Gold Qualifying Expedition in Nepal
Day 1 – Kathmandu
Your Nepalese adventure begins with your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu were, after clearing customs, we transfer to our delightful hotel, regularly used by renowned personalities in various walks of life and having hosted such distinguished guests as the Beatles, President Jimmy Carter and scores of the most famous mountaineers over the years.
Situated in the very heart of the old Thamel district of Kathmandu we are perfectly placed for exploring the bustling streets and old temples and shrines of the area and can wander freely, absorbing the vibrant atmosphere of this exotic and eclectic capital. Alternatively, you can relax with a freshly ground coffee or a cold drink in the stunning gardens of the hotel as you garner your energy after your travels.
Day 2 – Thamel
After a peaceful night sleep and a leisurely breakfast, you have the day free to explore Thamel properly. UNESCO World Heritage site, Durbar Square, is a must see, it’s centuries-old towers, temples and statues framed by the old Kingdom Royal Palace.
We will spend the evening reviewing our expedition plans, equipment and preparations.
Day 3 – Kathmandu Sightseeing
Today we set out on a sightseeing tour where we plan to explore the ancient Buddhist monastery of Swayambhunath, the famous ‘monkey temple’, which is over 2,000 years old. Perched on a mountainside overlooking the Kathmandu Valley, it is truly one of the most beautiful monasteries in the world with some of the cheekiest inhabitants! We may visit the Boudhanath, the largest Stupa in Nepal, and mingle with the many Tibetan monks there before visiting Pashupatinhath, the famous, sacred Temple situated on the Holy Bagmati River where many of the Hindu cremation ceremonies take place and the Holy Sadhus reside.
Day 4 – Kathmandu Markets
Food shopping today in the Kathmandu markets before final checks on equipment, pitching tents, operating stoves and packing everything we will need for our trek. A final safety briefing before bed and a good night rest in comfort before we set out on our qualifying expedition the following day.
Day 5 – Kathmandu – Sundarijal – Chisapani
Following breakfast, we board our private bus for the short overland trip North towards Sundarijal. Passing through the busy suburbs of Kathmandu and then out into the countryside of the Kathmandu valley, we wind through green hills, studded with tiny settlements and farms on steep terraces. We’ll pass carts pulled by buffalo and farmers and villagers tending their land in the hot sun.
On arrival at Sundarijal, all the planning, training and preparation is finally put into action as you set off on your trekking adventure. From Sundarijal the trail climbs through the Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve until we reach the Mulkharka Villages inhabited by the indigenous Tamang mountain people of the Himalaya. On through forests of rhododendron, oaks and wild Himalayan cherry to the pass of Borlang Bhanjyang before we descend to Chisapani for our first camp. Here we should have incredible views of Annapurna to the Everest range.
Day 6 – Chisapani – Nagarkot
Our trek today starts off on mostly flat downhill terrain to the mountain resort of Nagarkot passing the villages of Chuile and Chauki Bhanjyang still with great views of the mountains. Nagarkot is a hill resort situated high on a long ridge of land and from here we can get breathtaking views of Mt. Everest, Manaslu and Gauri Shankar, Dorje Lhakpa and other Himalayan ranges. You MUST wake up early to catch the famous sunrise of Nagarkot over the snowy Himalayan peaks. It’s breathtaking.
Day 7 – Nagarkot – Dhulikel
Today’s stage takes us past more traditional mountain villages through forest and agricultural land with stunning 360° views of the Himalaya before we descend to the old Newari town of Dhulikhel. The Newari or Newar people are the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley and even in today’s modern society, Newars continue their age-old traditions and pride themselves as the true custodians of the religion, culture and civilisation of Nepal. We camp in Dhulikel with its temple-lined village square and its stunning panorama of Himalayan peaks.
Day 8 – Dhulikel – Namo Bhudda
Our final trekking day and one that leads to one of the most important Buddhist Holy pilgrimage sites in the World, Namo Bhudda and the Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery. Climbing the famous stones steps to the forest you then descend by the local trail through forest and potato fields to Kabre Bhanjyang before entering a stunning pine forest that leads to Namo Bhudda, here you will set up your final camp near the monastery, a fitting finale to all your endeavours.
Day 9 – Namo Bhudda to Kathmandu
Transfer by private bus back to Kathmandu to unpack our kit, rest and recuperate with a free day of leisure. You may choose to spend it purchasing souvenirs in the shops of Thamel or take in more sites by visiting the famous Golden temple of Patan.
Day 10 – Xavier International High School & College, Kathmandu
Today we visit the highly regarded Xavier International High School & College in Kathmandu where we have the chance to observe first-hand the schooling system at this level in Nepal and meet our peers and exchange stories and experiences of our own lives, families and aspirations.
Day 11 – Xavier International High School & College, Kathmandu
Today is our opportunity to deliver our pre-prepared lessons to the junior school, leading them in fun, games and educational gems about our own life back home while they can teach us local dances and traditional songs.
That evening, back at our hotel, we will have our celebration traditional Nepali meal with a chance for each participant to reflect and review on their experience of this trip of a lifetime.
Day 12 – Home
Sadly we say our final goodbyes to the friends we have made in Nepal, though most likely not for the last time for once in Nepal is never enough, before travelling home with a suitcase full of souvenirs and a heart full of memories.