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Really Good 8/10
Wouldnt it be nice to have an escape once in a while and be able to reconnect with yourself and nature? Take a break from your daily routines, and take part in an unexpected and holistic journey. If youve always dreamed of discovering symbiosis with nature and life, then following this path will be the right choice. Among the mountains and valleys, you will experience an interaction with people who live in the villages where we have been working for many years, and learn about Dharma teaching from a Buddhist lama. Trekking in the Himalayas, you can find your inner self and open your mind to this beautiful traditional part of the world.
Adventure Alternative provides their own accommodation in Kathmandu which is the registered base for our satellite offices and is very safe and protected. They will also provide tents for all other accommodation on the mountain or in rural areas. You will also use handpicked local hotels and lodges and homes with which Adventure Alternative has an agreed level of support and comfort.
For mountain lovers and the vertically inclined, the Himalayas represent nothing less than the crowning apex of nature's grandeur. Here dramatic forested gorges rise to skylines of snow-capped glaciated peaks through a landscape that ranges from high-altitude desert to dripping rhododendron forest.
Home to some 40 million people, this is no alpine wilderness, but rather a vibrant mosaic of peoples, cultures and communities, criss-crossed by ancient trading and pilgrimage routes that offer their own unique inspiration. Test your mettle against some of the world's most audacious and dangerous roads, or set a more measured pace on a trek through yak pastures to prayer flag-strewn passes haunted by snow leopards and red pandas.
Join Adventure Alternative on a 14-day trekking and yoga venture in the Himalayas. The trek comes across various villages, overlooks valleys and rivers, and takes a glimpse at curious yaks, working farmers or playing children. Upon your arrival at the villages of Bupsa and Bumburi where Adventure Alternative's charity has built two monasteries, friendly villagers will welcome you to their homes and community. The yoga sessions and Dharma teaching, as well as your understanding of the Moving Mountains projects in this area, is an opportunity to experience conscious tourism; it offers great experiences, by taking care of your well-being and spiritual prosperity as much as sustaining local communities.
Elevation: 1400 meters
Arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to hotel or Adventure Alternative Nepal Guesthouse (bigger groups will stay in a hotel)
Elevation: 1400 meters
R&R in Kathmandu with sightseeing tour around the city.
Elevation: 2415 meters
Travel time: 3 to 4 hours
Kathmandu - Phaplu - Ringmu: Morning flight, 35 minutes, from Kathmandu to Phaplu. From Phaplu we trek to Ringmu, past several shepherds huts, before crossing a number of magnificent streams to reach Ringmu, for overnight.
Elevation: 2300 meters
Travel time: 3 to 4 hours
Ringmu - Nuntala; Trek towards the monastery of Taksindu, where we can stop for lunch and meet the lamas of this fascinating monastery. Later, we continue trek to Nuntala, for overnight.
Elevation: 2300 meters
Travel time: 4 to 5 hours
Nuntala to Bumburi; From Nuntala you will step down to the Dudhkoshi River at 1480 metres, and cross the suspension bridge. The trail wanders through terraced fields and past stone houses, before descending steeply through forests overlooking the river and on towards the village of Bumburi, where depending on time we may continue to Bupsa, where our main lodges are.
Elevation: 2245 meters
Travel time: 5 days
The next five days you will experience around the villages of Bupsa (2300 meters), Bumburi (2245 meters) and Khari Khola (2220 meters) with various cultural interactions. The time spent in the area will be relaxed, free and be shaped according to your wishes.
The peaceful and engaging atmosphere of the Himalayan landscapes will be essential components to our daily meditation and yoga classes. In the villages, you will have the opportunity to meet the Lama’s in their monasteries, open your mind to the teaching of their way of life, their vision of our world and every aspect that builds their community.
Following this introduction of the Hindu-Buddhism culture, immerse yourself into the villager’s everyday lives. Get to know them, learn about their life-stories and habits. Actively take part in the Moving Mountain’s projects and be astonished by the magnitude and importance of their endeavor.
Back in Bupsa village in the evenings, we relax around a typical dinner cooked and served by the Sherpa families, and enjoy their cheerful company at the table. Finally, don’t fear to follow their lead if they suddenly invite you to join a traditional village party, instead have a pleasant time and make some great memories.
If you feel inspired to spend the night in a different village to Bupsa, speak to your guide. He will be happy to organize one or two days away from Bupsa for you.
While you will stay in lodges in Bupsa, or in the surrounding villages, you will be welcomed in homestays and actively participate in the inhabitants’ daily activities. All of our host families have a tight bond with the Adventure Alternative company and will be pleased to meet and greet you in their homes.
Elevation: 2860 meters
Travel time: 2 days
Bupsa - Puiyan - Lukla: On the 11th and 12th day, we ascend towards the village of Lukla and its airport. While following a peaceful path, you will constantly be amazed by the beauty of the Nepalese landscapes and the Himalayan mountains.
Take time to memorize the extraordinary assets of these regions where the Sherpa people live in harmony with nature. Before concluding your retreat in Lukla, you will spend one night at the heart of a Nepali community, which is located in a small village called Puiyan, about 4 to 5 hours walk from Bupsa.
There you will again enjoy the hospitality of villagers. The final day of trekking towards Lukla will pass several villages through the paths which are the highways and byways of the Sherpa people. At Lukla we have our final night in the mountains.
Elevation: 1400 meters
Lukla - Kathmandu: With clear weather, the 40 minute flight from Lukla to Kathmandu will be scheduled in the early morning. Back in Kathmandu, we enjoy some final sightseeing.
Elevation: 1400 meters
Transfer to Kathmandu airport at any time during this day for departure
You do not need to be super-fit for this trip as it is focused more on social interaction, team work and yoga. Having said that, you will enjoy the trip all the more if you are in good physical shape having exercised regularly and eaten nutritiously leading up to the trip. There is a good bit of trekking along mountain paths which are quite rocky and occasionally steep. There are no dangers on these paths, they are used by the local people, but you will need to be careful if you meet with pack animals along the way. If there is rain then the stones on the path can be quite slippery and there will be mud, so you will need to take care. Some people like to have walking poles to assist. Your boots should have a good tread on them and you may prefer to take walking boots with support for your ankles.
This trip is about physical, mental and spiritual harmony so expect to enjoy days of walking on the paths between the villages with plenty of time for stopping and chatting, taking tea, meeting local people and taking photographs. Jessica and Samanta will guide you through the yoga sessions, but they also offer massage for an additional fee. The food will be local produce and plenty of it!
35 minutes flight from Kathmandu Airport to Phaplu Airport.
Transfer from and to Kathmandu Airport.
Adventure Alternative will provide airport transfers in Nepal as part of this retreat package.
It may be necessary to alter the itinerary mentioned above at short notice as a result of circumstances or events outside Adventure Alternative’s control, such as adverse weather or road conditions or any of those amounting to force majeure, or due to the operating conditions imposed by owners and operators of accommodation, facilities and transport.
All levels of experience are welcome and encouraged to join this retreat.
If you are unable to give for this confirmation for any reason or have any medical condition or disability which may affect your trip, you must contact Adventure %Alternative before you submit your application form so that they can assist you in considering the suitability of the trip for you.
Adventure Alternative would advise lightweight and loose fitting, synthetic or a poly/cotton mix tend to be a little more comfortable and quicker drying, particularly when trekking to the villages. Females will have to dress conservatively in public and especially in schools and at the projects in the mountains. You will draw unnecessary attention to yourself and maybe cause offence if revealing clothing is worn, shoulders should remain covered and legs covered to the knee at least, particularly outside Kathmandu.
Day pack for carrying during the day with things you need immediately access to. Comfortable selection of clothing for the sunny and rainy weather and equipment like sleeping bag. Waterproof jacket, fleece jacket, walking boots and trainers, flip flops/sandals, sunhat and sunglasses, sun cream wash kit and towel will also come in handy. Also, don’t forget your first aid kit, a head torch, water bottles and walking poles.
Please let Adventure Alternative know if you have any food requirements due to medical conditions (coeliac disease, food allergies). In this case they will try to help you to adapt your diet accordingly, so you will be allowed to bring the food items which you are already accustomed to. You can also buy extra fresh fruits, dry fruits, and nuts in the local market to supplement your dietary requirements.
The passport and visa requirements applicable to British citizens for the trips offered are shown on the relevant trip page on Adventure Alternative’s website. Requirements may change and you must check the up to date position in good time before departure. A full British passport presently takes approximately 2 to 6 weeks to obtain. If you are 16 or over and haven't yet gotten a passport, you should apply for one at least 6 weeks before departure.
The UK Passport Service has to confirm your identity before issuing your first passport and will ask you to attend an interview in order to do this. If you are not a British citizen or hold a non-British passport, you must check the passport and visa requirements with the embassy or consulate of the country(ies) to or through which you are intending to travel.
Except as disclosed in your medical questionnaire, you are taken to confirm at the time of booking that you are in good health, physically capable of undertaking all aspects of the trip, and unaware of any reason why you may be unsuited to taking part or may be likely to suffer illness or injury during the trip, taking into account its challenges and purposes.
Please advise Adventure Alternative of any special requests prior to making your booking. Confirmation that a special request has been noted or passed on to the supplier or the inclusion of the special request on your invoice or any other documentation is not confirmation that the request will be met. Unless and until specifically confirmed, all special requests are subject to availability. For your own protection, you should obtain confirmation in writing that a special request will be complied.
You are also advised to bring your passport, insurance, immunization booklet tickets and itinerary, money, a mixture of some cash and credit/debit card and a list of useful contact numbers - such as Embassy/Consulate, insurance company and credit card 24 hour emergency telephone number.
For more information, ask your questions directly to Adventure Alternative who will be happy to assist you. Simply click on the Send Inquiry button to send a message.
You can buy pretty much anything you need in the markets and shops, particularly for trekking. Kathmandu is a treasure trove of gear shops! If you need to buy, rent or forget to bring some kit then it's easily and cheaply replaced in one of dozens of equipment shops. Many sell second-hand expedition equipment/clothing and fake locally branded gear but the materials and quality tend to be very good.
Jessica believes that life is a meditation. She will guide you in spaces of peacefulness, magnification and renewal. She comforts people in strengthening their self-confidence by showing them how to love, sustain and look into oneself and experiencing life to its utmost.
Samanta shares her knowledge and experience and offers an approach that unites awareness with movement, breath, heart, and humor. During this holiday they will provide daily restorative Tibetan singing bowl sound baths, Hatha and Vinyasa Flow yoga classes, vedic chants and breath work.
"On the whole the trip was well organized we were never left wondering what and when things were happening. Three out of our five travellers did get ill with v+d and Ibrahim was very attentive in ensuring that we all were able to do what we could and he helped as much as he could get us to achieve our objective of reaching the summit of Mount Toubkal. Most meals did included salad or fruit which was washed in tap or stream water, possibly if this had been bottled or boiled water we may not have got ill. A lot of meals didn't have drinking water provided alongside the meal, this would have been welcomed. Meals were presented well and with very generous portions. Daily objectives were well defined and very achievable to all who had some hill walking experience."
September 2014. Adventure Alternative website, edited