Nepali Humanitarian Eco-Trek
with Dr. T
March 11 - 25, 2014
Join us for an adventure that includes an off-the-beaten-path trek of the magnificent Himalayas, an authentic Nepali community tour, a jungle safari in Chitwan National Park, a World Heritage Site tour, and much more! Guided by Dr. T, this group adventure also supports sustainable rural development and education for poor Nepali children and orphans. These unique tours encompass two Himalayan regions, taking us to areas that are rarely visited by Western tourists, resulting in a unique and authentic experience. Read the glowing testimonials of past trek participants!
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 Eco-Health Community, which educates and nurtures 5,000 orphans and destitute children in the most impoverished areas of rural Nepal.
Overview of Trip
Duration: 15 days, 7-day trek – tentatively scheduled for March 11 - 25, 2014 (give or take one or two days)
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
Subject to change because of unforeseen circumstances, but every effort will be made to deliver most or all the attractions promised here in what will be an enjoyable, unforgettable trip of a lifetime!
March 11 (Day 1): Arrival in Kathmandu - We receive you in the airport and transfer you to the hotel in Thamel, Kathmandu. We lead you to visit Swayambhunath Stupa if time permits. Welcome Dinner (included in the package) with informational meeting that evening.
March 12 (Day 2): Day Excursion - You join a full-day city tour to some of the World Cultural Heritage Sites (Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Changunarayan, Pashupatinath Temple and Bouddhanath Stupa) in a private vehicle with a guide.
March 13 (Day 3): After breakfast in the hotel we drive to Gorkha (Namki) - this is an 8-hour trip. We camp in our future Community Care Center at Namki village at 2000 m. altitude.
March 14 (Day 4): Hike uphill (6-7 hrs.) through scenic rhododendron forest with amazing view of Himalayas to Nage Pokhari, a holy lake at the top of the mountain (at 3200 m.). We camp there.
March 15 (Day 5): It is a free and relaxing day. It is the best viewpoint in the whole region. We have a superb view of several mountain ranges over 8000 meters. Some interested people can go for a high altitude hike up to 4500 m. or more and return back to the camp.
March 16 (Day 6): Hike downhill (steep but easy) to Khikmu village which is one of the uppermost settlements in the region. Accommodation is in the tents.
March 17 (Day 7): We further descend downhill to the Chepe River. We cross the river and hike a little bit up to the dirt road and continue walking along the road to reach to Kallabari Secondary School where ELA has supported. Camp is on the school grounds.
March 18 (Day 8): We hike downhill again to the Chepe River. After crossing the river we hike a short distance for a welcoming cerempny in an ELA-supported school - Syantung Lower Secondary School. After lunch at the school we hike further uphill along the dirt road to Namki Community Care Center.
March 19 (Day 9): Drive on the dirt road all the way down (3 hrs.) to ELA-supported New Origin Community School in Satdobate (Khoplang V.D.C.). We drive to Chhebetar to meet the blacktopped road. We continue driving to Bandipur, a nice scenic village at the hilltop. We stay in hotel/resort there.
March 20 (Day 10): We drive down to main highway and walk 20 minutes to visit another ELA-supported school - Marsyangdi Community School at Aanbu V.D.C. We receive a grand reception from the school and the community. We are involved in several school activities.
March 21 (Day 11): We continue driving to Chitwan. Before arriving at the Golaghat Resort (at the confluence of two mighty rivers), we will visit the Everest Learning Academy (ELA) headquarters and take part in community outreach activities in Chitwan. Accommodation is in the resort close to the famous Chitwan National Park.
March 22/23 (Day 12/13): 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, and more! Accommodation is in the resort.
March 24 (Day 14): We drive back to Kathmandu. (6-7 hrs.)
March 25 (Day 15): Depart Kathmandu - We drop you off at the airport to say bye-bye and “Feri Bhetaula”
Cost: $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 through three 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. Not to be applied in conjunction with other special discounts
*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 Trek Package Includes:
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 11)
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)
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.
Interested in more information? Contact Us!
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 (Attn: Amanda Heidemann), 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 Card information.
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 March 11, returning home no earlier than March 25.
**ONCE YOU HAVE MADE YOUR FLIGHT ARRANGEMENTS PLEASE SEND YOUR ITINERARY TO: firstname.lastname@example.org**
Participants will be picked up and dropped off from the airport upon arrival/departure. If you wish to extend your stay beyond March 25, Dr. T will provide suggestions and ideas for volunteer opportunities with Everest Learning Academy.
3) Payment in full is due by February 1 - total amount less your deposit. Travelers may still join late, with the same cancellation refund amounts, provided there is still room in the group. $2,050 of this is refundable if you cancel by February 20. No refunds will be offered if you cancel after February 20, except in extreme circumstances (such as a major accident or injury making trekking impossible - and certified by a physician), and in those extreme circumstances $900 of the final payment will not be refunded.
Send your check/money order to: FDH Foundation (Attn: Amanda Heidemann), 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, MasterCard, or Discover Card information.
4) If you wish to set up a payment plan (the total amount less your deposit, divided into three payments) please contact Amanda (email@example.com)
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.
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.
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. 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.