Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tiji Festival Trekking in Upper Mustang, Lomanthang 2016

Tiji Festival Trekking in Upper Mustang, Lomanthang  2016

Tiji Festival of upper Mustang is a unique cultural event started centuries ago while the area was independent kingdom of Lo people.  It's the festival known as chasing away demons or bad spirits from the walled city of Lomanthang.  The festival takes place in the month of April or May every year based on lunar calendar of Tibetan tradition.  You can witness this beautiful festival  along with cultural display of the Mustang People. The trip is combined with exhilarating trek to upper Mustang and Lomanthang the capital of old Mustang Kingdom and the center where the event takes place.  This year three day's Tiji festival is taking place on 3 to 5 May, 2016.  We already have few people confirmed for a trek starting in Kathmandu 24 APRIL and ending on 07 MAY 2016. If your holidays meet these dates and interested to be in the Himalaya join with excellent local guide to experience the difference than many other travellers.  For further details please contact threejewelsnepal@gmail.com 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lower Dolpo Trekking 2016 - Join With Other Trekker

Lower Dolpo Trekking 2016  - Join With Other Trekker

Lower Dolpo Trekking can be done in relatively cheaper cost as we have already confirmed trekker(s) for this schedule.  Please come join and be part of this wonderful adventure in remote western Himalaya of Nepal.

Lower Dolpo Trekking 2016 - Itinerary 

May 29- 30 :  Kathamndu

May 31 : Kathmandu – Nepalgunj

May 01:  Juphal -  Kagani

May 02:  Reichi

May 03:  Trekking to Ringmo, Phokdundo Lake

May 04: Rest

May 05: Trekking Baga-La base camp

May 06:  Cross Baga-la and camp

May 07: Numa-la pass and trekking to Dho Tarap

May 08: Rest day

May 09: Laisi Cap

May 10:  Trekking to Tarakot

May 11: Trekking to Dunai and short Jeep to Juphal

May 12: Juphal to Nepalgunj by flight

Border of Lower and Upper Dolpo Phoksundo Lake

For this dates – Including expensive airfare, restricted area permit, Nepalgunj hotel, etc $ 2100 per person only !  Please write to office@threejewelsadv.com for further detail.  

PS.  Even more exciting long and adventurous upper Dolpo Trekking also can be combined with this itinerary. Please feel free to contact ... 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Behind the Scene Trekking Story – Dolpo, Nepal

When the Horseman Acts Like a Horse
Mules Used in Trekking in Nepal
In recent years, we had some luck of organizing some remarkable treks to Lower Dolpo following a thoughtful review and thread started by one of our clients also added by more clients and other visitors on trip advisor travel site.  In this year 2015, even after the damaging earthquake, we have been able to keep holding our Dolpo trek clients.  Two groups booked for this year are currently in end of first week of their trek and I have already got this story to share about their trek!

As my name is posted as guide on the reviews on trip advisor, obviously the clients want myself to be guide for the trek. But to both groups I was able to convince that, I was busy for something else so I could not be their guide.  If they trust our team's services, we can still manage a capable guide but I won't be trekking with them – this was told and they had agreed to go without me.  At the pre-trip meeting, while they saw me in Kathmandu and not leading their trek, I had to clarify that, I was not busy for other trek but was engaged to re-construct my house.  One of the clients, had also asked that, he had heard that, sometimes, local trekking staff make problem drinking too much and he was curious if our staff do that and if the guides are aware of it!  For me, it was not uncommon concern but I was not sure if the guides were as aware.  After this question was raised I had instructed our guides to be extra careful related to drinks that can take place in local 'tea' places or in camps sometimes. 

Well, the trek started after worrying (not only due to its location across the mountain but also due to weather) flight to Juphal and our guides managed to update me everything is going good.  On the day three (two days back from now), I happened to call to our guide wanting to know if they reached to Phoksundo the beautiful lake you see in the movie Himalaya. Sure enough to my gut they were just setting the tent after long days walk but the guide gave me news of serious situation that our horsemen decided to abandon the trek. For two groups of clients we had employed 11 mules and three horsemen.  We have already paid most money to them and we can't replace that many workforces by any means at that place.  I felt like the ground below me was sinking down.  I was speechless at first but we had to find out the solution.  I first focused on what was the wrong to them from our side?  At the beginning our guides said the lunch that day was late and they were so angry.  However later found out that the anger was piled up that one of the earlier evenings horseman spent longer time at didi's tea place and our cook didn't offer dinner as he came after everyone already slept. 

I wanted to talk to the horseman but wasn't possible.  But our guides managed to convince them, after paying extra rupee for the delayed lunch on the day they arrived at Phuksundo.  The following morning, luckily a rest day, our team informed me things are under control and they are working again.  This drama behind the smooth trekking is not seen by our clients for good but I think it's worth sharing as it has so many prospective including how easily your trip can turn in to turmoil without any mistake of your guide or your host.  For some reason, we always employ people instead of horse for Dolpo trek but this time it was our cook who urged me to send mules as it is cheaper.  

Needless to mention, Dolpo trek is not to make profit but it's to feel happy about offering work to my collogues and myself and of course, to promote our work for the future treks.  The main reason why we don't make money on this trek is the trekking starting point is reached only after long drive plus 4 days walk or expensive flight for our staff.  So horse was better choice but it almost ruined the whole thing right there. Today, 6yh day of the trip is the day both groups go over the high passes where there is no telephone connection for next 2 or 3 days at least.  My all fingers are crossed for their safety and specially the horseman to act as human for rest of the trip.

Before stopping, let it be the behind the scene of the trek, and if you want to know further behind the scene not mentioned here in the post promise me to be next Dolpo client ok.  Have nice time everyone :) 

Also Enjoy Our Guide Furi Jumping Off the Phoksundo Lake Shore While Trekking With Me in 2014 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Lower Dolpo Trekking in Nepal

Opportunity to Join in a Group

(Sept 27 – Oct 10 Kathamndu to Kathmandu)

Trekking in Lower Dolpo is full of fun which discovering wonderful Himalaya and the people live there.  Dolpo is one of the most remote areas of the Himalaya and it's also a controlled trekking area where trekking is done only with special permit through the immigration office.  For the trip dates mentioned here, we have already three people confirmed.  Looking for more people to join this trek with experienced trekking guide and staff. If you are looking for extremely beautiful trek, in non tourist area full of old cultural heritages and can afford the extra cost of flights and permits, this is an opportunity for you to have life time experience.
Our Lower Dolpo Clients - 2014 at Bagala Base Camp

Itinerary with Dates

Sept 26 – Kathmandu permit process day, meeting with group and staff
Sept 27- Kathmandu – Nepalgunj
Sept 28 – Flight to Juphal and trekking to Kagani
Sept 29- Trekking to Raichi
Sept 30 – Trekking Phoksundo lake
Oct 01 – Explore the village and monastery
Oct 02 – Trekking to Bagala Pass base camp
Oct 03 – Cross the pass and camp at Phedi
Oct 04 – Cross Numa La and arrive at Dho Tarap
Oct 05 – Dho Tarap rest
Oct 06 – Trekking to Nawar Pani
Oct 07 – Trekking to Tarakot
Oct 08 – Trekking to Dunai
Oct 09 – Trekking to Juphal
Oct 10 – Flight to Nepalgunj and same day connected to Kathmandu and trip concludes.

Contact us for further detail here : amber.3jewels@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Trekking Experience to Damodar Kunda, Upper Mustang, Nepal

             A Story of a Nobody Person From a Nowhere Place

Like elsewhere in Nepal too, if a man marries second wife he and his new wife can be punished as per the law.  However, only few hurt first wives dare to go through legal process due to still heavily man dominant reality of our society. For women from more deprived jana jaati (ethnic) community, it's even more difficult to go through complicated process of law to get justice in such cases. As a result, in our society, it's still not a surprise news if a husband ties knot with another woman and force his first wife to leave home and family. 
Bhomaya Poon with her colleague at Ghuma Thati

Bhomaya Poon Magar 52, current resident of  Pokhara is one of such women who faced the bitter consequence of being forcefully sent out by her own husband and left her to be nobody to go nowhere.  In the age of 24 with two young baby boys and husband who had job as Nepal Army man, Bhomaya also had dreams like many other young mom to up bring her kids, settle a better life with her family in the future.  However her dream was brutally shattered on one of the evenings, some two decades back while her husband came home with a new girl. Unexpected argument and quarrel amidst the neighbors and supporters of her husband, she found little in favor of herself.  Feeling lone and helpless she decided to leave the home in same evening with her babies.  Hurt, disowned and shattered, Bhomaya had no easy options except going back to her maternal home or take uneasy step of becoming a beggar or even prostitute or end her life forever. Even going back to maternal home doesn't become easy for a married lady in our society. However, Bhomaya became lucky on this one thing that her brothers didn't only accept her back but helped her to send her boys in local school.  At any stage after her husband disowned her, she could have lodged a case against her husband and obvious result would be to get her share of property and dignity back. She could have secured better life this way may be but she decided to live her life differently even though her choice was not easy.

In the course of difficult times, she came across a voluntary team formed in her native home in a remote village of Myagdi in west Nepal.  Smaller the team was their aim to volunteer was somewhat extraordinary in many levels. The organization named Damodar Kunda Anna Kshetra (Damodar Kunda Food Zone) had 16 families teamed up for providing free food to the pilgrims who travel to Damodar Kund (Kunda) one of the most far flung pilgrimage site in the Himalaya, situated in Mustang district of far north near Tibet border.  Through this unique little organization, as a volunteer cook,  to offer free meal for pilgrims, she had arrived in remote corner of the Himalayan mountains Ghumathati, probably named after old seasonal yak hut in the distance of at least one full day walk from any nearest human settlement. 

Lakes of Damodar Kunda
In pursuit to experience a new trekking trail and get away from an unease situation after the April 25 earthquake, on 6th day of this remote trekking, after long day's walk with tiredness and heavy headed due to high altitude and migraine, myself, two trekking clients, team of seven of us had arrived at Ghumathati where a blue tinned roof structure was standing with Bhomaya at its side.  'Namaste Bhai (brother), you guys arrived? I know you are tired. Please feel comfortable to have tea or hot water; here they are!' Bhomaya said with bright smile.  With little research and only horseman in our team having been trekked there before, none of us knew there was free tea or water offered to travelers in such a remote location. Her opening conversation alone eased my near headache.  So I changed my mind from resting in my tent to have detail chat with this charming woman which led me to this unusual story of her own and the unique social service started by her neighbors.  

Seven years back when she arrived at Ghumathati for the first time and offered meal and drinks to hungry and thirsty ill prepared pilgrims, most of them are Sadhus, she felt that she was giving life to them.  'In this kind of place, a cup of drink can give life, so I feel that it's not only a common social service but it's offering life to others (jeevan daan)' She said. What was more astonishing was since the first volunteering, Bhomaya has been serving there every year marking this one her seventh consecutive year of service.  Pilgrimage season last only about two months, through July –August given the harsh nature of the geography and weather in other times.  While first started the two moth program to offer food to the pilgrims, many people were attracted to volunteer in such 'wonderful' place but later they would leave the job being unable to stay in harshly cold, uneasy place with sometimes no other soul seen for days. Thus Bhomaya or the organization didn't find another person to take over the job. In addition Bhomaya herself vowed to be in service as much as possible for such wonderful cause.
A Sadhu on the way to Damodar Kunda, Mustang
Besides sharing her own story, Bhomaya told me about the importance of Damodar Kunda a group of three small glacial lakes which in general could be just another water source for yaks or wild animals. But these small lakes are believed where lord Krishna of Hindus in his childhood had landed after her mother Yesoda had tied him up to prevent more damage by baby Krishna stealing her milk and yoghurt.  Detail story of such act of Krishna and its association to Damodar Kunda is only found in Sanskrit texts like Baraha Purana but Bhomaya recalls what she had heard from learned Sadhus (holy men) who come to this ultimate pilgrimage site and had chance to eat food and drink served by her.  Damodar Kunda is surrounded by mountains such as Bhrikuti and small Kailash representing holy mount Kailash of Tibet.  We concluded our conversation with hope to meet again and exchange more extended story.  For me meeting Bhomaya was the highlight of the trek.  

In the Himalayan mountains while we trek, beautiful scenery comes to us without more effort and attention, but if we observe closely more cherishing part of the Himalaya comes to us via its people, culture and traditions.  In recent times many of the trekking trails such as Annapurna Circuit and standard upper Mustang trek suffer disturbance by road building.  Damodar Kunda, thus can be a beautiful alternative for those who do not mind strenuous trekking over the high passes, full of visible beauties like Bhrikuti Himal range and slightly invisible stories of like lord Krishna and Bhomaya Poon.  

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Christmas and New Year in Langtang Valley 2016

Be in the Himalaya on the holidays of upcoming Christmas and New Year 2016!  All you need is vacation of two weeks, interest and capability for easy to medium level trekking, open to join small group of tourists like yourself and not afraid of seeing big mountains!  Our Langtang Christmas - New Year itinerary includes tea house based trekking fully supported by experienced local Nepali guides  and other staff.  Langtang valley is one of the best trekking places full of big mountains, beautiful culture not yet ruined by modern development and it's not crowded like other popular routes of Everest or Annapurna.  At the end of the trek you can visit recently opened Tibet – Nepal border too or extend your trek towards Tamang Heritage trail that's even more charming with beautiful culture of ethnic Tamang people.

Date                    Places, program
20th  Dec                      Kathamndu – Tibet Guest House
21st  Dec                       Kathmandu
22nd  Dec                      Drive to Syabrubesi (7 hours) by jeep
23rd Dec                       Trekking to Lama Hotel
24th Dec :                     Trekking to Lama Hotel
25th  Dec :                    Half Day trek and rest, Christmas Eve
26th Dec :                     Rest day, hike to Tsergo Ri about 4200 meters, or nearby Glaciers
27th  Dec :                    Return trek to Lama Hotel
28th  Dec :                    Trek to Birdim
29th Dec :                     Drive to Tibet Border and return to Kathmandu (8 hours)
30th 31st  Dec, 1st Jan   New Year celebration in Kathmandu or in near by destinations
2nd  Jan                        Return home.

Please contact threejewelsnepal@gmail.com for more detail.