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Nepal meanders

In anticipation

NEPAL | Tuesday, 29 August 2017 | Views [231]

Nepal here I come! So three days before heading off, my daypack is cramed full of telescopes and binoculars, a kind donation from the RSPB for Bird Conservation Nepal and Friends of Birds. Propped by the wall are three crutches. A friend broke her foot some months ago and doesn't need them any more so they will be useful at the small rural hospital where they might be useful. (One will have to wait till I return to Nepal in January.) I might have to pretend to limp my way through check-in so as not to have to have the hassle of having them go in the hold. I am hoping to travel light!

As a way to raise some cash for Rural Assistance Nepal (www.rannepal.org) to help pay teachers in schools in Deusa, a village in the Everest hills, I have organised a charity trek. Designed as part of an initiative to bring sustainable tourism in the poorer areas that lie close to the more famous routes like Everest Base Camp, when this route was being designed in 2006, I was able to test it out checking the times needed to walk between villages and looking at the accommodation. The itinerary of the charity trek follows most of the route I took then, with a day thrown in at Deusa, where RAN has been working since 2008. 

The plan is to go by jeep from Kathmandu to Salleri, which will take around 10-12 hours. I have done this several times, packed like a sardine in the public jeeps but the idea is not to cause too much pain to the four intrepid trekkers who have signed up to come here.  Arriving on a Friday evening means we should be able to see the Saturday market before we walk a couple of hours to the nearby Tibetan village Chalsa. About 300 Tibetans settled here in 1961 and there is a little Buddhist monastery and clinic supported by Kopan Monastery and the Dalai Lama. 

From here we'll descend slightly to the village of Nele Bazaar (2220m) and then the following day continue to Deusa where we will stay a day to see the school and explore. Continuing through wooded hillsides, the trail goes around the river valley via Ranem, the poorer side of Deusa  that is scattered over the hillside. Here RAN supports the salaries of a teacher at the lower secondary school. From Basa it is an easy hike to Nunthala, a village on the original main trail from the roadhead to Lukla, where trekkers now typically fly to start their climb towards Everest. The next day, staying on this trail, the trek continues to Junbesi, visiting the big Buddhist monastery at Taksindu before heading to Pikey Peak (4012m), more of a hill than a mountain though a wonderful viewpoint for admiring the Himalayas. From the Annapurnas, Everest and all the way to Kanchenchunga, several of the world's top ten highest mountains may be visible from this mountain.

That's the plan. 





Tags: charity, trekking


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