Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tour 1: 12-Day Writing Trek in the Himalayas with Beth Yahp & Sacred Journeys Nepal: 9 - 21 Oct 2011

This is a unique journey of writing and inner development for experienced and amateur writers located in one of the most extraordinary and beautiful regions on the planet. We will explore Kathmandu, trek from Lukla to Namche Bazaar, then unwind back in Kathmandu, with writing workshops and insights along the way.

Whether your focus is fiction, travel or memoir, prize-winning author and teacher Beth Yahp is sure to free your storytelling capabilities in her inspiring and openhearted writing workshops, and one-on-one or small group meetings to discuss your writing.

A creative and supportive atmosphere for beginners, or the more advanced. Time for reflection and remembering. Sharing of knowledge and writing skills. And fun—as well as a sense of accomplishment—in writing and sharing our stories.

This is NOT a backpacker experience but for the trekker who delights in that little extra comfort after a day of challenge and creativity. Accommodation from rustic traditional mountain lodges to the Hyatt in Kathmandu for rest and rejuvenation.

Draft Itinerary:

DAY 1    Kathmandu
Arrive in Kathmandu /Transfer to hotel/ Rest.
You will be staying in the heart of the tourist area of bustling Kathmandu in an eco-guest house decorated in traditional style. Walk out the front door and into atmospheric Thamel, where you can shop for presents, or just soak up the atmosphere. There will be a brief orientation session and introductions. 
DAY 2   Kathmandu
We will begin the day with our first workshop session, and preparations for the trek, followed by a tour of some of the famous Kathmandu World Heritage Sites.  There is so much to see in Kathmandu, and you won’t have time to see it all. However, Day 2 gives you a chance to whet your appetite and visit some of the sacred and world heritage sites; to look, take photos or write. Options include:

a. Patan Durbar Square –world heritage site, with ancient temples and well laid out museum
b. Monkey Temple (Swayambhunath) or Boudhanath Stupa—two soaring Buddhist stupas, pilgrimage sites for Buddhists, especially the Tibetan Community
c. Pashupatinath Temple—world heritage site, one of the  4 top pilgrimage sites for Hindu Pilgrims around the world
In the evening we will have a mountain safety briefing and video about altitude sickness  (and how to prevent it.)

DAY 3  Kathmandu to Lukla to Phakdin
In the early morning, step onto the twin otter plane at Kathmandu, and be transported as if in a time capsule to the village of Lukla in the Khumbu region (2827m). Here you will begin the acclimatization process and the first mountain session while you enjoy breakfast and plenty of hydrating liquids.

Even if your mind is still racing at city pace, your body will remind you that it is time to slow down –particularly when you find yourself puffing more than usual when climbing stairs, as you become aware of the first effects of the altitude.

After breakfast in Lukla and a recap on mountain safety, the trek begins with a 3 to 4 hour walk to Phakdin. Sometimes you will be sharing the trail with yak trains, other trekkers, and local traders on their way up to Namche Bazaar.  Such rich material for your photos, writing and memories. You will also get your first close up glimpses of the mountains, weather permitting.

We will spend the night at a lodge situated in a valley right on the Dudh Koshi River.

Please Note: Lukla’s weather is variable, and the planes can’t land in the mist (when you get there you’ll see why). So be prepared for the potential for delays in the flight, sometimes even cancellations due to the weather.  This applies for the return journey from Lukla to Kathmandu also.

DAY 4  Phakdin to Monjo
A couple of hours walk through lush vegetation, past agricultural fields and Buddhist monuments takes us to Monjo. Monjo is a Sherpa village on the border of the Sagarmatha National Park. Opportunities for word pictures.  You will want to capture every blink of your eyes.

DAY 5 Monjo to Namche Bazaar
Namche Bazaar is situated approximately 3440 metres from sea level. At this point you will definitely start feeling the altitude, although most people acclimatise within a day or so.  Nestled at the top of a cliff, Namche is a traditional trading place, with traders coming from Tibet, India and Nepal to the small hill top village.  When the clouds part, views of Mount Everest, and several other 8000m peaks are visible.
(There is a steep climb into Namche Bazaar—and this section of the trip will be dependent on the health and fitness of our group.  The alternative will be day trips and writing sessions in and around Monjo and Phakdin)

DAY 6 - 8  Namche Bazaar Activities
Writing workshops in Namche Bazaar.
For those missing the comfort of home, there are bakeries that are a legacy left by early German climbers, with reasonable coffee and apple pie with a view.  There are also three museums to explore—the main one covers culture/ geography/ flora and fauna of the Everest Region. Then there are two smaller ones, one specialising in Sherpa Culture, the other in Traditional Himalayan Medicine.  There is also a traditional Tibetan Healer available for consultation at the Himalayan Healing Centre.

DAY 9   Namche Bazaar to Phakdin

Day 10   Phakdin to Lukla

Day 11   Lukla to  Kathmandu
After the mountain lodges, now you have the opportunity to be pampered at the majestic Hyatt Hotel.  This luxury five-star hotel overlooks Boudathnath Stupa—one of the largest Buddhist temples in Kathmandu.  At dawn and dusk, you can join the throngs of Tibetans encircling the stupa reciting their pujas. You may choose to have some additional pampering at the Hyatt’s day spa, such as a healing ayurvedic massage.

The Hyatt provides a serene environment to continue our writing. 

(Please remember, getting out of Lukla is dependant on the weather. Sometimes it can take several days to fly out.)

DAY 12 Kathmandu
The final full day in Nepal has some time for shopping, and optional sightseeing, and our last writing workshop and optional evening reading of our work at the Hyatt.

a. Bhaktapur Durbar Square- World Heritage Site
b. Changu Narayan Temple- World Heritage Site
c. Shopping, relax around the Temple
d. Visit to orphanage

DAY 13  Departure

Optional for those who would like to deepen their writing experience in Nepal, you can choose to follow this 12-Day Trek with a further 10-Day Retreat with Beth where she will mentor a 10 day intensive, luxurious and creative Writing Retreat at Nagarkot (27 Oct – 6 Nov 2011). The biggest and most auspicious festival in the annual Nepalese calendar, Dashain, takes place around this time, and free days between the tours can be spent soaking in the once-in-a-lifetime experience in celebration of the Goddess Durga. See details in following post on this blog.

“When we reconnect who we are
with what we do,
we approach our lives and our work
with renewed passion, commitment, and integrity.”
- P. Palmer

Sanjaya Tripathee
Managing Director,
Sacred Journeys Nepal Treks P. Ltd.
Kathmandu, Nepal
Mob: (0011)  977-9851112953

For more information, cost and a detailed itinerary, please contact Beth Yahp at or Susanne Rix at

For travel details please contact Sacred Journeys at

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