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Maree and Andrew Baade’s Trekking and Volunteering Experiences

December 2016, Gosaikunda Pass

Take on Nepal, and this trek, were an ideal match for us. We try hard to support companies that have an agenda other than profit and Take on Nepal certainly fulfils that criteria. They are committed to providing training and employment for the young people of Nepal. As a result we had six teenage, 3 male and 3 female, porters on our trek! For most it was there first big trek and their enthusiasm and physical strength was incredible and really motivated us to keep going throughout the days. In addition to the porters we also had our guide Dinesh whose experience, wisdom and quick mindedness ensured that any situations were dealt with safely and efficiently. We feel very lucky to have had such a merry band with us for this trek.

We found the trek itself challenging. Being from a city located at sea level and then climbing to 4650m was a bit of a shock to the system! However it was well worth it for the amazing vistas provided by the beauty of the Langtang Valley and the tranquillity of the Gosaikunda Lakes. The area is renowned for being less touristy and we certainly found that to be the case as we rarely saw, or interacted with, other travellers.

January 2017, Volunteering Batase Village

After completing a trek in the Langtang Valley I chose to stay on in Nepal for an additional 3 weeks and volunteer as part of the Take on Nepal January group. Living in Batase is such a great opportunity to see and be involved with everyday rural Nepali life. Waking to see snow on towering mountains and having a goat eat your breakfast are just a few of the treats in store for intrepid travellers choosing to step off the established tourist trails.

Our groups guide was Sandip who was always there to assist with any questions or difficulties we encountered. I was especially impressed by Sandip’s fauna and flora knowledge and I even spent a morning bird watching with him around the hills of Batase which was a real highlight for me to have my own personal nature guide!

At the end of the program I deviated from the itinerary and travelled to Lumbini as I had previously visited Chitwan. I chose the option of hiring a private vehicle which was an additional cost that I was willing to cover. Lumbini was a rewarding experience for me and rounded out my time in Nepal very well. I was travelling alone and I felt very safe there. It’s a unique and special place with a lovely vibe. I spent two days walking around amazing temples, meditating and I visited the birthplace of Buddha and the Peace Pagoda. Take on Nepal organised both my transport and accommodation which was fantastic.

~ Maree and Andrew Baade (February 2017)

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