CLEAN DRINK NEPAL - March 28 - April 10, 2019
Pre-booking is now open. The official sign-up date is November 1st.
Join us next spring for the trip of a lifetime. Once again our LAST MILE TEAM ventures into the lowlands and high Himalayas of Nepal to provide safe drinking water solutions to those in need. This two week adventure begins in the ancient city of Kathmandu before heading west into the fertile lowlands of the Terai. From there we'll visit corners of the country few foriegners ever see.
PROJECTED IMPACT: 1,500+ PEOPLE provided ACCESS TO CLEAN DRINKING WATER
SPOTS AVAILABLE: 6 ON MOTORBIKES, 3 IN AN SUV (minimum 2 in SUV)
REQUESTED FUNDRAISING GOAL: $750
THE PROJECT OVERVIEW
Our small group of travelers begins our journey in the remote city of Nepalgunj on the Indian border. From there we travel north into the foothills of the Himalayas. As we work our way into the deep river valleys and steep hillsides of the Rolpa region, we'll visit a number of remote villages to introduce them to the MSR SE200 Community Chlorine Maker. Each rider will be supplied with their own unit and get the chance to deliver it, person-to-person, to village leaders. Our guide and translator, Vishu Sijali, will help facilitate the handoff.
We continue to push eastward towards some of the highest mountains in the Himalayas, and the world. We'll end the trip in the beautiful lakeside town of Pokhara. Start to finish, we will spend a total of ten days on the road. The travel will be hard, if just because the roads and conditions are often challenging. The days will be long and full of mishaps and uncertainty. Adventure, as they call it.
Start Point: Nepalgunj in western Nepal on the border of India
End Point: Pokhara, a resort town at the foot of the Himalayas
Total Number of days on the road: 10
Seats available for the trip: 6 on motorbikes, 3 in a comfortable SUV
Total length of trip from airport to airport: 13 Days (14 recommended to pad against jetlag and flight delays).
Number of people we can feasibly provide clean water to: 1,500-2,000
When we set out to access the remote corners of Nepal it was obvious a motorcycle was the best mode of transportation for the task. Nepal's roadways are horrible and worse than many "Jeep roads" in North America. Motorcycles can also maneuver around construction zones, slow traffic, herds of cows, and other hazards which helps to knock down the miles quickly.
THE SUV OPTION
Each trip includes two SUVs. One for three team members, and one support truck. The SUVs play a major role toting gear, but also supplies needed to get water systems integrated into villages. The trucks will be used to buy and deliver water tanks, hoses, and buckets. So, it will be a valuable tool.
March weather: This is a great time to visit Nepa as the monsoons have not begun. The skies are clear, and the heat is not too bad down low. Expect rain, mud, wind, bugs, you name it.
March 28 - All team members land in Kathmandu, some likely late in the evening. We will greet each rider with our local buddy Rup, the best taxi man in Nepal. He will drive us to the Hotel Traditional Comfort for a nice rest in the center of town. Hotel fees are included in your trip fare.
Link to: Hotel Traditional Comfort
March 29 - We will spend the day in Kathmandu visiting the sites and getting rested from the long trip. This extra day is also helpful if luggage is delayed. My friend and professional guide of 20 years, Susan Mannadhar, will give us a driving tour of the World Heritage sites in the city. This is a good time to get asymilated with Nepalese culture and stretch your legs. Kathmandu is a must-see and it is good to do on arrival. The hotel can store items you don't want to take on the motorcycle ride.
March 30 - After a short 60-minute domestic flight to Nepalgunj, we meet Vishu for the start of the ride. He will transport the bikes to the starting point. The first day will be short as everyone gets used to their bikes and riding on the wrong side of the road. It also takes time to get used to navigating around goats, kids, cows, cows, and more cows.
March 31- April 5 - The objective will be to work our way east while stopping to place water units in villages we have targeted beforehand. The integration of a unit takes the better part of a morning. It might be necessary to stay long enough to work out the details of buying and installing a water tank. This phase of the trip is big adventure. If you like a firm plan, this might be tough. It's also why we are taking very basic camping gear. We would rather we duck into the forest and sleep than drive into the night looking for a place to stay. Your safety trumps your comfort.
April 6 - By this point you have done a lot of great work. You're tired. And while some parts of the trip have been beautiful, you deserve a dose of amazement. We will ride past ancient mountain towns into the remote and rugged Lower Mustang Valley. We'll ride through Annapurna National Park and you will see its namesake summit, the 5th tallest peak in the world. You'll sleep under Dhawlagiri, the 7th tallest mountain in the world. On the 26th, we'll ride over suspension bridges, brave a couple sketchy river crossings, and visit the Buddhist monastaries of Muktinath. This section of the trip will blow your mind. This is your time to revel in the splendors of Nepal. Later that day we arrive in the beautiful mountain town of Pokhara.
April 7- In Pokhara we'll stay at a brand new hotel. Each rider will have their own bungalo. For kicks we can catch a movie in the open-air theatre overlooking the lake and eat pizza and drink Nepali beer. If you haven't had enough fun, you can paraglide, take a helicopter to Annapurna Base Camp ($350 of the best dollars you can spend), or just chill on the lake in a rented boat. I think you need this day of rest. It's not easy to rest in Kathmandu.
April 8 - A short walk to the airport and a 17 minute domestic flight puts as back in Kathmandu and the comfy beds at Traditional Comfort.
April 9 - Either add another day to explore more of Kathmandu, or fly home. Most flights are in the evening. Although we will see several great attractions in Kathmandu on the first part of the trip, there is no way to see it all. An extra day visiting the city is nice as there are amazing temples and museums to visit.
April 10 - Fly Home. We recommend an extra day to see more of Kathmandu.
*Please note, we strongly recommend adding at least one day to the arrival time in Kathmandu to adjust for jetlag, and to provide a buffer for any unexpected travel delays.
The objective of a CLEAN DRINK trip is to first––do the people of Nepal a good service. But, that doesn't mean we can't have a ton of fun along the way. We have the ability to offer additional experiences during your trip to make it one to remember. Offered at additional cost, these are moments you will cherish for a lifetime:
- Helicopter flight to Annapurna Basecamp ($350)
- Mount Everest flightseeing tour ($225)
- Travel photography tour of Kathmandu ($75).* This fun opportunity requires an extra day added to your itinerary. You will be coached on the craft of capturing travel photos by a working professional photographer.
OUR GUIDE AND THE FOUNDER OF ALTITUDE RIDERS
To make all of this happen, we rely on the expertise of Vishu Sijali. The founder of Altitude Riders and Camp 7000, he has led trips for more than a decade. He has guided mountaineering expeditions to the summit of Everest, Ama Dablam, and other 8,000 meter peaks. He leads multi-week treks and has guided motorcycle rides in India and Tibet. He's very capable and nobody knows western Nepal any better.
It's very important to Vishu, and to CLEAN DRINK, that we do our best to stimulate the meager tourism industry in Western Nepal with home-stays and home-sourced meals. We will camp in some areas because home stays can be hard to find and we don't anyone sleeping in unclean conditions.
While in Kathmandu and Pokhara we will stay at two of the newest and most comfortable hotels in Nepal. Your comfort is our top priority.
At times we will eat at local homes and small restaurants. We have instructed Vishu to be mindful of our health and to select our food options carefully. Stomach illness is hard to avoid. We have ways to prepare for it.
EMERGENCIES AND RISKS
Everyone needs to understand how remote this part of the world is. There is no government help. There are no ambulances. You cannot have an accident. You cannot have an accident. We have professional rescue services in place in the event of an emergency and require all team members to purchase travel and rescue insurance.
We promise upfront to keep you as safe as possible. We will not ride at night. We will do our best to not have long hours in the saddle. We will ride roads that are as safe as possible. Speeds will be slow.
HOW TO JOIN THE TEAM
The official opening day to book your spot on this trip is November 1st. Spots usually fill up very quickly, but be ready. Please consult the Terms and Conditions page before commiting to a trip.
INCLUDED IN THE FARE
Hotel lodging in Kathmandu and Pokhara
Accommodation in home stays with some nights camping
All meals while in the remote areas
Ground Transportation to/from hotels
Two domestic flights within Nepal
All motorcycle and SUV rental fees and fuel
National Park permits ($175)
Guides, cooks, and support staff
Full day tour of Kathmandu with certified guid
NOT INCLUDED IN THE FARE
International airfare to Kathmandu
Lunches and dinners in Kathmandu (a minimal expense)
Entry fees to UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kathmandu
Visas to enter Nepal are acquired at the airport in Kathmandu on arrival and cost $20.
My recommended airlines go through the Middle East. We suggest Etihad and Qatar, but all will work and we can help with booking.
It is advisable to check with your doctor about vaccinations. Do get malaria pills as we will be near the lowlands of India.
Hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara will be booked through CLEAN DRINK, but we can assist if you would like to add extra days.
Make sure you have 6 months left on your passport expiration date!!!!!!!!
THE LAST MILE TEAM PORTAL: Once team members are officially signed onto the team, you will be given access to the LAST MILE TEAM PORTAL. This online resource includeds more than 30 informative blog posts about the project, traveling in Nepal, and preparing for the trip. You will be well informed, long before you board the plan.
We can't do our good-deeds without the financial means to do so. Fundraising is a critical part of our program. Clean water solutions simply cost money.
To help streamline our fundraising efforts, we have partnered with MSR Global Health and our fundraising campaign is hosted on their website. We will help every team member meet their target goal. Some may want to reach far beyond the $600 target. We also realize a few may fall short of that number. Clean Drink will help you hit your goal, but it is imparative we have the funds needed to help the people of Nepal.
QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, suggestions, or feedback. We're in a great possition to help a lot of people, but we need everyone's input to achieve the best possible results.
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org