TREKKING IN UPPER DOLPO AND SHEY GOMPA

(27 days) Ba-Yul, the hidden land of Dolpo, was first settled by Rokpa farmers and Drokpa nomads from Tibet in the 10th century. It is one of the highest inhabited places on earth, with scattered fortress-like villages and monasteries nestling amongst mountains of stark, ascetic beauty. Though part of Nepal today, Dolpo remains culturally and economically firmly tied to Tibet, the people of this desolate area are cut of from their southern neighbors by snow-covered passes for much of the year. This is fascinating and difficult country to travel in. Most of Dolpi is protected by Shey Phoksumdo National Park. It is bounded in the east and south by Dhaulagiri and Churen Himal ranges and in the west by the Jumla district. Dolpo has been bypassed by development and until recently by tourism. Although a few Anthropologists and geographers had explored the region, the entire district was closed of to foreigners until 1989, when southern parts of Dolpo was opened to organized trekking groups. Peter Matthiessen's the Snow Leopard and David Snellgrove's Himalayan Pilgrimage have contributed to the mystique and attraction of Dolpo. Both writers visited the Shey Gompa, to the north of the Phoksumdo Lake, in inner Dolpo. This is the goal of most trekkers but this Dolpo trek will take you even further into this mysterious land« Dolpo is Bon-pro country, where people practice a shamanistic religion predating Tibetan Buddhism. Much of Bon-po symbolism is the opposite of Buddhist practice. You should walk to the right of ancient mud chortens, which are inscribed with swastikas with their arms pointing in the opposite direction to the Buddhist chant of "om mani padme hum", the Bon-pos chant 'om ma tri mu ye sa le du", in Tibetan means "in clarity unite'. Phoksumdo Lake The lake is spectacular, it is 4.8km long, 1.8km wide and said to be 650m deep. It is known for its aquamarine color a greenish blue similar to a special Tibetan turquoise .There is no aquatic life in the lake, which helps to make the waters brilliantly clear. If you toss a rock in, you can watch it for a long time as it sinks to the bottom. According to legend, Phoksumdo Lake was formed by a spiteful female demon In Buddhist Himalaya, David Snellgrove recounts how the demon was fleeing from the saint Padmasambhava and gave the village people a turquoise after they promised not to tell that she had passed by. Padmasambhava turned the turquoise into a lump of dung, which upset the local people so much they revealed the demon's whereabouts. She, in return caused a flood. It is said you can see the remains of a village below the lake's surface.

> TRIP FACTS Trip length: 27 Days Grade: Strenuous - Grade Explanation Starts in: Kathmandu Ends in: Kathmandu Trek Type: FOT (Fully Organized Trek or Camping Trek) Accommodation: Hotel & camping Transportation: 3 flights transfer Maximum altitude: 5460m TESTIMONIALS ³My trek was excellent, the walking relatively easy, the scenery beautiful and the people I met very nice. Only 3 other westerners we met on the trip and so most of the time it was just me and my trekking staff and the people of Dolpo´ Name: Catherine Marriott Country: New-Zealand Area: Dolpo

> OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 01 Arrive Kathmandu Day 02 Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu Day 03 Fly to Nepalganj Day 04 Fly to Juphal, Trek to Dunai Day 05 Trek to Chepka Day 06 Trek to Renje Day 07 Trek to Ringmo Day 08 Rest and exploration Day 09 Trek to Chunemba Day 10 Trek to Lar Tsa Day 11 Trek to Mendok Din Day 12 Trek to Shey Gompa Day 13 Rest-Exploration Day 14 Trek to Namgung Day 15 Trek to Karang Day 16 Trek to Mugaon Day 17 Trek to Shimen Day 18 Trek to Tinje

Day 19 Trek to Rakpa Day 20 Trek to Chharka Day 21 Trek to Norbulung Day 22 Sangda Phedi Day 23 Trek to Sangda Day 24 Trek to Dhagarjun Day 25 Trek to Jhomson, fly to Pokhara Day 26 Drive/Fly Kathmandu Day 27 Depart Kathmandu Trip facts: Trip duration: 27 Days Grade: Strenuous Trek Activity: Sightseeing & trekking Starts in: Kathmandu Ends in: Kathmandu Trek type: FOT (Fully Organized Trek or Camping Trek) Accommodation: Hotel & camping Transportation: internal flight, Private car or tourist bus Maximum altitude: 5460m PRICE Camping (FOT) Price per person on twin sharing: 2 persons: USD 3605 3-5 persons: USD 3380 6-9 persons: USD 3155 10-14 persons: USD 2920 Single supplement: USD 70 per person PRICE INCLUDES: Fully Catered Camping Trek (FOT) National park fees All domestic airfare Airport transfers and escort All guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu with entry fees. 3 nights¶ accommodation at 3 star hotel in Kathmandu on double sharing with breakfast Transfers as per the itinerary in private vehicle PRICE EXCLUDES: International flight & departure tax Upper Dolpo trekking permit (USD 500 per person for the 1st ten days and USD 50 per person per day thereafter).

Lunch & dinner in Kathmandu Tips, any expenses of personal nature, Client¶s insurance

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