CLEAN DRINK NEPAL - May 1 - 15, 2019
The Ascent to Muktinath
BOOKING IS NOW OPEN!
Nestled high above the Mustang Valley towers a clutch of white and red buildings marking the monasteries of Jarkhot and Muktinath. These two ancient villages are the high point of our most extreme adventure. Starting at sea level along the Indian border, this trip slowly climbs over the course of ten days to an altitude of 12,000 feet. Even at that elevation, Muktinath is dwarfed by the surrounding Himalayas.
Not everyone is cut out for The Ascent to Muktinath. The roads leading up the Lower Mustang Valley are relentless, remote, and challenging. This adventure is not for the faint of heart and demands good riding skills, determination, and a can-do attitude. For those worthy of the journey, a visit to Muktinath is a once in a lifetime experience.
Given the nature of this expedition, we hand-pick our team members to ensure every traveler is up to the task. The lower portions of the journey are exciting, but the upper reaches visited in the final days are adventure in its purest form. And like all CLEAN DRINK ADVENTURES, this trip includes several days of do-good efforts.
PROJECTED IMPACT: 1,500+ PEOPLE provided ACCESS TO CLEAN DRINKING WATER
SPOTS AVAILABLE: 6 ON MOTORBIKES, 3 IN AN SUV (minimum 2 in SUV) We are flexible with the group configuration and size.
FUNDRAISING GOAL PER TEAM MEMBER: $750
Due to the complexity of this itinerary, we require a minimum of 6 total participants
THE PROJECT OVERVIEW
Our small group of travelers begins this journey in the southern portions of Nepal along 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 member 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 12 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: Lumbini in the Terai region of 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: 13
Seats available for the trip: 6 on motorbikes, 3 in a comfortable SUV
Total length of trip from airport to airport: 15 Days
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 an ideal 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 supply truck. The SUVs play a major role toting gear, but also items needed to get water systems integrated into villages. We rely on the SUV team to ensure the entire crew is sufficiently supported. We couldn’t do these trips without our team members in the truck.
May 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.
Day 1 - May 1 - All team members land in Kathmandu, some likely late in the evening. A driver will collect each team member as they arrive and deliver us to the Hotel Traditional Comfort for a nice rest in the center of town. Hotel fees are included in your trip fare. The Hotel Traditional Comfort is often a highlight for our team as the staff is like family.
Link to: Hotel Traditional Comfort
Day 2 - May 2 - 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. Our 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 our legs. Kathmandu is a must-see and it is good to do on arrival.
Day 3 - May 3 - After a short 60-minute domestic flight to Lumbini, we meet our head guide, Vishu Sijali, and his team, for the start of our journey. The first day will be short as everyone gets used to their motorbikes 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.
Days 4 through 6 - May 4 - 6 - These are important days within the trip. As we travel west we enter the Banke district of lowland Nepal. This area on the border of India is verdant, lush, and home to croccodiles, rhinos, wild elephants, monkeys, and Bengal tigers. We will camp amongst these exotic beasts on the edge of the Bardia National Park.
Aside from its natural treasures, this region is amongst the hardest hit by waterborne illnesses. Every year tens of thousands of people are taken ill by waterborne pathogens. Kids are the most at risk and die in vast numbers. Our water systems are vital tools they can use to stave off such tragic outcomes. We will spend several days in this region visiting schools and villages to place water systems as needed.
Because Nepali culture is so welcoming to guests, we’ll experience the warm hospitality of our local friends with song, dance, and other cultural exchanges.
Day 7 - May 7 - We begin our journey north with a special visit to one of our CLEAN DRINK communities. The small group home in Butwal is a highlight of our journey. There we visit our friends living in a small compound for people with disabilities and children without parents. Their cheery hospitality is good fuel for the rest of our travels.
Day 8 through 12 - May 8 - 12 - These are exciting days on the road as we work our way higher into the Himalayas. We slowly travel into the Mustang Valley under the towering peaks of Dhualagiri and Annapurna, two of the tallest mountains in the world. Our high point is the ancient village of Muktinath.
Day 13 - May 13 - In Pokhara we'll stay at a luxury resort and rest our tired bones. The next day we will enjoy a stroll along the lake front prior to our late afternoon flight back to Kathmandu and the comfy beds at the Hotel Traditional Comfort.
Day 14 - May 14 - Most of our members will elect to fly out late in the evening, but a few will add an extra day or two to explore more of Kathmandu or take in a flight to see Mount Everest and the entire span of the high Himalayas. Our travels by this point will have been rewarding but taxing. An extra day is a nice respite before the long trip home.
Day 15 - May 15 - The team flies home, or if they want more time to explore, can hit the town of KTM for more adventure!
*The above itinerary was carefully planned, but Nepal loves to foil a good plan. Please know that landslides, construction, and other variables may require changes, some of them significant. We will however maintain the start and end dates as well as the general theme of the trip. The details may require flexibility but we will always deliver the best experience possible.
*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:
- Mount Everest flightseeing tour ($225)
- Travel photography tour of Kathmandu We can facilitate quick access to many of the most picturesque places in Kathmandu to get images of Hindu babas, Buddhist monks, or locals in markets and shops. Any photo assets you lack by this point in the trip we can capture in short order.
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 some meals. We will camp in most 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.
Food safety is of paramount concern for our crew. We are proud to have one of the most experienced expeditionary cooking teams in the country. Our head cook and his staff have worked for some of the most illustrious expedition outfits in Nepal. They have cooked for Everest summit teams and know how to present local cuisine. Nepal’s food is delicious and our roving kitchen crew knows how to present it safely and comfortably. Sit-down dinners are fully served by our staff in family style. You certainly won’t starve and you will get a true taste of Nepal.
EMERGENCIES AND RISKS
Everyone needs to understand how remote this part of the world is. There is limited government help. There are few 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.
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, so be ready. Please consult the Terms and Conditions page before committing to a trip.
The sign-up form will appear on this page at midnight on November 1st.
INCLUDED IN THE FARE
Hotel lodging in Kathmandu and Pokhara
Accommodation in home stays with most nights camping
All meals while in the remote areas provided by experienced expedition cooks
Ground Transportation to/from hotels
Two domestic flights within Nepal
All motorcycle and SUV rental fees and fuel
Trained mechanic and full support staff
National Park permits ($175)
Full day tour of Kathmandu with certified guide
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
Alcoholic beverages and optional meals
Visas to enter Nepal are acquired at the airport in Kathmandu on arrival and cost $25.
Our 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. Please get malaria prevention medication 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 beyond your arrival 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 $750 target. Clean Drink will help you hit your goal, but it is imperative we have the funds needed to help the people of Nepal.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions and for more information email: email@example.com
All CLEAN DRINK ADVENTURE and CLEAN DRINK FUND trips will specify a dedicated date when firm booking commitments are accepted. If you have questions about a trip or how to secure your place on that departure, please contact our office. On the day the bookings open, the limited spots may fill quickly, so be ready to book on–the day of registration. Booking is largely arranged on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Official booking requests must be submitted on the CLEAN DRINK LAST MILE TEAM form which will be made available on the day booking opens. To be notified of that date in advance, it is advised you complete the pre-booking LAST MILE TEAM FORM.
1) Wait for the booking date to open for your preferred trip. Booking dates typically open 5-6 months prior to trip departure.
2) Fill out the booking form immediately on or after the booking opens. The booking form for this trip will appear on this page.
3) Our office will contact you if we can accommodate you on the trip.
4) Secure your spot with the payment of a deposit.