PRE-BOOK YOUR SPOT
CLEAN DRINK NEPAL - April 5 - April 18, 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 will venture 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 and down into the fertile lowlands of the Terai. From there we'll visit corners of the country few if any other foriegners ever see.
It's not often you get to discover one of the most enchanting countries in the world while leaving behind a positive impact. Don't miss this chance to experience the thrill of a proper adventure while––doing good as you go.
If you think you want to join us, but your're still mulling it over, fill out the LAST MILE TEAM form. Can't wait to sign up? Well, you can get your name on the list, but we will officially start taking deposits and hard commitments on November 1st.
Our October trip filled up in less than 72 hours, so don't drag your feet.
$2,600 (EXCLUDING INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE)
DEPOSIT: $500 NON-REFUNDABLE*
*In the event you must cancel your trip, the deposit goes to the purchase of water purification units to advance the project.
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: $600
INTERESTED, BUT STILL NOT 100% SURE? FILL OUT THE LAST MILE TEAM APPLICATION. We will begin taking Deposits and firm Commitments on December 1st.
THE PROJECT OVERVIEW
In March of 2019 a small group of travelers will depart from the remote city of Nepalgunj on the Indian border in the low Terei region of Nepal. From there we will 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'll continue to push eastward towards some of the highest mountains in the Himalayas. 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.
- 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.
There are not many choices for motorbikes in Nepal. The Royal Enfield Bullet 300 is the most iconic machine of the Himalayas. It's built like a tank, but it rides like one, too. We will use Royal Enfield bikes simply because they're so tough. There will be a chance to possibly rent the new Royal Enfield Himalayan. Built for off-road riding, it might suit taller riders better and it can carry more gear more comfortably. That said, there is not an easier bike to ride than the old standard, the Bullet 300. You can duck-walk it through anything if you have to.
THE SUV OPTION
We are going to add two SUVs to the project. 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. The downside is the fact it's a slower mode of transportation. Nepal also requires a local driver, so it would be best if we put three people in the truck to entertain themselves so you don't spend ten days making small talk with a driver who likely speaks basic English. The truck will be able to access every location the bikes reach with only a couple exceptions, albeit minor. The SUV crew may have to walk into some homestays in the Mustang Valley.
April 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.
April 5- 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
April 6 - 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.
April 6 - 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.
April 7-10 - 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 11-14 - 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 15- 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 16 - 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 17 - 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 18 - Fly Home. We recommend an extra day to see more of Kathmandu.
ROAD AND RIDING CONDITIONS
This trip will require good riding skills and sharp attention to the road conditions. We'll cover 70% of our miles on gravel roads. Frankly, the gravel is often safer than the paved roads. While the roads are rough, rocky, and often muddy or loose, the speeds at which we ride are pretty slow. The difficulty comes in the form of fatigue from long days of bumpy roads on bikes with virtually no suspension. The only element that could be a bummer is mud. Not that it would be dangerous, but just very slow and messy. If you are concerned about the technical nature of the riding, we'll put you on a Bullet.
OUR GUIDE AND THE FOUNDER OF ALTITUDE RIDERS
To make all of this happen in April, we relied 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. He really believes in the MSR water project and is determined to conduct his tours in western Nepal to help bring tourism revenue to the people who live there. Keep in mind, in this area a family might earn $500 for the year.
It's very important to Vishu, and to me, that we do our best to stimulate the meager tourism industry in Western Nepal with home-stays and home-sourced meals. This gets pretty rough, but you'll meet amazing people and it goes a long way to helping to integrate the water systems. The kids you'll meet....be ready for some heartache when you say goodbye to their cute faces. We will camp in some areas because home stays can be hard to find and I don't want us sleeping in unclean conditions, which we did frequently in April. We will work out the cost of hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara which will be minimal. A fancy hotel in Kathmandu is $80.
At times we will eat at local homes and small restaurants. I 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. The best tactic is to avoid any risky foods. We will take a stove and can boil rice and cook noodles if it gets desparate. This is an issue I repeatedly address with Vishu because it is critical.
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. Anyone pushing limits, riding like a goofball, or putting themselves at risk isn't going to get a dress-down. We will politely put you in a car for a very long drive to Kathmandu.
I will 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 December 1st. Spots usually fill up very quickly, but be ready.
- Visas to enter Nepal are acquired at the airport in Kathmandu on arrival and cost $20.
- My recommended airlines go through the Middle East. I suggest Etihad and Qatar, but all will work.
- 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!!!!!!!!
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: email@example.com
Phone: 928-273-3754 - please don't hesitate to call at any time.