himalayan trip is enjoyable and safe, even in the event of inevitable changes.
To join: email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the office at 612-870-2974.
1) Secure your participation - please pay immediately the non-refundable deposit of $400. Remember - first come, first served - maximum 12 participants! To get to our target as quickly as possible, please act fast, and refer friends who may be interested. Send your check/money order to: FDH Foundation, 2409 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55405. If you use a credit/debit card, there is a 2.5% convenience fee. Call 612-870-2974 with your VISA, Master Card, or Discover info.
2) Flight tickets may be purchased anytime prior to the trip. Call Joycee from Melrose Travel & Tours 866-722-6440 (or 215-728-7870) to arrange ticketing and travel insurance. Note that ARRIVAL TIME into KTM should be NO LATER than the afternoon of the 10th of March, returning home no earlier than the 24th (the group flies on the 24th). If you wish to extend your stay beyond March 24, Dr. T will provide suggestions and ideas for volunteer opportunities with Everest Learning Academy. Participants will be picked up and dropped off from the airport upon arrival/departure.
3) By February 1, an additional $1,500 of the package payment is due ($800 of this is refundable if you cancel by February 20. Send your check/money order to: FDH Foundation, 2409 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55405. If you use a credit/debit card, there is a 2.5% convenience fee. Call 612-870-2974 with your VISA, Master Card, or Discover info.
4) Final payment is due no later than February 22. This final payment, minus $300, is refundable if you cancel by February 28. No refunds will be offered after these dates, except in extreme circumstances (such as a major accident or injury making trekking impossible - and certified by a physician), and in those extreme circumstances $500 of the final payment will not be refunded. Travelers who join late will have the payment schedule above accelerated (or combined), with the same cancellation refund amounts, combined, provided there is still room in the group. This payment and refund policy takes into account the expenses of individualized trekking permits and other preparations in Nepal, plus administrative costs and the non-profit commitments to the Nepali villagers and school children you will meet. Send your check/money order to: FDH Foundation, 2409 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55405. If you use a credit/debit card, there is a 2.5% convenience fee. Call 612-870-2974 with your VISA, Master Card, or Discover info.
A Typical Trekking Day:
On a typical trekking day we wake up at around 6 a.m. with a cup of herbal tea served at our tent, followed by a bucket of warm water for washing and cleaning. After we have washed, dressed, and packed up our gear, we have breakfast while the staff organizes our tents and bags. The staff packs all the camping equipment and gear, which the porters then carry to the next camping site. Trekkers should carry only personal belongings that they may need for the day (water, camera, toilet paper, etc.). The walk to the lunch spot normally takes about three hours. The cook and kitchen assistants serve hot lunch upon arrival. The afternoon walk takes about three hours to reach the night camp. The evening meals are usually served around 6.30 p.m. in a dining tent, family style. After dinner, the main Nepali guide will brief you on the following day's program, leaving you to retire to your sleeping tents.
At least once a day, Dr. T will discuss Nepal's fascinating geography, geology, mountain terrain, history, and social/cultural aspects of life. This way, the trekkers are mentally prepared for the unique experience of our authentic village home-stay following the trek.