Thursday, July 12, 2012

Writing Trek in Nepal 2013 Itinerary

20 September - 3 October 2013

Sept 20 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.  

Sept 21 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: 
    • Patan Durbar Square –world heritage site, with ancient temples and well laid out museum
    • Monkey Temple (Swayambhunath) or Boudhanath Stupa—two soaring Buddhist stupas, pilgrimage sites for Buddhists, especially the Tibetan Community
    • Pashupatinath Temple—world heritage site, one of the 4 top pilgrimage sites for Hindu Pilgrims around the world

    Sept 22 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 planes can’t land in the mist (when you get there you’ll see why). So be prepared for potential delays in the flight, sometimes even cancellations due to the weather.  This applies for the return journey from Lukla to Kathmandu also.

    Sept 23 Phakdin to Monjo
    A couple of hours walk through lush vegetation, past agricultural fields and Buddhist monuments takes us to Monjo, a Sherpa village bordering Sagarmatha National Park. Opportunities for word pictures.  You’ll want to capture every blink of your eyes. 

    Sept 24 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

    Sept 25-28 Namche Bazaar activities

    We spend 4 days in Namche Bazaar, with writing workshops every morning or afternoon. For those missing the comfort of home, there are bakeries with reasonable coffee and apple pie with a view—a legacy of early German climbers. 

    There are three museums to explore—the main one covers culture/ geography/ flora and fauna of the Everest Region. Two smaller ones specialise in Sherpa Culture and Traditional Himalayan Medicine. 

    There is also a traditional Tibetan Healer available for consultation at the Himalayan Healing Centre, a Tibetan monastery and the Tibetan market to explore. 
    Sept 29 Namche Bazaar to Phakdin

    Sept 30 Phakdin to Lukla

    At Lukla we say goodbye to our ever- smiling porters, who head back to their villages while we catch our early flight back to Kathmandu.
    Please remember, getting out of Lukla is dependant on weather. Sometimes it can take several days to fly out.

    Oct 01 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. 

     Oct 02 Kathmandu
    The final full day in Nepal has some time for shopping, and optional sightseeing, and our last writing workshop and party/ 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

     Oct 03 Departure


    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

    ANNOUNCING: Writing Trek in Nepal 2013!

    20 September - 3 October 2013

    Our writing and trekking adventure in Nepal 2011 was such a success that Sacred Journeys Nepal and I are organising another in 2013.

    Based on feedback from participants we've added another night to the original itinerary (now 13 nights instead of 12, so we get an extra night up in Namche Bazaar), as well as a few changes to facillitate ease and enjoyment of the trek.

    See my 'What People Said' post for participants' comments—and hope to see you in Kathmandu next year!

    Here's more information:

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

    A full 12-session writing course, Writing Journeys: Creativity and Craft, specially designed and tutored by award-winning author Beth Yahp, makes this journey unlike any other. With years of experience as an innovative teacher of creative writing, Beth’s courses are both comprehensive and extremely popular.

    Whether your focus is fiction, travel or memoir, Beth is sure to free your storytelling capabilities with her inspiring and open-hearted writing workshops, and one-on-one or small group meetings to discuss your writing. Painters and photographers have also joined the trek and applied Beth’s teaching to their art.

    A creative and supportive atmosphere. The sharing of knowledge and writing skills. Time for reflection and remembering. Porters and guides to share our load.

    Most importantly, we will breathe. We’ll capture a new world with new eyes, and bring remembered ones alive on the page. We’ll have fun—as well as a sense of accomplishment—in writing and sharing our stories, imagination and memories.

    Accommodation from rustic traditional mountain lodges to the Hyatt in Kathmandu for rest and rejuvenation in the last days of the tour.

    NOTE: This is NOT a backpacker experience but for the trekker or stroller who delights in that little extra comfort after a day of challenge and creativity. Our aim is to walk, look, converse, and immerse ourselves in another way of being, with frequent stops along the way. Please also note that Nepal is a developing country, whose way of life and traditions can contrast with our own in insightful and energizing ways. “It gave me eyes,” as a Paul Theroux character might say.

    For more workshop details and an itinerary, please contact: Beth at For travel details please contact Sacred Journeys at or