Update July 2019: Checklist and sneak preview of the yoga trekking in 2020!
The past few weeks, we have started training for the trekking. We will soon start hiking longer distances, and it’s also a good idea to take more luggage with you to get your body used to carrying a backpack while walking. It’s getting real! Are you excited as well?
At this moment, it’s also time to think about a few important things. By now, you probably have booked your flight, got your visa and checked your vaccinations. If not, make sure to make some appointments!
It’s also a good moment to start collecting your luggage and see if you need to make any purchases for your trekking gear. Here’s a few basic things to think of:
- Your clothing ideally consists of four layers:
- The first layer is the body climate, which should keep you dry and warm. Make sure you have some thermic underwear, that does not absorb water and keeps the body temperature at a stable level.
- The second layer is for isolation and transportation of moist. It should be a little wider and protect your lower arms and neck. Consider light-weight and quick-drying materials.
- The third layer serves to keep you warm, preferably a fleece or down jacket.
- The fourth layer is for weather protection and should be wind and water proof. Materials such as Gore-Tex are most suitable, but there’s also similar good-quality brands. Ask for advice in an outdoor store.
- In addition to these four layers, it is wise to bring a hat, gloves and sunglasses.
- Good trekking shoes are, of course, essential. There is a large variety of different types of trekking shoes, and personal preferences play a big role in choosing the right footwear. Most important is to make sure you have enough time to get used to hiking with the shoes you are wearing during the trekking.
- Sleeping bag: as we will get to high altitudes, a sleeping bag with a comfort temperature until -5 or -10 degrees Celsius is recommended. High in the mountains, at night, temperatures will drop below the freezing point. Sleeping bags come in all sizes and shapes – ask an expert in a travel store for advice.
- Toiletries: keep those to a minimum. Firstly, this reduces the total weight of your luggage, and secondly, it is more environment-friendly. Look for dry shampoo and dry shower; in some guesthouses, there will only be cold showers, and these will keep you fresh without getting too cold!
For packing your bag, take some time to make a packing list with everything you want to bring on the trek. Collect all of it in the next two months and test the weight of your bag well before departure. Remember, even though porters will carry most of the luggage, to keep it light!
Yoga trekking 2020
By popular request, we have started planning the next yoga trekking! This will take place in spring or autumn of 2020.
Nepal has many wonderful areas in the Himalayas, so we are bursting with ideas. One of the most beautiful places in Nepal is the Mustang area, that is located at the border with Tibet. It is also called the ‘Forbidden Kingdom’ of the country – and it is indeed more difficult to get permission to enter, but not impossible.
We would like to take you with us on a journey in this mysterious area. A trekking in Mustang takes at least 14 days, so the next trip will be a little longer, around 3 weeks in total. Of course we will also show you the vivid culture in Kathmandu again and give you some time to relax after the trek at the splendid lake of Pokhara.
If you are interested in joining the next trekking, please let us know your preference for spring or autumn 2020 – we will take into account your personal wishes. As soon as we have sufficient subscriptions, we will let you know the dates! Looking forward already (and the yoga trekking to Pikey Peak is yet to come!)
A description of the Upper Mustang trek:
To trek in Upper Mustang is a rare privilege. Here you will experience a way of life of true mountain people, who for hundreds of years, had very little contact with the rest of Nepal and retained their rich cultural heritage. Until recent times their king was officially recognized by the Government of Nepal.
In many ways, a trek into Upper Mustang is similar to trekking in Tibet, as geographically it is a part of the Tibetan plateau. The district of Mustang was, until 1950, a separate kingdom within the boundaries of Nepal. The last king, the Raja of Mustang, still has his home in the ancient capital known as Lo Manthang.
Upper Mustang was opened to non-Nepali trekkers only some fifteen years ago and even today, access is still highly restricted. To enter Upper Mustang, that is to travel further north of Kagbeni, trekkers need special trekking permit and must be accompanied by a government appointed official.
Upper Mustang, being in the Himalayan rain shadow, is one of the regions in the country suitable for trekking even during the monsoons. During this time, the upper Kali Gandaki valley is still quite dry with only occasional rainfall.
The Mustang trek is not particularly difficult, the highest point reached being only 3,800 meters, but the conditions at times can be arduous. Mustang is cold in winter and is always windy and dusty through the year. Winter treks are best avoided due to harsh weather.
Mustang trek requires a minimum of 9 days, starting and ending in Kagbeni. This allows the trek to be completed within the 10-day period that the permit allows. The route generally follows the Kali Gandaki valley but, occasionally climbs high above the valley walls.
The settlements are scattered and there is little sign of cultivation between villages. In Mustang, little grows without irrigation, thus the region resembles a desert although it is mountainous and there are nuclear settlements in the more fertile areas.There are lots of monasteries and caves of human settlement …
Lo Manthang, the old capital, is reached in four days and at least one extra day should be spent here to soak in the sights and sounds of this unique walled settlement. Ponies are available for hire if you so desire. The return trip can either follow the same route as the one you took to enter or take an alternative route along the eastern bank of the Kali Gandaki.
Update June 2019: Preparing for the yoga trekking
Only 3 months left until the yoga trekking to Nepal! Time to prepare our bodies and get to know each other. We will start training together soon by going for long distance hikes in The Netherlands. Last year, we did the same with the group and it was really nice to get to know each other a little better that way.
I have planned a number of days on which we will take a long walk in the most beautiful areas the Netherlands. The location will be determined later, depending on the subscriptions. The dates are as follows:
Sunday July 14 (afternoon)
Sunday July 28 (afternoon)
Saturday August 10 (full day)
Saturday September 7 (full day)
Saturday September 21 (full day)
Participation is FREE! The most important goal is that to build physical fitness together.
If you cannot make it, I recommend to start training by yourself regularly. Probably you will not find the Himalayas or something similar in your home country, but there are plenty of areas where you practice climbing and descending!
You can subscribe for the training days by simply sending me a message.
You can also still book the yoga trekking itself. We are with a group of 5 yoga enthusiasts now, and we have maximum of 10 people. So there is still spots left! Just don’t wait too long; now (June/July) is the time when flight ticket prices drop.
If you have any other questions, you can have a look at the overview below, but I also like to answer your questions personally, so feel free to email or call me.
Update March 2019: FAQs about the travel program
- Can you tell me about your previous experiences with trekking and yoga in the mountains?
The yoga trekking in Nepal will take place for the second time in 2019. Our guide Sahadev has extensive experience in leading tours in his home country Nepal and knows the Himalayas like the back of his hand. The itinerary of the yoga trekking will be in a different region each year, making every trip unique!
You can get an impression of previous yoga trekkings in Nepal as well.
- How do I know my physical condition is sufficient for the trekking?
A multi-day trekking in the mountains can be a challenge. It is therefore important that you are in good physical and mental condition. However, a multi-day trip in the mountains sometimes completed by people who have never trained for it, and they can actually make it quite well! Nevertheless, it is advisable to do some training before you go. In August and September, there is the possibility to train together (in The Netherlands) as we will go for hikes in different areas in our country. You can also start hiking regularly yourself – which is only a delight, in my view!
- What are the daily distances during the trekking?
The daily distances are not easy to express in kilometers, because we will be climbing and descending on the route. You’ll get a better idea by looking at the altitude changes and the duration of hiking. You should count on 4 to 7 hours of hiking each day, depending on the pace. We will pause regularly, with at least a long stop for lunch in a small village on our way.
- What is the risk of altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness can occur above 3000 meters, especially if you rise too fast. It is caused by an oxygen deficiency in the brain. During the Pikey Peak Trek we reach an altitude of 4070 meters. We try to minimize the chance of this by not climbing more than 500 meters per day, but total prevention is not guaranteed. It is advisable to take pills against altitude sickness with you. In the unlikely event of symptoms occurring, the solution is to wait and rest for a while or descend. The tour can often be continued later.
FAQs about yoga classes
- In which yoga styles are the classes taught?
I will create a program adjusted to the trekking with classes that vary from powerful to more gentle practice. We often start the day with a good warm-up, for example vinyasa or hatha, and end with stretches and relaxation, such as yin yoga or a meditation. I will also adjust the lessons to the needs of the group.
- Can I also take classes in advance to get an idea of the style?
You’re always welcome to join me! I teach various weekly classes in yoga studios in Amsterdam. Take a look at my current schedule. There are also various workshops and other activities on the agenda that you can join.
FAQs about preparations
- When is the best time to book my flight ticket?
The prices of airline tickets often drop about 3 months in advance. Keep an eye on the rates by setting a price alarm for your desired travel dates on for example Skyscanner. Prices are the most affordable in June / July.
- Which vaccinations are recommended for Nepal?
There are some travel vaccinations that are recommended as standard when you go to Nepal: Hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever and DTP. Consult your doctor or the Municipal Health Service for personal advice. Also take a good look at your health insurance policy and check whether it offers global coverage.
- Where can I get my visa?
In the Netherlands you can easily go to the consulate of Nepal in Amsterdam to apply for your visa. If you have the correct documents with you, they will be issued immediately. A visa of 15 days costs 45 euros, for 30 days you pay 65 euros and you want to stay 90 days, this costs 125 euros.
- How much luggage can I take with me?
A very important rule of thumb is: travel light! During the trek there are carriers who take the backpacks with them. But whether you have to carry your backpack yourself or someone else, you want to keep it as lightweight as possible. The packing list in the brochure contains an indication of the number of items of clothing that you can take with you. You can also opt for a yoga mat, sleeping bag etc. that is as light as possible.
You also bring a smaller daypack to store water, an extra warm / waterproof jacket and some snacks. Basically bring only what you need, nothing more.
- Where can I find good hiking boots?
The shoes that you wear during the draw are essential. Make sure you have good shoes with a sufficient profile. We generally walk on paved paths, but sometimes there are rocky parts that we have to cross or smoother parts. Profile A / B is often recommended. However, it also depends on your personal preference. Go to a specialized outdoor store for advice. Then it is important to walk in the shoes properly. You can do that immediately while training!
- Can I still buy the latest supplies in Nepal?
Of course! The first two days we are in Kathmandu, in the lively district of Thamel. This neighbourhood is full of shops with outdoor gear. After all, one of the most important reasons to go to Nepal is the impressive nature. The advantage is that most things are a lot cheaper here. However, it is advisable to purchase essential baggage in advance.
- What is the climate like in Nepal?
There are five seasons in Nepal: winter, spring, summer, monsoon and fall. In October it is fall and the monsoon is just over. This makes it an ideal period for trekking – everything is still in bloom after the abundant rainfall and the chance of clear views is greatest. It can get very cold at night, at freezing point, while it gets nice and warm and sunny during the day, up to around 25 degrees. So be prepared for anything, dress in layers and also bring sun protection!
- Which currency is used?
The currency is the Nepalese rupee. You can exchange your money at one of the many offices in Kathmandu or withdraw it at an ATM. It is wise to take some cash with you during the draw – although most are included, small amounts of water (this is cooked to purify), toilet paper and any extra refreshments are often required. Count on around 500 rupees per day – 5 euros converted.
- Do you have tips for continuing your journey in Nepal?
Absolutely! If you want to stay longer, there is much more to discover. For example, what about a visit to the birthplace of Buddha, a safari in a wildlife park to spot tigers and rhinos or a stay in a monastery? If you want to plan something in advance, then Sahadev and I can help you with that. But of course you can also go your own way, anything is allowed!
Hopefully you now know everything you wanted to know about the trip! If you have any other questions, please contact us . I also always like to make a personal call, in that case leave your telephone number.
You can book the trip through Himalaya Travel Adventures.