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  • All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 10 dinners are included. You should allow around INR5000 (approx. £60/US$75) for the additional meals and drinks. Mineral water, soft and alcoholic drinks are not included and are widely available. Soft drinks are generally cheap, but beers can approach Western prices. Whilst camping we have a cook and assistants who will prepare simple but plentiful nutritious food. Breakfasts will be porridge, cereals, eggs and toast with plenty of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Lunches will usually be a picnic lunch with soup, various kinds of local breads, cheese, eggs, tinned fish and meat and fruit where available. There will be afternoon tea and biscuits on arrival at camp followed later by dinner which is usually soup, a pasta, rice or potato based main course with fresh vegetables, followed by dessert, tea, coffee or hot chocolate. You will be provided with safe boiled drinking water whilst on trek. *Drinking Water* Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity. We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in India  During the trek the cooks will collect and boil drinking water from the mountain streams and fill up your water bottles for you, but you may need to collect water during the day and may wish to use your own water purification treatment as well. We also suggest that you may like to bring a reusable bottle with a wide opening (Nalgene or similar) with you and use a SteriPEN to treat any non-boiled water. A SteriPEN is a handheld UV water purifier – small, lightweight and battery powered so easy to pack for a trek. It’s quick to use, far more effective than purification tablets, and the water is ready immediately. It’s fine to use a SteriPEN on non-boiled water so long as it isn’t cloudy or full of sediment (which is uncommon in these regions). SteriPENs are widely stocked on Amazon, outdoor shops and other online retailers; look for the latest models but avoid USB charging ones. Models which take lithium batteries are best as they last longer, especially in cold conditions. Using a SteriPEN means you won’t leave behind a single plastic bottle – and you can keep it for future trips.


  • Walking & Trekking
  • Point-to-Point
  • 1

    Start Delhi

    The group flight will arrive into Delhi in the morning and we will transfer to our hotel. Those who have made their own flight arrangements will join us at the hotel during the day. You are free today to explore Delhi or rest after your flight; rooms may not be available until noon but it is often earlier than this. Your leader will do a trip briefing today and you will need passport photographs for the various permits and check posts so please ensure you pack 4 photographs.  *Comfortable Hotel - Hotel Jaypee Siddharth *(or similar)

  • 2

    Fly to Bagdogra; drive to Gangtok

    Transfer to the domestic airport terminal for the flight to Bagdogra. On arrival at Bagdogra, we join our vehicles and drive to Gangtok. The road soon leaves the plains behind and at Sevoke we cross the Teesta River and start to climb into the Doar Hills. At Rangpo we take a break as we enter Sikkim. Border formalities take time and you will need your passport and one photograph. Climbing further, we finally reach Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim set at an elevation of  1,680m. The drive will take about 5 hours (125km). *Standard Hotel*

  • 3

    Drive to pretty  Martam village visiting the Rumtek Monastery en route

    Gangtok is set amongst the hills and on a clear day we can see Kanchenjunga from the hotel. We have the morning for exploration. The Mall Road is the centre of Gangtok and the close by indoor vegetable market makes for an interesting wander. You can either explore Gangtok on your own or your leader will take you to see some of the sights. About an hour’s walk from the hotel on a quiet road there is the small Enchey monastery. Overlooking the whole town, Enchey was founded in 1840 by Lama Drubthob Karpo and was rebuilt in 1908 by the 10th Chogyal (king) of Sikkim. From the monastery you can walk back to town via the Flower Show, a small exhibition of orchids and other local flowers. There is a Handicraft Centre close by which is a government enterprise offering community training in traditional handicrafts such as carpet weaving and wood carving. After lunch we have an hour’s drive to Rumtek monastery. Founded in the mid 1700’s by the 12th Karmapa it fell into ruins. When the 16th Karmapa came from Tibet he rebuilt the monastery as the main seat in exile of the Karmapa sect. It is the largest monastery in Sikkim and contains a Golden Stupa with the remains of the 16th Karmapa. A half hours’ drive brings us to Martam, a scenic Himalayan village located in a quiet corner of East Sikkim. *Standard Hotel*

  • 4

    Sightseeing the pretty village of Martam  

    We spend today in the pretty village of Martam which was known for producing butter and other dairy products (‘mar’ means butter and ‘tem’ means spread). The population of Martam is about 10,000 made up of the Bhutia and Nepali communities. In the morning we go for a hike around the village. We can visit the interesting Nyingma Institute, which provides education in higher Buddhist studies and philosophy to many monks. The Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism was the first Tibetan Buddhist sect founded in the 8th century. There is also another small monastery and a Krishna Mandir in the village. We return to our hotel for lunch and the afternoon is free.   *Standard Hotel* *Distance covered:* 6 km / 4 miles *Activity (hours):*  4-5 

  • 5

    Drive to the famous hill station of Darjeeling

    Leaving Sikkim we drive on to Darjeeling. The road winds all the way to the Testa River, where we enter the state of West Bengal. It then weaves back up into the hills to Darjeeling.  We arrive by lunchtime and this afternoon we explore one of the most famous hill stations of the British Raj.  Originally belonging to the Chogyals (Kings) of Sikkim, then annexed by the Gurkhas, the British East India Company gained control of the region in the early 1800's and returned it to Sikkim rule.  Stumbling across Dorje Ling Monastery, situated on a quiet forested ridge, two British soldiers thought it would make a great location for a sanatorium and with the permission of the King of Sikkim a hill station was born. Today Darjeeling is a bustling town but the Mall still retains its Victorian era charm.  Our stay will include a visit to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute founded by Tenzing Norgay and where many of famous Sherpa climbers trained in mountaineering skills. There are interesting displays and photographs from some of the early Mount Everest climbs.  Today’s drive is 80km and will take approximately 4 hours.  *Standard Hotel* * *

  • 6

    Take a toy train ride, travel on to Rimbik the gateway to our trek and follow a short trail to our first campsite 

    On a clear day its worth getting up early for the beautiful sunrise views of Kanchenjunga from the roof of our hotel. After breakfast we have a 40 minute ride on the famous Toy Train to Ghoom (Subject to running. See day 13 for another opportunity if not running today) The train chugs its way out of Darjeeling, stopping on the way to take on water and to allow passengers to photograph the famous Batasia Loop.  At Ghoom we meet our cars and drive for around 4 hours to Rimbik, the trailhead of our trek at 2,286m. We have a short (45 minute) gentle uphill walk through magnificent rhododendron forests (a blaze of reds in spring) to our camp at Manedara, where we spend our first night under canvas. As we approach the village we have stunning views of Kabru Dome and Kabru South peaks. *Full-service camp* (sleeping altitude 2,450m)

  • 7

    Trek through beautiful forest, descend to Gurdum Khola then up to Gurdum village

    Today we start our trek with an easy trail passing small houses and fields. It is about 2hrs gradual walk through beautiful forest to Shepi village. We then descend to the Gurdum Khola, which we cross by bridge and after a steep 1 hour climb to Gurdum village we will arrriv at our camp for the evening.   *Full-service Camping *(sleeping altitude 2,400m)

  • 8

    Final ascent through forest to the Singalila Ridge the highest point of our trek

    A fairly tough but rewarding day as we finish our ascent to the Singalila Ridge. The trail climbs steeply in places until we emerge at a forest clearing. From here it undulates through rhododendron forest to the ridgetop at Sandakhphu (3,636m), the highest point of our trek. On a clear day the climb is well worth the effort as we are rewarded with a magnificent Himalayan panorama. The views from here are truly amazing – the towering slopes of Kanchenjunga lie ahead and Everest, Lhotse and Makalu now come into view in the distance. After lunch at Sandakhphu it is a gradual walk on a rough jeep track to our camp at Chandu. *Full-Service Camping *(sleeping altitude 3,570m)

  • 9

    Trekking along the Singalila Ridge taking in the Himalayan panoramas, including Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Everest and Lhotse

     We are now on the Singalila Ridge, the border between Nepal and India which means at times we are walking in each country. This is a great day to enjoy the views. The trail undulates following the ridge through chestnut, oak and silver fir trees with commanding panoramic views of the Himalaya all day. Dwarf rhododendrons and primulas colour the landscape in spring. Tonight we have a spectacular wild camp at Sabargam. The views from here are sublime and we hope to see a magnificent sunset and sunrise over Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu and a whole host of other Himalayan peaks.   *Full-service Camping *(sleeping altitude 3,536m)

  • 10

    Trek further along the Singalila Ridge with breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga on a clear day

    A full day trekking along an undulating trail to the end of the ridge at Phalut where we descend to Samaden. On a clear day we get breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga as we continue along the ridge. The Everest range is further away but Kanchenjunga rears up over us. Phalut is at 3,600m and just behind the lodge there is a viewpoint where we are surrounded by Himalayan giants. The trail down to Samaden is glorious and takes us through forests of oak, conifers, pine and rhododendrons, an explosion of colour in spring. We camp tonight in the village of Samaden (2,480m), a beautiful spot in a small settlement with excellent views. *Full-service Camping *(sleeping altitude 2,480m)

  • 11

    Trek through a collection of small settlements inhabited by different cultures to Rimbik a large Sherpa village

    Our final trek winds through a collection of small settlements inhabited by Rais, Sherpas and Tamangs to Ramman, where terraced fields and villages dot the landscape. We descend along a jeep track to Sri khola for lunch after which we cross a suspension bridge and continue for another 2.5 hours along a road, passing through more villages en route to Rimbik (2,286m), a large Sherpa village set amongst the forest landscapes of the Singalila National Park. We stay in a small lodge with great views across the valley. *Basic Hotel* (sleeping altitude 2,286m)* *

  • 12

    Drive to Darjeeling visiting a tea estate en route to learn how this popular drink is produced

    Today we drive back to Darjeeling  along a road that winds up and down ridges through picturesque landscape. En route we stop to visit a tea estate and learn how this most famous of drinks is grown and processed. We will arrive in Darjeeling mid afternoon and the rest of the day is free to further explore this historic hill station. Our hotel is close to the Mall, which is a great place to wander in the evening. *Standard Hotel* * *

  • 13

    Morning to continue exploring Darjeeling then drive to Siliguri where we catch the overnight train to Calcutta

    We have the morning to explore further. If we missed the ride on the famous Toy Train and Ghoom monastery, there is time this morning. In the afternoon we set off for the drive to Siliguri (2-3 hrs) where we board the overnight train to Calcutta (Kolkata). Train times in India change regularly, although it usually departs at around 8pm or 9pm. Overnight Sleeper Train *Overnight Sleeper Train*

  • 14

    Arrive Calcutta; free time to explore

    We arrive in Calcutta (Kolkata) in the early hours of the morning and have the day to explore this fascinating city. Once the capital of British India, Calcutta has had a turbulent past. It was central to the struggle for Indian independence and thousands of Bengalis refugees came here at the start of the 1900’s. It is a city of striking contrasts and the unusual sights, pungent smells and the cacophony of sounds of the country’s second largest city are an experience unique to India. If you would rather not navigate Calcutta alone, your leader can usually arrange a short (1/2hr) guided city tour for you (pay locally). *Standard Hotel*

  • 15

    End Calcutta

    Those on the flight inclusive package will depart for London this morning for the daytime flight back to London; Land Only arrangements will finish after check-out from the hotel.

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  • 19 januari bij Theater Kikker, Utrecht
  • 26 januari in de Verkadefabriek, Den Bosch
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