Welcome to the Himalayan Camino – “Eat Pray Love” Nepal style
21 September to 2 October 2019
The Himalayan Camino combines an enchanting adventure of remarkable natural beauty with a pampering of all the senses. Candle-lit dinners in the glow of the Himalayas, yoga sessions in the fresh mountain air and rejuvenating healing massages will get all your creative juices flowing again. Nepal is the most exciting travel destination in the world with an exhilarating blend of charmingly preserved ethnicity and natural wonder.
But this is not only a physical experience. We present you with the opportunity to become mindful of you in this life. And to refresh your commitment to yourself for a life of purpose. You are gifted in a unique way and this “Camino” in as much an internal adventure as an external one. The trip is infused with teachings from Tibetan monks and what they can tell us about the bigger questions life. You are guided in a personal way throughout the journey.
Once you’ve been to the Himalayas, you don’t come all the way back!
21 September: Depart SA for mystical Nepal home to the Himalayas and the cradle of the tallest mountains in the world.
22 September: Kathmandu arrival
Upon your arrival at Kathmandu, you will be received by your hosts and checked into your hotel in the vibrant district of Thamel. Rest of the afternoon you are free to explore the countless bookstores, coffee shops, bars and restaurants.
23 September: Kathmandu sightseeing
After breakfast at Hotel, we will start full day tour of the following sites:
Kathmandu Durbar Square. Durbar square takes you to the famous places has housed kings of different dynasties and temple-scape representing finest specimens of Nepalese architecture.
Swayambhunath: One of world’s most glorious, ancient, enigmatic Chaityas dating back more than 2000 years is a mosaic of small stupas was home to kings and noblemen.
Bouddhanth: This colossal and ancient Stupa, one of Nepal’s most unique monument and said to be the world biggest, attracts pilgrims from Tibet, Ladhak in India and Bhutan.
Pashupatinath: Just a small walk takes you the temple of lord Siva-Pasupatinath with two tiered golden roof and silver doors is famous for its superb Newari architecture situated near the banks of sacred Bagmati River. Pashupati, literally, “Lord of the Animals” is the patron deity of Nepal and believed to have been unearthed by an obscure herdsman while one of his cattle was showering the earth with milk.
Evening welcome dinner and cultural program finish off your first day in Nepal.
24 September: Early morning flight to Pokhara, drive to Naya Pul and trek to Tirkhedhunga / Ulleri
The town of Pokhara is set in a beautiful valley with a panoramic view of the Annapurna and Manaslu mountains. With its several lakes this is one of the most beautiful places in Nepal. After breakfast we take a scenic 1 hour drive to the starting point of our trek. Crossing the suspension bridge over the Modi Khola river, we ascend slowly through terraced fields and classic mountain villages. Along the way we will encounter mule or goat caravans carrying supplies to the mountains, heralded by the musical bells they wear. The stunning peaks of Machhapuchare and Annapurna peaking over the green ridges will greet us from time to time as we continue up to Tikhredhunga / Ulleri
25 September: Tirkhedhunga / Ulleri – Ghorepani
From Ulleri we continue our ascent to Ghorepani village. The name of the village “Ghorepani” in English literarily translates to Ghore (horse) Pani (water). In old days this place used to be a major trading centre where the traders used to take rest and let their horse drink the water so it gained the name as such. Ascend from Ulleri becomes gentle as compare to the previous day and arrives shortly to Banthanti. From here on we mostly pass through the rhododendron forest before arriving at Nagthanti where we will have lunch. From Nagthali the forest becomes even denser leading to a path with stone steps and arriving to the lower part of Ghorepani where we will stay overnight with mesmerizing views of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges.
26 September: Sunrise at Poon Hill – Trek to Tadapani
It is an absolute must for those who stay at Ghorepani to make the walk up to the celebrated view point of Poon Hill, which overlooks the village. Dawn is the best time to go so we arrange a wake up call for 5 am and head up the well-marked track by torchlight. The first light of dawn illuminates Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak with a surreal pink glow. You may be able to buy coffee and breakfast from an enterprising local who has carried his produce up to Poon Hill to take advantage of the morning trade. Otherwise, we return to Ghorepani for breakfast, before trekking on to Tadapani through rhododendron forest.
27 September: Tadapani –Ghandruk
Comparatively, today is the easiest trek of all days. One has to trek through the forests of Rhododendron and oak One could hear soothing chirp of birds on the way. This trek also offers best alternative for bird lovers. Ghandruk is a big Gurung village. There is a handicraft centre and Gurung museum. From this village you could observe good views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna, Annapurna III and Fishtail. In the evening, typical Gurung Cultural program will be organized on request. Ghandruk is a stunning village of Gurung people, one of Nepal’s most famous ethnic groups, known for their distinctive dialect, culture, costume, and life style. Ghandruk is also home to many soldiers from the famous Gurkha regiments.
28 September: Ghandruk – Naya Pul – Drive to Pokhara and check into your exclusive Yoga retreat
Today is an easy trek down to the Kimrong River passing through the villages and beautiful scenery, crossing a suspension bridge. In the afternoon we check into our Yoga retreat for some pampering and TLC. Enjoy the tranquillity of the cool mountain air and vistas of the lakes surrounding Pokhara.
29 September: Yoga retreat!
Today will be all about rest, reading and writing. Enjoy some quiet time to pamper your inner needs and refresh your spirit. Do some yoga, learn to cook wonderful Nepalese cuisine or enjoy a healing massage in this exclusive mountain retreat.
30 September: Walk back to Pokhara at leisure with a boat ride across the lake for our flight back to Kathmandu. Overnight in vibrant Thamel again
1 October: Final day of shopping in Kathmandu and early evening departure from Nepal
2 October: Arrive safely back SA. Refreshed, rejuvenated with restored creativity