Browsing "Travel"

Iquest Chadar Trek A grand Success

After Enduring the Harsh weather conditions with Tempratures dipping to less then -30 Degrees C, our team completed the trek with a smile

 

The trek held in January had 13 members in our team ,   it was a mix of seasoned trekkers and  beginners , the Pre trek briefings ,  and regular updates , kept the mood upbeat , and helped our team members   a lot ,

 

IMG_8647 IMG_8726 IMG_8738 IMG_8782

Thailand : something more to know

THAILAND  a True international destination

 

The Kingdom of Thailand is an independent country that lies in the heart of Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Laos and Myanmar, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and Myanmar. 

The capital and largest city of Thailand is Bangkok. It is also the country’s center of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities. In Thai, the city is referred to as “Krung Thep”, meaning “City of Angels”. 

 

Thailand is the world’s 51st-largest country in terms of total area, roughly equal in size to Spain, with a surface area of approximately 513,000 km2 (198,000 sq mi), and the 20th most-populous country, with approximately 63 million people. About 75% of the population is ethnically Thais, 14% are of Chinese origin, and 3% is ethnically Malay, the rest belong to minority groups including Mons, Khmers, and various hill tribes. The country’s official language is Thai.

 

Thailand is one of the most devoutly Buddhist countries in the world. The national religion is Theravada Buddhism, which is practiced by more than 95% of all Thais. 

 

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the ninth king of the House of Chakri, as the ruling monarch. The King has reigned for more than half a century, making him the longest reigning Thai monarch and the longest reigning current monarch in the world. The King is recognized as the Head of State, the Head of the Armed Forces, the Upholder of the Buddhist religion, and the Defender of the Faith. 

 

Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been ruled by a European power. However, during the Second World War, and while claiming neutrality, Thailand was occupied by the armed forces of the Empire of Japan who built the infamous ‘Death Railway’.

 

Cambodia : The Land of beautiful mystries

We at Iquest Adventures  Strive to bring  Memorable and responsible experiences  through all our ventures ,

A peek into Cambodia  ….  to help you  design your next  escape….

 

Cambodia

Country in Asia

Cambodia is a Southeast Asian nation whose landscape spans low-lying plains, the Mekong Delta, mountains and Gulf of Thailand coastline. Its busy capital, Phnom Penh, is home to the art deco Central Market, glittering Royal Palace and the National Museum’s historical and archaeological exhibits. In the country’s northwest lie ruins of Angkor Wat, a massive stone temple complex built during the Khmer Empire.

A citizen of Cambodia is usually identified as “Cambodian” or “Khmer,” though the latter strictly refers to ethnic Khmers. Most Cambodians are Theravada Buddhists of Khmer extraction, but the country also has a substantial number of predominantly Muslim Cham, as well as ethnic Chinese, Vietnamese and small animist hill tribes.

 

The country borders Thailand to its west and northwest, Laos to its northeast, and Vietnam to its east and southeast. In the south it faces the Gulf of Thailand. The geography of Cambodia is dominated by the Mekong river and the Tonlé Sap lake, an important source of fish.

 

Agriculture has long been the most important sector of the Cambodian economy, with around 59% of the population relying on agriculture for their livelihood (with rice the principal crop). Garments, tourism, and construction are also important.

 

Tourism in CambodiaSiem ReapBattambang Province The tourism industry is the country’s second-greatest source of hard currency after the textile industry. 

Tourism has been one of Cambodia’s triple pillar industries. The Angkor Wat historical park in Siem Reap province, the beaches in Sihanoukville and the capital city Phnom Penh are the main attractions for foreign tourists.

Cambodia’s tourist souvenir industry employs a lot of people around the main places of interest. Obviously, the quantity of souvenirs that are produced is not sufficient to face the increasing number of tourists and a majority of products sold to the tourists on the markets are imported from China, Thailand and Vietnam.Some of the locally produced souvenirs include:

  • Krama (traditional scarf)
  • Ceramic works
  • Soap, candle, spices
  • Wood carving, lacquerware, silverplating
  • Painted bottles containing infused rice wine

There are many temples around Cambodia to see. Both men and women should make sure to have their shoulders and knees covered – and head uncovered – when entering the temples out of respect.

  • Explore the Cardamom mountains for jungle trekking and waterfalls. Walk in S.E. Asia’s largest mangrove forest. Hang out on white sand beaches, all in Koh Kong
  • Laze on the beach in Sihanoukville.
  • Enjoy the river and peace in Kampot
  • Visit the temples of Angkornear Siem Reap
  • Get far off the beaten track with a motorcycle tour which will take you into some of the most remote parts of the country.
  • Visit the Royal Palace, National Museum and Toul Sleng Museum In Phnom Penh
  • Enjoy one of the last natural Island, Rabbit Island of Kep
  • Koh Rong, Sihanoukville (5hrs by boat from Sihanoukville). The islands of Cambodia are what Thailand was 15 years ago. Currently, Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloeum are the only islands accessible to the public with any development. Koh Rong, the bigger of the two, has a growing backpacker presence but, to date (December 2014), still has 78 sq. kms of jungle, 30 untouched beaches, 4 fishing villages, and fewer than 10 bungalow guesthouses. Koh Rong Samloeum is just as beautiful as its bigger cousin, but quieter and less developed and caters more to mid-range tourists.

CITIES TO SEE

  • Phnom Penh— the capital
  • Banlung— far northeastern provincial capital located near some great waterfalls and national parks
  • Battambang— the second biggest town of Cambodia
  • Kampot— town between the capital and Sihanoukville and gateway to the Bokor National Park
  • Koh Kong— small border crossing town near the Thai border
  • Kompong Thom— access to less well known (and less crowded) ancient temples and other sites
  • Kratie— relaxed river town in the north-east on the Mekong, and an excellent place to get a close look at endangered river dolphins
  • Siem Reap— the access point for Angkor Wat
  • Sihanoukville— seaside town in the south, also known as Kompong Som

DESTINATIONs TO SEE

  • Angkor Archaeological Park— home of the imposing ruins of ancient Khmer civilization
  • Bokor National Park— ghostly former French hill resort
  • Kampong Cham— nice countryside village on the Mekong river and good place to meet real Cambodia
  • Kep— a seaside area which pre-dates Sihanoukville as the main beach resort in Cambodia; slowly being re-discovered by travellers
  • Krek— a small village on the backpacker trail between Kratie and Kampong Cham
  • Koh Ker— more ancient ruins, north of Angkor
  • Poipet— gritty border town that most overland visitors to Angkor pass through
  • Preah Vihear— cliff-top temple pre-dating Angkor
  • Tonle Sap Lake— huge lake with floating villages and Southeast Asia’s premier bird sanctuary

CYCLING TOUR

  • The countries of Southeast Asia are greatly diverse. With improved travel links, multi-country cycling is a popular way to explore the ancient and modern wonders of the region. On our multi-country tours, you’ll explore historic temples, relax on spectacular beaches, experience buzzing cities, and cycle among the best biking tour guides deep into the SE Asian countryside.
  • We at Iquest Adventures genuinely believe that cycling through a region for the first time with a group of like-minded people is the best way to experience Asia. Our aim is to provide you with the opportunity to meet new people, learn about new cultures, experience different landscapes and, most importantly, to have some fun. 
  • Cycling is a major part of our trips – they are cycle tours after all. All of our tours accommodate the preferences of the participating cyclists. Different trips will require varying degrees of physical ability. Specific details on terrain, cycling conditions, distances covered each day and altitude will be discussed prior to your biking adventure.
  • Remember, we’re here to make your Indochina experience the best it can be. We understand that while biking allows unique access to the countryside, it can also be tiring! All of our trips are fully supported, We design each tour to allow you the opportunities and time to appreciate the environment, scenery and culture around you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIETNAM OVERVIEW

The natural landscape of Vietnam ranges from the fertile, green paddy fields of the Mekong Delta in the south, to long stretches of sandy beaches along the coastal area, with highlands and mountains in the north. A warm and friendly people will welcome you as you explore quiet villages and bustling cities and experience a unique blend of rich heritage and modern tourist facilities. 

 

About Vietnam:

  • Official name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
  • Population: 90,730,000 (estimated 2014)
  • Capital city: Hanoi (6 million); Ho Chi Minh City (8 million)
  • Area: 332,698 km2
  • Administrative units: Vietnam is divided into 64 provinces and cities. 
  • Weather: Sub-tropical climate with four seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) in the North and two seasons (dry and rainy) in the south.
  • Time zone: GMT +7
  • Religion: Buddhism, Christianity, Catholicism, Islam, Hoa Hao, Cao Dai
  • Currency: The Vietnamese Dong (VND) is the official currency. 

 

Cycling in Vietnam:

Vietnam has become one of the best destination for cycling tours in Indochina.Hanoi, it’s charming capital, has a lot of character of Vietnam with its old building where Ho Chi Minh City is modern and bustling. Combine with Hanoi, it is truly a good discovery by bicycle to Sapa and Halong Bay. From Hanoi, it is worth to have a beach break in the central part of Hoi An, and the other two old towns of Hue and Danang before heading to Ho Chi Minh City.  Exploring Mekong Delta on bike is one of the best trip in Vietnam to see the lives of the people along the Mekong River and take the boat trip in Chau Doc. Vientam Cycling also offer combination cycling trips Thailand to Vietnam through Cambodia, and Laos. It is worth to visit Indochina on bike.

 

Vietnam’s number of visitors for tourism and vacation has increased steadily over the past ten years. The government and private enterprises are investing capital into the coastal regions that are already popular for their beaches and boat tours. Besides those regular tours, Vietnam is perhaps one of the best countries for cycling vacations. It gives travellers more chances to see the countryside and experience local life, compared with other methods of travel.

Popular destinations include: Hanoi, Saigon, Phong Nha, Hue (the old imperial capital), World Heritage Sites like Hoi An and the Cham temples of Mỹ Sơn, the coastal city of Nha Trang, the caves of Ha Long Bay, the Marble Mountains, and the Mekong Delta.

 

 

contact us at +9448476683

Secretarybird

secretary

 

Secretarybird is the  large bird of prey that lives in the Sub-Saharan Africa. Secretarybird usually inhabits savannas and open grasslands which enable fast identification of the potential prey. Other than that, secretarybirds can be found in semi-deserts, forests and farmlands. Secretarybirds are threatened by habitat loss due to increased agriculture and urban development. Luckily, number of secretarybirds in the wild is large and they are not on the list of endangered species.

 

Interesting Secretarybird Facts:

  • Secretary bird can reach 4 to 5 feet in height and 5 to 9 ½ pounds of weight.
  • Upper part of the body is grey in color. Bottom side of the body and flight feathers are black. Facial skin is orange-red in color, and the beak is bluish-grey. Long, erect black feathers form crest on the back side of the neck.
  • Researchers used to believe that name “secretarybird” originates from 19th century when male secretaries wore quills in their wigs (similar in appearance with crest of secretarybird). More likely, name “secretarybird” originates from Arabic word “saqu ettair” which means “hunter-bird”.
  • Secretarybird has wingspan of 7 feet. These birds rarely fly even though they are proficient in the air. They fly with the help of warm air currents to preserve energy.
  • Secretarybirds have extremely long legs that are covered with scales. Scales prevent injuries that may result from the movement across the rough terrain.
  • Unlike other raptors, secretarybirds look for the food by walking on the ground. They can travel a distance of 20 miles each day.
  • Secretarybirds are carnivores (meat-eaters). Their diet consists of snakes and other reptiles, insects and rodents.
  • Secretarybirds apply two methods to kill their prey. They will either stab the prey with the beak or stomp the victim until it is dead. Secretarybirds swallow the prey in one piece.
  • Secretarybirds are territorial animals. They occupy territory of around 19 square miles.
  • Secretarybirds are loud animals that produce croaks, whistles, groans and clucks. They vocalize during the courtship, when they are threatened or as a sign of aggression toward other males.
  • Besides humans, natural enemies of secretarybirds are hawks, large snakes and carnivorous mammals.
  • Mating takes place throughout the whole year and reaches the peak during the spring and summer. Female produces couple of broods per year when the food is abundant.
  • Both parents build nest out of the sticks and leaves. Nest is usually 8 feet wide and located on the acacia tree. Female lays 1 to 3 eggs that will hatch after incubation period of 42 to 46 days.
  • Both parents take care of the eggs and young chicks. Secretarybirds regurgitate swallowed food to feed their chicks. At the age of 40 days, young birds will start to eat small animals. They will leave the nest for the first time at the age of 12 weeks.
  • Secretarybird can survive up to 20 years in captivity.

 

HIMALAYAN TREKKING EXPEDITION TO EVEREST BASE CAMP NEPAL

Mount Everest is one of the most recognizable mountains in the world. Every year hundreds of people attempt to reach its summit. People from around the world are captivated by its height – some 8848 meters above sea level – and the adventurous, driven, mountain climbers who take it on embody the physical and mental extremes that test human capabilities.

In 1865, Waugh proposed that the Royal Geographical Society should name the mountain after his predecessor George  “Everest” because it was too difficult to pronounce its Hindi name.

The Nepalese call the mountain Sagarmatha, or “goddess of the sky”, whereas the Tibetans call it Chomolungma or “mother goddess of the universe”.

It is to Be led by a Highly experienced  Mountaineering Leader and supported by well experienced Guides and  Friendly Staff.

 

images

Dates  : 11th  April to 25th April 2015.

Type of Trek   : Moderate  to  Tough

Highest point             : 18200 ( Kalapathar)

Focus  : Culture, Mountaineering, Trekking, Ecology, photography , Mt              g                                                                        Everest view and other big peaks.

DAY 01: 11th April 2015

Arrival Kathmandu. you will be met by our support staff and transferred to the hotel in Kathmandu. Remainder of the day can be spent resting, shopping and sightseeing. You are on your own for the evening.

 

DAY 02: 12th April 2015

This morning, with our Kathmandu tour guide will meet us. Today we will be taken on tour to Durbar Market and the Monkey Temple, TIMS card  and return to the hotel for the afternoon where you will be on your own for relaxing, last minute shopping, packing etc.

DAY 03: 13th April 2015

06:00hrs we meet in the lobby for coach transfer to the airport for our 40-minute flight to Lukla. Upon arrival we will meet our sherpa team ( if you choose sherpa service), for today’s journey to Phakding.

 

DAY 04: 14th April 2015.

Early morning starts in the Khumbu Valley. Rise around 7, bags packed and ready for your porters to collect from your rooms. Breakfast around 7:30 and on the trail at 8. this days trek is to Namche Bazaar

 

Day 05: 15th April 2015

No rush this morning. No need to pack as you will spend one more night here. Today is acclimatization day. You will trek only 1 hour up to the Sherpa villages of Kunde and Khumjung.  Or visit the world famous everest view hotel. Acclimatization walk is very important at this stage

 

Day 06: 16th  April 2015

Back on schedule with the 7:00 start. Today you will find to be very exciting as you officially make your journey up the Everest valley. Walking for about 5 hours directly underneath majestic peaks with Mt. Everest in the distance , we break at tengboche

 

Day 07: 17th April 2015

Just as amazing as sunset is from this location, so is sunrise. Be sure your camera is loaded during your time in Tengboche.  Today we trek to dingboche

 

Day 08: 18th April 2015

Today take in the acclimatization hike  so have a relaxed day

 

Day 09: 19th April 2015

The trail climbs to Phalang Karpa at 4340 meters then Dugla (lunch stop) at 4620 meters before reaching Loboche at 4930 meters.

 

Day 10: 20th April 2015

Trek for a few hours and reach Gorekshep and rest for the day.

 

Day 11: 201st April 2015

Up early 3:30 am as we head to Kalapatthar for  the beautiful  view of  Mt Everest with the glow from rising sun.  Get back to gorek shep  and  after a small rest break head to the  Everest Base camp  we return to Gorek shep and  relax .

 

Day 12: 22nd April 2015

Today retrace our tracks back to Lukla. Our first stop is Pheriche, stay in a lodge.

 

Day 13: 23rd April 2015

Trek to Namche Bazaar. We are warming up now and the air is getting richer which seems to energize everyone. Upon arrival in Namche enjoy Cappuccino and fresh baking at the local bakery. A nice treat after several days on the dusty trail

 

Day 14: 24th April 2015

Trek to Lukla-stay in a lodge and enjoy a farewell dinner from the Everest region.

 

Day 15: 25th April 2015

Fly to Kathmandu- end of trek.

 

Day 16

Buffer Day

 

Day 17 end of the expedition , good byes  and drop off at the airport.

 

One can extend the stay and explore  KTM  and around, do some adventure activities etc.

 

Cost : 42500/- excluding taxes

 

 

 

Age Group

16  And above

 

Minimum number of participants

06

 

Cost Includes

  • Accommodation. (Guest house, Home
  •        stay, Camping).
  •  Meals while on trek (Veg.+ Egg).
  •  Trek equipments (Sleeping bag,
  •        mattress, Kitchen & dinning tent,
  •        crampon, utensils, tent).
  •  All necessary permits and entry fees.
  •  First aid medical kits.
  •  Mountaineering qualified &
  •        professional trek Leader, guide and
  •        Support staff.
  •  Transport from Kathgodam to
  •         Loharjung and return.
  •  Staff Insurance.

 

Cost Excludes:

  •  Any kind of personal expenses.
  •  Food during the transit. Or travel
  •  Insurance.
  •  Mules or porter to carry personal
  •       luggage.
  •  Anything not specifically mentioned
  •       under the head.
  • Porters can be arranged to carry        your rucksack approx 250/- per bag, per day.

Cancellation Charges:

Up to 24 Days             :- 95% of cost will be refund.

Between 14-24 Day    :- 70% of cost will be refund.

Between 14-10 Days  :- 50% of cost will be refunded.

Less than 10 Days      :- No refund

 

  • No Refunds on cancellations   , or not attending the event or if the Participant has to leave During any point of the event.
  • No refunds will be made if the program gets cancelled due to Unavoidable  circumstances out of the control of the organizers like Natural calamities,  bundh’s, strikes , etc.
  • Non-Indians will have to bear extra cost wherever applicable .
  • Registration Form, Risk Certificate & Packing list, will be emailed and a Detailed pre-briefing on the Expedition will be done to All Confirmed Participants.
  • Book with Full amount or 15,000/- Before August 23rd and the balance by 5th September. Payments Details on request.

Register now:

Contact   Sunand Sampath

Mobile:  +91 9448476683

Email:  contact@iquestindia.com

Website:  www.iquestindia.com

Few interesting facts on Mt Kilimanjaro…

Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest summit at 5895 meters tall (19,341 feet). Kilimanjaro is a giant dormant stratovolcano, famous for its glacial cap and wide biodiversity, particularly its cloud forest. Montane ocotea forests cover the wet southern slope, cassipourea and juniperus forests on the dry northern slope, and subalpine Erica forests at the highest elevations above 4000 meters

1. A German missionary by the name of Johannes Rebmann is considered to be the discoverer of Mount Kilimanjaro in 1848 when he explored the lower scopes and sent the Royal Geographical Society his findings, including a description of a snow-capped summit. The experts of those times doubted the real possibility of a snow-capped mountain situated near the equator.

2. In 1889, the very first successful summit occurred and it took about six weeks in comparison to today when an average climber can do it in five or six days.

3. Many of the camps located on the mountain commercialize beer.

4. The mountain stretches 5,895 meters into the sky, making it the world’s tallest free-standing mountain and at the same time, the highest point in all Africa.

5. The snow caps are rapidly diminishing. In comparison to 1912, it lost over 80% of its mass mostly because of the climate changes (global warming). By 2020, it is estimated that they will be entirely gone.

6. On June 29, 2009, eight blind climbers made it to the top of the mountain in a struggle to raise money for 52 blind children in Arizona.

7. The first person to climb the mountain in a wheelchair is South African Bernard Goosen. He did it twice; first in 2003 and it took him nine days and the second time in 2007 when it took him only six days.

8. Author of the legendary Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, famed humorist Douglas Adams, ran up to the mountain dressed in a rhinoceros suit.

9. The mountain is in fact a massive strato-volcano, formed by repeated lava flow. It has three volcanic cones, two of them being extinct while the third one, Kibo, is the highest point on the mountain and is dormant.

10. Justin Timberlake, Kenna and Lupe Fiasco are planning to climb the mountain to raise awareness for the worldwide water crisis.

11. There are six different ecological systems on the mountain, as follows: cultivated land, rainforest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and arctic summit.

12. On the lower scopes coffee is grown and is considered a major export.

13. Famous writer Ernest Hemingway wrote a short story where he captured the beauties of the mountain in the following passage describing the mountain “…as wide as all the world, great, high and unbelievably white in the sun”- he named it “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”.

14. The vast majority of the porters are hired from villages that are near the mountain. They earn between $3 – $6 / day (without tips). They carry almost all the luggage on their heads.

15. Per year, more than 20,000 people try to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

16. Climbers can take up the mountain by following one of the six established routes.

Marangu Route is considered to be the most popular one.
17. Each year, almost 10 people die trying to climb the mountain.

18. A porter from the very first successful summit lived up to see the 100th celebration of the climb. He was 118 years old at that time.

19. The oldest person that successfully climbed the mountain was Valtee Daniel, aged 87.

20. It is approximated that out of every 1,000 tons of water that trickles down the mountain, 400 are directly from ice caps.

HIMALAYAN TREKKING EXPEDITION TO DZONGRI- SIKKIM

 

Dzongry

Established by a strong group of Professionals, iQuest Adventures is committed to producing adventurous challenges, professional events and learning programs that are fused with our unique brand of fun and creativity.

 

Over the years, our team has become one of India’s Leading Adventure Companies by providing excellent customer service, a trustworthy standard of safety, and above all, by bringing a pioneering vision to the activities we feel so passionate about.

 

The dzongri trek takes you up-close for a spectacular view amidst a majestic panorama of the Himalayan giants within its range of mountains.

 

It’s a beautiful journey  through  a very spectacular  range of  Mountains Meadows ,  This trek is suitable for first timers, beginners and those with less holidays

9th to 16th November 2014

ARRIVAL AT  Bagdogra ON 9th Nov, 2014.

Day 1

Arrive at Bagdogra in the morning & depart to Yuksam. Arrive in Yuksam by evening & check into hotel

Day 2

Explore Yuksam & get acclimatized to clean air

Day 3

Trek to Bakkim or Tshoka

Day 4

Tshoka to Dzongri

Day 5

Dzongri Acclimatizing Day

Day 6

Dzongri to Tshoka

Day 7

Tshoka to Yuksum

Day 8

Yuksum to NJP or bagdogra

 

Cost:-

Rs. 17,000/- Service Tax Extra

 

Age Group:-

15 and above

Minimum number of participants : 10 nos.

Cost Includes:-

● Highly experienced, Leaders, High Altitude Guides, Cooks and support Staff

● Transportation [Train, Jeep & local transportations]

 ● Accommodation [hotels when in city, during the trek in tents on sharing basis]

● Food [3 Veg meals a day, tea/coffee, Snacks

● Porters and Yaks [ruck sacks will be carried by porters and yaks

● Trekker needs to carry the day pack with minimal must haves]

● Certificates and expedition t-shirts

 

Cost Excludes:-

  • All the personal expenses like drinks, tips etc.
  • ● Cost of any form of insurance, rescue, evacuation, hospitalization, etc.
  • Travel fare up to Kolkatta and Back (iQuest can assist in getting reservations for travel)

Register now  : Contact

Sunand sampath : +91 9448476683

Email : contact@iquestindia.com

Website:  www.iquestindia.com

 

Iquest Adventures Annapurna Circuit Trek , Nepal… An expedition with a difference

Education  and mountaineering are in so many ways connected …  both lead to a more peaceful way of life , more understanding and self awareness ,  and  both have their own share of hurdles , challenges and summits to be reached , both  are  addictive , both are explorative.…

cover image

The Rotary Club  has taken a huge and gigantic step towards its mission to eradicate illiteracy  in South Asia,  one of its Major project TEACH  which stands for  ‘Teacher empowerment, E-Learning, Adult-Literacy, Child Development  and Happy school’ ,  is an initiative to eradicate  Illiteracy from the face of South Asia.

Iquest Outdoor leadership and Adventure consultants one of the leading mountaineering Organizations  took up this cause  to spread awareness through the Annapurna Circuit Trekking expedition .

Below is an account on our trek which is rightly counted among the top 10 treks in the world.

Some circuits are complete only when there is a soul flowing in it .   and when complete it creates  a sense of enlightenment …

Such is the Annapurna circuit trek ……..

The mighty Himalayas offers  life  in all its  forms ,  every aspect , every element  is  so positive ,  vibrant  with  diverse cultures , rituals , values ,

This circuit had been evading me for quite some time  and  we were in two minds  on selecting the major trail for this season , until…  I remember on a casual talk with Hemant  that we decided that Annapurna circuit trek it is .

And with it started the preparations,

Hemant , Sabina and Yogita  already having  experienced in High altitude Himalayan expeditions   were more then ready  and eager for this expedition ,   For Varun  it had been a dream to Trek in the Himalayas  although an ardent nature lover  he was always instrumental in promoting outdoors  from his college days  itself. It was to make a decision based on his work availability etc ,  Varun  convinced Sri also residing  in Dubai for whom too it was a not so difficult decision to make   inspite ofholding major responsibilities at work

All the participants  were leaders in their own respective professions,

Being  a leader of this trekking expedition was a special  occasion  for me  for many reasons . Hemant was the deputy Leader  as he too had a lot of mountain experience .

An air of excitement at Iquest adventures as this was the first time we were organizing an expedition to the Annapurna region ,   Although Nepal  is not new to us  having organized  many expeditions to the Everest Base camp since 2007…

Kathmandu  the meeting point    I would say the melting point   as most tourists  land here and  disperse into thin air  for some Himalayan indulgence ….

With Varun and Sri arriving from Dubai  and Hemant , Yogita and Sabina   arriving from Bangalore and Mumbai via delhi ,   and their flights separated by just about less then an hour , It became easy for me to receive  them at the  Airport with traditional garlands.

As is a norm with me to reach the base city a day or two in advance  and look into some prior arrangements , this time too I was in Kathmandu 2 days before others arrived .

Thamel — about 20 minutes drive  from the Airport ,   always hustling with activities , shops selling everything a tourist would need  both services and goods ,   this tourist ghetto is most popular for expedition teams to stay  and so did we ,

With so many restaurant options, cafes, most places offering free wi-fi , different variety of food to try from , one doesn’t take long for  some global indulgence or local  experience…

We take one day off before the trek starts  so we can  do final  purchases required for the trek ,   and this involves running up and down the streets of thamel , bargaining ,  choosing the right  material ,  ofcourse  taking permits is also the important task for the day ,

With many restaurants playing live music we decided to choose one randomly  for the dinner   and we decide to hit the bed after our final packing and separating the dump kit that would remain in Kathmandu,

 

Day 1

An early morning  awaits us to start our journey  , we head to Bishishahar  from where we plan to  take a local jeep to reach our first  village  sachi   ,  it takes  us  a whole 8 hoiurs to reach this village ,  and we encounter some heavy rains , hail , during the jeep ride along the beautiful Marsyangdi River … we reach syange located at 1400 mtrs  and stay there   that’s the starting point of our trek    ,

Day 2

Chame to dharopani  at an altitude  of 1920 mtrs

At this point I would make a short mention on The LNT ( Leave No Traces ) principles

  1. 1.       Plan Ahead and Prepare

2.       2 Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

3.       Dispose of Waste Properly

4.       Leave What You Find

5.       Minimize Campfire Impacts

6.       Respect Wildlife

7.       Be Considerate of Other Visitors

 

 

Dharapani a beautiful village belongs to the Gandaki zone of Manang  district..  it is the continuation of the trail  that gradually climbs  uphill…

2

 

 

1 3

Dharapani to Chame

 

We start  this day  with a gradual trek through forests and tree line towards  chame

Chame is a unique village  with distinct structures  also the district head quarters of Manang .

Chame is at an altitude of 2630 Mtrs  and this day we get stunning views of the Annapurna ranges , the snow clad peaks ,  the ridges give an extra  pack of energy  to move ahead .

 

4

 

5

6

Day 4

Chame to Upper  pisang   –  this day involves a relatively long trek of about 15 kms approx , gaining altitude gradually ,  Upper Pisang at an altitude of 3310 Mtrs  has quaint old-school lodging and an active Tibetan Buddhist Monastery worth visiting for the Sunset and Sunrise chants. And an amazing spectacular view of the surrounding  mountains and landscapes. Furthermore, the villages along the upper trail are full of character and the views along the trail are perhaps the best of the whole circuit , it takes a little extra effort to take this trail  as there is an alternative trail to continue the trek  , however I strongly recommend this trail  and a visit to this  place .. when there  do try the Tibetan tea.   .

7     24

IMG_9561

 

IMG_9585

 11

Day 5

 

Pisang to manang  —  at this point of the expedition we are getting into the High altitude zone  which means  managing  acclimatization  is the key,  A few tips  for proper acclimatization are as follows

 

  1. Hydrate  properly
  2. Enough sleep during night and active during  day
  3. Slow and gradual gain in altitude
  4. Enough rest and acclimatization days
  5. Checking health and look for symptoms in the initial stages itself .
  6. Good appetite, healthy food  is very important.
  7. A very positive mental state  is a must. Humor helps…
  8. Follow the basic rules ‘climb high sleep low ‘

 

The trek from Pisang to Manang  is the continuation  of the previous days trek  similar terrain  one can expect some snowfall or rain, so be prepared  ,  the  views change  after every small  distance

 

Manang  is a lovely town  and is well established to  Himalayan standards, it has video parlors, Bakeries offering delightful  bakery items ranging fro apple crumbles to pizzas, cakes and  various english delights,

 

A place where the trekker gets a much needed break  and gets ready for the second phase of the big expedition  which is more tough and  goes higher ,

 

17 23  25  22

Day 5

Manangthis is a rest day  and I recommend an acclimatization walk  to the Lake and  the high  point  we gain an altitude of about  100 mtrs and come back to our  tea house ,  trekkers  are adviced to drink lot of fluids , soups ,  etc .   there is a health check up[ point ,  and the Himalayan association runs regular talks  on High altitude  awareness , one can alsop visit the museum  there which showcases the local life style and  a glimpse of its history and culture. .

12

Day 7

Manang to Yak katka – Yak khatka is at 4200 mtrs  a very tiny village   and not a distant trail ,  it has only about 4 tea houses   a few prayer wheels ,  but this could be an important stop considering acclimatization process and is advisable to stay over ….

 

Day 8

Yak katka to torung phedi at this point we are on the snow line  at 4500Mtrs thorung phedi which is the base camp for the final push to the pass  ,  the short distance may take about 4 hours of trek ,  a narrow trail at places gets dangerous with falling stones and splinters , the trekkers are advised to be extra cautious  during this  trail ,  thorung phedi has a Helipad for emergency evac  facilities .   here we have an early lunch    and followed by an early dinner  and all move to our respective cabins  to prepare for the  early morning push the next day .    a cold night  awaits ….

13

 

Day 9

 

Thorung la   this is the longest and toughest day of this whole expedition ,  an extra layer of thermal  wear , comes into play before sleep , and most warm gear   are mainly for this  days hike ,  head gear, gloves , wind stoppers , goretex, etc etc … the list is big …

 

We plan to wake up at 3 am  get ready by 3:30 am have  a cup of tea , pack cinnamon rolls and a few boiled eggs , fill the bottles with water, head-lamps  light up our trail ,  and  at 3:45 am we start our  climb  slowly and gradually  a steep  incline is negotiated   and in about  3 hours we reach the high camp  at 4850 mtrs … a small rest and we continue  our trek landscape changes into a snow  terrain ,  what looks like never ending sheet of snow laid of the mountains , sometime slippery , sometime shallow ,  sometime deep ,  many times funny and frustrating to many a  hikers ….

 

Utmost care is to be taken while trekking in these  terrains …   with a focus on the  highest  point of thorung la   we keep moving , slowly and steadily  one step at a time , some trekkers complain of headaches ,  tiredness etc   this is very common  and the relief is  after a while its just descend ,

 

The snow line remains for quite some time  offering  surreal views  of the surrounding mountains ,  the formations ,  the clouds ,  everything falls in its own place very elegantly .    although one is adviced to wear UV protection glasses to avoid  over exposure to Glare from sunlight .

 

The Highest point at 5400 mtrs   looks like a big relief   there is a mark  where one can pose for photographs  tie Tibetan  prayer flags  take some rest  it seems like the toughest part is over … but hang on.  the  descend is  not yet over …  the trek must go on …   usually descend is more risky when compared to asends  and more accidents happen while descends ,    my team  descend  slowly  care is taken at the  snow filled terrain  as we do not use crampons and ice axe  which is not needed  here.

 

The descend  is to an altitude of 3800 mtrs to Mukthinath   a spiritual town which has the  famous Muktinath temple  considered as one of the holy pilgrimage by Hindus,

 

The town has many street vendors who sell Tibetan hand made jewelry , souvenirs , wollen shawls and warm clothes  , Saligram a sacred black stone ,  apart from a couple of fancy restaurants which offer  even free wifi facilities.

 

The temple visit  is almost a must  as this simple shrine  holds  major importance to Hindus  it houses Vishnus deity , the 108 taps from which water  falls around the temple  is also considered  sacred to take bath in .

1415

Day 10

Mukthinath to Tathopaani   taking a vehicle ride is recommended  for this stretch    we go from Mukthinath to Jomsum by jeep , , take a bus to Ghasa  and thereon change to another bus  to Thatopaani ,  this bus ride was one of the most Bumpiest ride ever ,    and add to it heavy rainfall ,  we had a stone fall from the cliff  and smash the windscreen of our bus , , the bus passes through  some very scenic terrain  we get to see the Annapurna ranges in all its glory ,  and the river below   is always flowing along  the narrow bus trail …

Thatopaani  at 1200 Mtrs is famous for its Hot springs , tourists stay their for an extra day to enjoy a  bath in the hot spring ,   we are in the Mastang district now ,

16

One of the holy Temples right after crossing the Thorung la

 

26

One of the most Bumpiest bus rides ever

21

Tathopani to Ghorepani   a long  day  this covers a rich beautiful  trail  a steadily  inclined  path leads through various small villages ,  with children playing , fields , Huts  and small tea houses offering  refreshments ,  the stunning views  are  worth mentioning ,  a photographers paradise ,   a dreamers heaven ,

This trail passes through  Ghara , Shika , Chitre  among some of the prominent villages .

One gets to see  a typical Mountain village life  ,

If one has more days  this trail can be broken down into two days as well .

Almost a 9 hours trek  we reach Gorepani at al altitude of 2800 Mtrs … again to be received by a magnificent view of the Daulagiri ranges

Poon hill   is a must visit  High point  in this trail , an early morning  climb of 400 Mtrs  from Gore pani  , offers  spectacle so enchanting  that one gets into a deep  mesmerism, the  rising sun makes the mountain ranges  very beautiful  , the clear skies,   the mix of Dusk  shades on the distant  ranges is worth a visit ,  the photographers love it ….

20

The beautiful terrain and the river that flows by almost thropughout the trail

18 19

Day 12

Grorepani to Helay to  Nayapul   to Pokhara  – The last day of the expedition is all about descending ,  there are steps , and at times it gets taxing on the knees, advisable to use walking sticks  or hiking poles …  as usual of this  region the views are never ending it simply amazes one as we hike down hill through those many villages  , the different shades of green , blues ,  the flowers ,  Fauna, birds ,   everything seems to have come together  in a perfect synch .

We trek upto Helay and take a jeep  to Nayapul  and from there  ride to Pokhara .

Pokhara is a silent city also called the adventure capital of Nepal , perfect to spend post trek days chilling out at  its many restaurants ,  indulging in adventure activities ,  or just doing nothing  and staring at the distant mountains  over a cuppa  hot  tea.

During this trail we see many  facets of Himalayan life , their culture , children, schools ,  some  new schools coming up ,  newer hospitals and health care centers  ,  the people who have lived there for generations and the  visitors and trekkers  like me and my team .

There is always some inner strength that  drives a trekker to move ahead , this time it was the strong  urge and desire  from our group to raise awareness  towards Rotary’s project on  Literacy ,  lot of help is needed to make  this dream come true … lot of hands  must join together  in driving  many initiatives  to make  this region  completely literate .

Mountaineering is a  very indulging  activity,  and It becomes a  big responsibility for every trekker   or visitor to the mountains  to be as responsible  as possible and come back with nothing but only memories …  one must remember that we have borrowed  this  from our future generations.

For people wanting to  go on a trek in this trail  they can contact sunand sampath at 9448476683 email tosunand@gmail.com

A Travelogue by

Expedition Leader Rotarian  Sunand Sampath

 

HIMALAYAN TREKKING EXPEDITION TO GOECHA LA SIKKIM

The Goecha La trek takes you up-close for a spectacular view of the mighty Kanchenjunga amidst a majestic panorama of the other Himalayan giants within its range of mountains.

3

This is an extension of the Dzongri trek — and trekking beyond the meadows of Dzongri is raw adventure at its best where the visitor is taken into the realm of towering mountain peaks directly above and camp is set amidst the view of rumbling avalanches and high mountain glaciers.

8th to 20th November 2014

ARRIVAL AT KOLKATA ON 8th Nov, 2014.

Day 1: 8th Nov 2014

Meet at Kolkata Railway Station & travel to New Jalpaiguri by Darjeeling mail in the evening.

Day 2: 9th Nov 2014

Arrive at NJP in the morning & depart to Yuksam. Arrive in Yuksam by evening & check into hotel

Day 3: 10th Nov 2014

Explore Yuksam & get acclimatized to clean air

Day 4: 11th Nov 2014

Trek to Bakkim or Tshoka

Day 5: 12th Nov 2014

Tshoka to Dzongri

Day 6: 13th Nov 2014

Dzongri Acclimatizing Day

Day 7: 14th Nov 2014

Dzongri to Thansing

Day 8: 15th Nov 2014

Thansing to Samiti / Chemathang

Day 9: 16th Nov 2014

Samiti – Goecha la-Thansing

Day 10: 17th Nov 2014  

Thansing-Tshoka/Bakkim

Day 11: 18th Nov 2014

Bakkim-Yuksam

Day 12: 19th Nov 2014

Yuksam—New Jaipaiguri—Train to Kolkata.Overnight by Darjeeling mail.

Day 13: 20th Nov 2014

Morning Kolkata- Good byes!!!

Cost

Rs. 23,500/- Service Tax Extra

Age Group 15 and above

Minimum number of Participants:  10 nos.

Cost Includes:-

  • Highly experienced, Leaders, High Altitude Guides, Cooks and support Staff
  • Transportation [Train, Jeep & local transportations]
  • Accommodation [hotels when in city, during the trek in tents on sharing basis] 
  • Food [3 Veg meals a day, tea/coffee,
  • Snacks] and Insurance coverage for the trek period
  • Porters and Yaks [ruck sacks will be carried by porters and yaks
  • Trekker needs to carry the day pack with minimal must haves]
  •  Certificates and expedition t-shirts
  • Cost mention for Indian national only for others ,the cost may vary depending on local rules and regulations.

 Cost Excludes:-

  • All the personal expenses like drinks, tips etc
  • Cost of any form of insurance, rescue, evacuation, hospitalization, etc.
  • Travel fare up to Kolkatta and Back (iQuest can assist in getting reservations for travel)

Note:

Registration Form, Risk Certificate & Packing list, will be emailed and a Detailed,pre-briefing on the Expedition will be done to All Confirmed Participants.

 

Cancellation Charges:

  • 50% of the Total Charges on Cancellation between 17th Oct and 27th Oct 2014.
  • No Refunds on cancellations or not attending the Trip or if the Participant has to leave during any point of the trip after 27th Oct  2014.
  • No refunds will be made if the program gets cancelled due to Unavoidable  circumstances out of the control of the organizers like Natural calamities, bundh’s, strikes , etc.
  • Non-Indians will have to bear extra cost wherever applicable .

 

Pages:12»