2019 Dates: Saturday 3rd - Wednesday 21st August
2020 Dates: Saturday 1st - Wednesday 19th August
Summary of programme:
Arrive in Kathmandu and go to guesthouse (you can arrive earlier if you want)
Rest and preparation day
Journey to the villages from days 3 - 5. Initially a jeep for a day to the villages of Paphlu or Saleri and then either walk or part jeep/part walk to the village of Bupsa in the solu Khumbu region.
From days 6 - 15 is the medical camp, held in Bupsa and also a nearby village called Bumburi where the clinic is.
Days 16 - 18 are for heading back to Kathmandu on foot and then in a jeep again.
Days 1-2: Arrive in Kathmandu
Arrive in Kathmandu, go to guesthouse (details given later, we can arrange airport pick ups) and explore the city, prepare for your trip.
Day 3: Drive to Salleri or Paphlu (they are near each other)
Early start for a jeep transfer through the lowland valleys towards Salleri (the district headquarters of the Solu Khumbu region) and on to the mountain village of Phaplu for overnight. This is a long but adventurous drive with some great views along the way to give you a feel for the trek ahead*.
Day 4 -5: Trekking
Start trek towards Taksindu up and down through the green countryside, passing through small villages on the way. The days are about 5 or 6 hours long, and will begin at about 8:30, after breakfast. Eventually arrive at Bupsa village.
The trek is at a relaxed pace, and there is plenty of time to stop and meet people, take photos, have long lunches and enjoy this amazing region called the Solu Khumbu.
Meals are provided in the lodges and there is ample time for snacks and drinks. This is a traditional Sherpa area but they do cater for tourists very well.
Days 6-15: Medical Clinic
Our time will be split between the two villages and the clinics will start on day 6 and finish on day 15. In the evening of day 15 there will be a local celebration performed by the local Sherpa community who will want to thank you for your effort and time over the previous 10 days.
It is from the two villages Bumburi and Bupsa that Moving Mountains carries out its work. Here you will be greeted very happily by everyone, excited by having visitors. You will stay in homes and lodges. Each home is like a small farm, with their own goats and chickens. Staying in and visiting people in their homes means that you can experience the way that the Sherpas and Rai people live.
During your days here you will run the medical clinics, which nearly 2,000 people attend annually. The village community will also show you how Moving Mountains has helped transform this region by providing more opportunities and a significantly higher quality of life, encouraging people to return from Kathmandu. You will visit the monasteries, hydro-electric project, schools, and water project which Bristol RAG helped with (in 2010) and fundraised for, and see the way the local community grows tea and makes oil and flour to sell in the markets.
Not only is it important that you take part in the medical project, the purpose of your time in the village is to really understand the culture and to spend time with the people. Everyone is extremely welcoming and really enjoy welcoming people into their homes. Your presence is bringing tourist income to the villages, and introducing interaction in an area which is well away from the normal tourist trails.
The medical project will run for 10 days. A doctor, dentist and nurse will accompany you to the villages to oversee the running of the medical clinic. The whole project will be great fun and there will be people and homes to visit. The locals will be able to show you their way of life and teach you some local skills. Our guides all speak English and the children love to learn it! So bring along pictures or postcards of where you come from, and prepare to spend some time (if you want to) doing a bit of teaching, or singing, music and sports.
Days 16–17: Trekking
On day 16 we will bid farewell to our hosts and leave the villages to trek back through the valleys towards Taksindu La. On day 17 we continue our trek to Phaplu for our final night in the mountains.
Day 18: Return to Kathmandu
Jeep transfer back to Kathmandu where accommodation and / or food can be provided at the guesthouse. The cost for these extra's can be paid directly to our staff in Nepal.
Day 19: Depart Kathmandu
Either continue your stay in Nepal or onward travel (home or elsewhere). In Nepal you can relax and visit the sights around the Kathmandu valley. In Kathmandu there will be time to explore temples and sacred sites in this eclectic capital, while staying in our own guesthouse with the family of Pasang. We can help you with any optional add ons at this stage, such as exploring the Kathmandu valley, riding Elephants in Chitwan National Park or discovering more of Nepal.
*The jeep transfer between Kathmandu and the mountain village of Phaplu is long (estimated 10 hours) but views are stunning and it helps to avoid lost days waiting for delayed flights in and out of the mountains.
Accommodation, food and electricity
On the trek you will be staying in tea houses and lodges and in Bumburi village you will be staying in local houses where you will be extremely well looked after by your Sherpa hosts! The accommodation is not western hotel standard, but you will have a bed and a mattress or a mattress on the floor in the traditional home in Bumburi.
Food is of a good quality, plentiful and will be mainly local foods such as dal bhat (lentil stew with rice and curried potatoes or meat), boiled potatoes with chilli sauce, Sherpa stew (meat, potatoes, vegetables in a rich sauce) or curry with rice. These are the staple foods for Sherpa people. Bottled water is for sale on the trek to the villages but we do not recommend the purchase of plastic bottles which are environmentally unsound. The best option is to ask for boiled water from the kitchen to fill your water bottle in the evening, and use water purification tablets, or an AquaPure traveller water bottle during the day. Please note that cheap Nalgene water bottles bought in Nepal are fake and they split! So remember to bring a suitable bottle from home. River water is generally full of glacial silt and could possibly be contaminated with animal urine and the run-off from toilets, so do not drink this.
There will be electricity in the lodges while you are trekking and while you are in the villages. You must bring a two pin round plug adaptor though. The output is usually 110V. Power comes from a solar panel which is stepped up, or from hydro-electric power. Electrical charging in the villages is free, however there will be a charge for this in the lodges on your trek.
The logistics on the ground for all our medical camps are provided by our partner, Adventure Alternative. Adventure Alternative is a fully licensed and award winning tour company in the United Kingdom. They provide all transportation, food, and lodging or accommodation during your time as a medical volunteer.