Overview & Itinerary


Start
Pokhara, Nepal
Finish
Pokhara, Nepal
Country
Nepal
Style
Basix
Theme
Short Breaks, Walking & Trekking
Code
HNAA
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12
Validity
01 Jan 2013 to 24 Jan 2017

Is this trip right for you?

  • - This is a trekking trip that includes about 4-7 hours of trekking over four days.

  • - Whilst this is a short trek, please ensure that you are fit enough to walk for four days.

  • - A porter is included on this trek to carry your trekking pack.

Physical rating

For the trek on this trip the general rule is you will need to be very fit, and the more preparation you have done for it the more you will enjoy it. You will be walking at altitudes of up to approximately 2800 metres above sea level. Whilst this trip isnt as demanding as longer and higher treks into the Annapurna or Everest region, you will be walking with your day pack, with the possibility of variations in temperature. We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing mountain walks or climbing long stair cases with a pack is good preparation (try putting a few bricks in your pack for real training). Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trek to its fullest.

Joining point

Himalayan Encounters Base Camp - Pokhara Office
Diko Patan
Lakeside
Pokhara
NEPAL
Phone: +977 061461873

Joining point instructions

The office is located next to the Hotel Mountain Villa nearby Hallan Chowk. It is a 5 minute walk from the Himalayan Guest House. A taxi from the tourist bus station will cost approximately Rs 150 and from the airport and public bus station approximately Rs 200.

It is recommended to meet at the Pokhara office the day prior to your trip departure at 5.00PM for a pre-departure meeting. If you are not arriving early enough to make this meeting please contact the below for a briefing:
+977 9801 050 460
Contact Person: Mr Tara Prashad Gautam

Problems and emergency contact information

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local office in Kathmandu on

+977 980 112 3617

For further contact details please visit:

Intrepid emergency contact: +977 9801 123 617

Itinerary

Namaste! Welcome to Nepal.
Meet your trek leader at the Pokhara office at 9.00AM ready to embark on a scenic drive to the outlying village of Kalikasthan. Enter a world of friendly villagers, terraced fields, alpine meadows and rhododendron forest set before a back-drop of snow-clad peaks. Begin with a walk down to the Modi river (2hrs approx). Along the way pass through delightful little villages and enjoy mesmerizing vistas of the Lamjung Himal and Annapurna II mountains.

Cross over a long suspension bridge in the Modi Valley, pass through a densely shaded Sal forest, and ascend steeply to the village of Chachowk. Continue on to the village of Yangjakot where we spend the night in a homestay (1440m).
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning take a gradually descending track down to the Modi Valley (1.5hr approx). Cross the river and follow the path on the western flank of the river to the village of Chasu (1.5hr approx). A long flight of steep but well-laid stone steps tests your fitness and takes you past verdant terraced fields to Siklis (3hrs approx). This Gurung village is typical of the raw beauty of traditional Nepalese hillside villages. We spend the night in a Siklis homestay (1980m).

You'll be hard pressed to find a more delightful place to spend your day than Siklis, a village with welcoming inhabitants, picturesque terraced fields, alpine meadows and views of the giants of the Annapurnas section of the Himalayas: Annapurna IV (7,525m), Annapurna II (7,937m) and the monolithic hulk of Lamjung Himal.

There are many activities with which to fill your time in this village. You can hike to viewpoints, explore the surrounding villages, and soak up the rhythm of local life. You can also help your host with the daily chores, perhaps getting your hands dirty in the farms!
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (2 nights)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After a tranquil day in Siklis, set out on the longest section of your trek. Leave the village and enter deep woods trekking westwards with snow-capped peaks to your right. Make a steep climb up to a grassy wooded knoll known as Tara Top (4hrs approx) (2800m). This is the vantage-point for a spectacular 360-degree view that encompasses most of the Annapurna massif. Clear skies will allow for unforgettable memories of this majestic panorama.

Descend through shady forests of rhododendron hung heavy with lichen and moss, with wild flowers on the sunnier banks and wild orchids attached to the branches above us, before arriving at Ghalegaun (approx 3hrs), our stop for the night (1620m).
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Head down to Bhurjung Khola, a tributary of the Seti River, following it south until you reach the road-head (2hrs approx) where your transport awaits to return you to Pokhara (1.5hr drive).

Our trip finishes in Pokhara this afternoon around midday. Extra accommodation or a transfer back to Kathmandu are available. Please speak to your agent when booking.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Finishing point

Himalayan Encounters Base Camp - Pokhara Office
Diko Patan
Lakeside
Pokhara
NEPAL
Phone: +977 061461873

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Essential Trip Information

Important notes

1. This trip starts in Pokhara day 1 at 9.00AM and finishes in Pokhara on day 5 at approx 1.00PM.
To enable the trip to get away at 9am, please meet your leader at our Pokhara office listed in the Trip Notes the day prior to departure at 5.00PM for a pre departure meeting.
2. Between June and August, it is monsoon season in Nepal. If you do choose to travel during this time, please note that you will encounter wet conditions, obscured views, and an extra leech or two. During the monsoon, there is a chance that your itinerary may be adjusted pending water levels in rivers. Don't forget to carry rain proof jackets and trouser or raincoat. Please see notes in the weather section of these essential
3. Please bring 2 passport size photographs for your trekking permit.

Passport and visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

NEPAL:
Most nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival from land borders or at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport, or in advance from a Nepalese Consulate. If getting the visa at the airport be prepared for long queues. There have been instances when passengers were asked to show return flight tickets. You will also need to provide two passport photos and the following fees in US dollars cash only: multi entry visa valid for 15 days - US$25, multi entry visa valid for 30 days - US$40, multi entry visa valid for 90 days - US$100.

***Please note if you are staying in Nepal for less than 24 hours while in transit a transit visa can be issued on presentation of your international flight ticket, there is a nominal charge of US$5 and two photos are required.

Medical and health information

All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip:
Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip.
While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly.

Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/altitude-sickness

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll have the opportunity to experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility.

Generally you can eat very cheaply in Nepal. There is a great choice of restaurants and street stalls serving traditional and local food. In bigger restaurants in areas frequented by more tourists there is a choice between Nepalese, Indian, Chinese and Western style food.

Nepal caters very well towards vegetarians and vegans with almost all restaurants having a veg section of the menu. If in doubt please check with your tour leader.

Your tour leader will be able to direct you towards restaurants that are known to have better hygiene, especially in tourist areas where they are travelling with our groups regularly 

Some tips that will help you stay well when eating in Nepal include.

- Stick to restaurants and street stalls busy with locals - local families eating there are a good bet.
- Wash your hands before eating (most restaurants will have a hand basin or bathroom)  or use a sanitising hand gel
- give yourself a few days to get used to local food, especially spicy food.
- if in doubt,  stick to the veg meal
- avoid salads and peel fruit to avoid eating skin that may be washed in local water
- steer clear of ice unless in higher end restaurants
- drink more chai, eat more mo-mo's

We do not include food on trek allowing you to choose what you want to eat and when. The menus in the teahouses are varied, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie. Please note imported food and drink in the Everest region is very expensive. 

Accommodation

guesthouse

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in your selected accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for your arrival, especially if you're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible, which means you won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, you can store your luggage and explore the new destination.

If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
We stop at local village houses where accommodation is basic and multishare, toilet and washing facilities rudimentary (including no running water in some places) and the food is basic, filling and usually vegetarian. Travelling in this area is travelling at its most adventurous but also at its most basic, please be prepared to rough it.

Transport

jeep, private vehicle

Roads in Nepal are usually very busy with an assortment of vehicles from the biggest trucks (who always have right of way) down to bikes (and chickens).

Overtaking on blind corners at speed is common as is the total use of the horn as a form of communication. Our leaders have complete authority to remove groups from local public transport if the driver is not driving safely. Drivers of our private vehicles are experienced well trained. If you are uncomfortable with your driver, please always let your tour leader know in the first instance. Please always wear your seatbelt

There are some long travel days in Nepal, the trip between Kathmandu and Pokhara is approx 200km's and takes approx 6 hours. 

Flights between Kathmandu and Pokhara are approx 35 mins.

Flights between Kathmandu and Lukla are often delayed due to poor weather and there have been occasions when groups have had to have their treks rescheduled. Your local leader will give you the most up to date information regarding delays to flights.

Please note that domestic flights in Nepal have very strict weight limits. 

Money matters

The official currency of Nepal is the Nepali Rupee (NPR).

ATMs can only be found in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Bhaktapur. Money exchange facilities are available in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan (only outside the park) and Bhaktapur.

The Government of Nepal has banned the import, export and use of 500 and 1000 Indian rupee notes in Nepal. You should ensure you are not carrying these notes on arrival in Nepal as they will be confiscated and you may be fined.

While travellers' cheques have security advantages exchanging them can be a lengthy process, commissions can be high (up to 10%) and they can be difficult to change in rural areas, on weekends and public holidays. If you choose to bring travellers' cheques, make sure they are a major brand and major currency.

Please note that most establishments in Asia will not accept foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded and they can be very difficult to exchange or extra fees added when exchanging at banks. Please ensure that you have new, clean notes.

SPENDING MONEY:
When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

Hotels: Service charges have been introduced in Nepal. Hence there is no need for tipping; except for porters, for whom NPR20-30 is adequate.

Restaurants: Please check the bill and if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 5-10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.

Local guides: We suggest US$1-2 per person, per day for local guides. (Including city tour guides, jungle guides, rafting guides, assistant trek guides)

Porters: We suggest US$1-2 per person, per day. per porter.

Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however a base of US$1-2 per person, per day is generally appropriate.

Local transport: For a city tour we suggest US$1 per person, per day.

NOTE: Please don't tip with coins or notes of or less than NPR1, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.

EMERGENCY FUNDS:
We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

Packing

TREKKING EQUIPMENT

Trekking Boots (broken in)
Waterproof 3/4 season jacket and trousers (can be hired/purchased in Kathmandu)
Good quality socks
Thermal Underwear / layers
Down jacket (can be hired/purchased in Kathmandu)
Trousers - Lightweight, loose fitting, trekking trousers.
Shorts or skirt for summer
Sleeveless fleece and extra layers for winter departures (Dec-Feb)
Warm Hat and sun Hat
Sunglasses with UV protection
Head Torch (spare batteries)
Sunscreen and Lip Balm
Light weight towel
Sarong
Personal First Aid Kit
Biodegradable wet wipes / toilet paper
Hand sanitizer gel
Trail mix / nuts/ muesli bars
Hot water bottle (winter months)

Daypack - Must have the capacity for the items you may be carrying on a day's walk: rain jacket, trousers, warm clothing, water bottle, camera equipment, washing items and other personal effects. A hip/waist strap provides additional comfort. You should consider day packs of at least a 30 to 40 litre capacity.

SLEEPING BAG & INNER SHEET

A good quality, warm sleeping bag is essential while trekking as only blankets are provided at tea houses. Please note that sleeping bags, are readily available to buy or hire in both Kathmandu at very reasonable rates.
Your group leader can assist you in hiring gear after your joining meeting.
If you plan to hire a sleeping bag we recommend that you bring an inner sleep sheet, which adds another layer of warmth. In winter a thermal inner sleep sheet is warmer.
If you bring your own sleeping bag, please think about the time of year of your trek. We recommend a four season bag with a rating to around -10c. In Winter (Dec-Feb) a five seasons bag is recommended.

LEFT LUGGAGE AT HOTEL:
Please note you do not need to take all your gear with you while trekking - we can leave luggage behind at the hotel and collect it at the end of the trek.

WATER BOTTLE
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

While trekking, boiled or safe water is available for drinking. However, you should also carry a water purification method. Options include:
- purification tablets available from camping stores or pharmacies eg. Micropur.
- 2% tincture of iodine, available from pharmacies, used at 4 drops per litre of water and left for at least 20 minutes - longer in very cold weather.

Climate and seasonal information

June to September
The monsoon rains (mostly at night) bring landslides in regional areas. Cloud cover often obscures mountain views with rain, mud and leeches deterring most trekkers at this time of year.

March to April
Spring brings warm weather and spectacular rhododendron blooms. A popular time to visit and one of the peak times to trek.

October - November
Clear skies and warm days make autumn the peak season.

December - Feb
Winter brings cold temperatures and snow to the mountains. Good trekking, but remember to rug up.

PRE DEPARTURE MEETING
To enable the trip to get away at 9am, please meet your leader at our Pokhara office listed below on the day prior to departure.

TREK PORTER
Please note that a porter is included on this trek. Porters carry a max of 25 kg each.

MONSOON SEASON:
Between June and August, it is monsoon season in Nepal. If you do choose to travel during this time, please note that you will encounter wet conditions, obscured views, and an extra leech or two. Flights to and from Lukla are also more likely to be delayed due to the weather.

During the monsoon season in the Annapurna region (June-Aug) we may run an alternative trek. This itineary keeps the group away from areas that are prone to flooding and landslides. Safety is the number one priority when trekking in Nepal and any changes will be discussed by your trek leader. 
Please see as below for a brief overview of this itienarry.

Day 1: Pokhara-Naya Pul (45 kms/1.5 hrs drive), Naya Pul-Ulleri (5 hrs)
Drive to Naya Pul. Meet the trailhead and proceed downhill to Birethanti (1025m). Walk gently uphill for a couple of hours to Hille (1475m). Overnight stop at Ulleri (1960m).

Day 2: Ulleri-Ghorepani (5 hrs)
Uphill walk to Ghorepani (2750m). continue climbing and descending to Banthanti (2300m),  more stairs before we emerge at Nangathanti (2520m). From here on, another hour of climb will get you to Ghorepani (2750m).

Day 3: Ghorepani-Tadapani (5 hrs)
Pre-dawn hike up to Poon Hill at 3190m (45mins). marvel at the view of the Dhaulagiri & Annapurna Range. Return back to your teahouse to collect your baggage and hit the trail to Tadapani (2590m). The trail continues along the ridge line with magnificent views of the Annapurnas stretching out from east to west. Descend before climbing through dense forest to Tadapani (2700m).

Day 4: Tadapani-Ghandruk (3 hrs)
It’s a relatively short day’s trek, starting on a trail that contours the forested hillside descending steadily with some steep downhill sections. Reaching a small settlement of Bhaisi Kharka where the two routes to Ghandruk converges; continue to descend until you meet the path following the Kyunri Khola.
Crossing the stream, a brief walk leads to Ghandruk through the northern edge of the village. Ghandruk (1940m) is a delightful, ornate 'Gurung' village which has grown large and prosperous on the pensions of re-tired Gurkha soldiers.From Ghandruk, dramatic views of the peaks of Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Hiunchuli and the all-so-famous Machhapuchhre (Fishtail Mountain) opens up.

Day 5: Ghandruk-Nayapul (4 hrs)-Pokhara (1.5 hrs drive)
Leaving Ghandruk, a steep descent to the trail junction.  We make a short descent to the village of Chane. Another long stretch of downhill pathways, arrive in Syauli Bazaar before continuing to Birethanti. Not long after we join our vehicles to return to Pokhara. 

Group Leader

The aim of our local guides is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. On this Short Break Adventure you will get to enjoy the variety of having someone different for each day and/or activity. They will be able to provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and, where possible, introduce you to our local friends. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

In addition to any included activities on your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Our local representative may be able to assist you with available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that our local representative has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety

FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

BALCONIES:
Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

INTERNAL FLIGHTS:
There have been a number of recent air accidents in Nepal. We only use airlines that have passed strict safety audits for internal flights on this trip, including Buddha Air, Yeti Air & Tara Air. EU clients please see our safety page for important information regarding internal flights in Nepal.

SEAT BELTS:
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

FESTIVALS:
Travelling in India and Nepal whilst the Holi festival is on (a lunar festival but generally held in March every year), can at times be dangerous - a lot of locals participate in consumption of intoxicating substances. The day has been associated with physical violence and danger. Your leader will be advising you and your group on what places to avoid on this day and it may even be necessary for us to alter your itinerary for the day to avoid putting you or our group leader in high risk situation.

DIWALI FESTIVAL:
Travelling during the Hindu festival Diwali (a lunar festival but generally held between mid October to mid November every year) can be dangerous. During this time there are many displays of fireworks in the streets. It can be very noisy for several days and there is also a lot of pollution caused by the fireworks. As there are no restrictions on buying fireworks in India there are often injuries caused by people exploding them inappropriately. During this festival your leader may be required to alter your itinerary to avoid any dangerous areas to avoid putting the group at risk.

A couple of rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader or local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.

Travelling on a group trip

GROUP TRAVEL
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

Please note many of our Short Break Adventures operate with a minimum of 1 person, so there may be instances where you are the only person on the trip.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the trip until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by our local representative.

If you have credit card insurance our local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact telephone number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

Responsible Travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

LOCAL DRESS:
Dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees by wearing sleeves and long trousers. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in areas of predominantly hot climate. In many rural areas women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.

TREK PORTERS:
At Intrepid we care about your porters. The treatment of porters should figure highly when you are choosing your Nepal trekking trip. Please visit the Responsible Traveller page on our website to see our specific Porter policy.

The Intrepid Foundation

Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Nepal include:

*just-one
just-one targets disadvantaged children living in dangerous and vulnerable situations on the streets and provides them with training and educational opportunities that bring greater economic security to themselves and their families. Your support through The Intrepid Foundation will assist them in developing their current facilities to include an activity centre and library at their rehab home, and help them build capacity to reach an even greater number of disadvantaged children.
www.just-one.org

*Seven Women works to economically and socially empower marginalised women in Nepal through literacy programs, skills training and income generation.
www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/seven-women/

*The Himalayan Rescue Association Nepal (HRA) provides much needed medical and emergency evacuation assistance and treats many cases of severe mountain sickness.
www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/himalayan-rescue-association/

For more information on our projects in Nepal, or to make a donation, visit: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/?projectcountry=nepal