Mani Rimdu Trek
Trip Date: Oct 14 - 29, 2018
Life is busy, fast-paced. We try to maintain peace, acceptance and work with whatever arises. But few realize the toll of modern life on our spirits or the riches of cleaning our internal mirrors, caring for our mind, sharpening our perceptions, discovering our face before we were born in wilderness and in retreat. A deeply personal and intimate journey to the heartland of the Himalayas to witness the swirling colors of the Mani Rimdu festival and meet one of the greatest living masters: Sang Sang Rinpoche, the incarnation of Lama Tenzin Chodar, Trulshig Rimpoche’s father.
Learn more about Buddhism and wilderness, as we retreat even deeper, before retuning to engage more deeply in the world renewed. Meditation and yoga, and the deep joy of walking one's mind clear; these are some of the sweetest trails in all the Himalaya. Exploring the largest traditional hermitage in all the Himalaya, we walk incredible trails to reach Shengeephuk, a Glacial Lake where Trulshig Rinpoche was in retreat over 40 years ago and where he sent monks and nuns for chod-wilderness practice. Long life sacred waters curl in this blessed wilderness, a place to rest more deeply in ourselves.
Limited to 16 Pax
Trip Cost USD 4600 per person
Included in price
Hotels (double occupancy); in-country transportation; entrance fees to museums; meals (B, L, D); in-country guide; leaders; porters; airport transfers; internal flights; all camping supplies except sleeping bags.
* Single supplement =USD 500
International Airfare; visa fees; insurance; items of a personal nature; over weight baggage to Phalpu (limited to 33 pounds per person) tips, alcohol; sleeping bag; and emergency evacuation. Alcohol, and tips to Sherpas.
If you should get sick and need a change of accommodation or travel plans while in Nepal, you will need to cover any additional costs outside of the regular trip plan. Those who would like to stay after trip dates will do so at their own expense.
Please note: We require that you purchase travel insurance. This is just a smart thing to do for overseas travel, and if there is a medical emergency, particularly an evacuation needed, you will need to have this coverage.
Day 1 – Oct 14 – Sunday – Kathmandu (4593')
This trip begins with a rendezvous in Kathmandu at Hotel Manaslu at 4:30 pm. Thomas will hold a meeting and orientation in the hotel regarding trek arrangements and stay in Kathmandu. Leave hotel for group dinner at James Giambrone’s house to hear his lecture on “Lost wax process and Thanghka painting”. James is the owner of the Indigo Gallery and has worked with master craftsman of the Kathmandu valley for over 30 years. He has opened his treasure house for us.
Hotel Manaslu (D> James Giambronie House)
Day 2 – Oct 15 – Monday – Kathmandu (4593')
Early morning visit to Boudhnath, to join the hundreds of Buddhist pilgrims circumambulating the stupa. Continue walk to Pashupatinath, a sacred Hindu temple ground dedicated to lord Shiva. Meet up with yogis in the area and discuss sectarian body markings.
Afternoon visit to the Kingdom of Patan, home to some of the most beautiful Hindu Pagoda temples in the world. Visit Patan Museum.
Return to Hotel Manaslu (B, L>Summit Cafe, D> Hotel Manaslu)
Day 3 – Oct 16 – Tuesday – Kathmandu (4593') – Phaplu (8100')
After breakfast, you depart for the national airport and fly to Phaplu. Phaplu is situated in lower Solokhumbu region of Nepal. The flight is approximately 35 minutes. Upon arrival, you’ll be met by your Sherpa guide and check into Hotel Everest. After tea, tour Maternity hospital, which services the entire Solo region. After touring hospital, trying to arrange lunch at Jamling Sherpa’s traditional Sherpa house. Stay tuned. Afternoon walk above Phalpu to traditional Sherpa houses, or if I get permission, will let you know, visit Altai Himalaya Hotel, then walk to Salarie, district center. Plenty of photo opportunities.
Everest Lodge (B, L> Jamling house D)
Day 4 – Oct 17 – Wednesday –Taksindu (9711')
Early wake up call, tea or coffee, walk to Ratnagi danda.2.5 hours, up hill through beautiful forest. Breakfast at top. If weather is clear, view of Everest, and surrounding Himalayas. Trek to Changebee dhara. 1.5 hours then down to Taksindu-2.5 hours. Pack lunch along the way. Overnight at Taksindu local Sherpa lodge or at lower Monastery Guest House. Local accommodations.
(B> Ratnagi, L>Pack lunch, D>Taksindu)
Day 5 – Oct 18 – Thursday – Jumbese (8858')
Trek to Jumbese village, heart of traditional Sherpa culture, 4 hours, lunch on the way at Phurtang. Affords nive view point. Settle in to Apple Garden Sherpa Village Inn. Explore Jumbese village. (8858'). Enjoy hot shower
(B> Taksindu L, D>Jumbese)
Day 6 –Oct 19– Friday – Thupten Choling Monastery (9580')
After breakfast, check out perch top retreat center, Phorche just outside Jumbese Village, Furba would have to arrange with Pasang care-taker, to get key. Trek 2.5 hours to Thupten Choling Monastery (9580'). As you enter Thuptencholing try to visit traditional Tibetan medical clinic and get your pulse read by Tibetan Doctor, known as an Amchi. He can tell you about traditional Tibetan medicine and his experiences treating the Buddhist nuns at Thupten Choling. Explore the monastery, your Sherpa Furba Gyalsen will introduce to some of the Buddhist nuns living in simple retreat houses. Suggest visiting the main monastery kitchen…wonderful photo ops. Nuns normally meditate in early morning and evening at main monastery. Thupten Choling is a monastic center… 80% of the nuns are Tibetan refugees. This is one of the first-contact points for the many Tibetans who find their way into Nepal each year. Although most refugees continue on to India, about 40 nuns per year stay on and join the monastery.
Thupten Choling Monastery Guest House (B, L, D)
Day 7 – Oct 20– Saturday – Thupten Choling (9580') to Selo Monastery
Suggest you get up early and meditate with nuns in main monastery. Enjoy half day, lunch and then trek 2 hours to Selo Monastery. Or if you want, depart to Selo earlier. Selo is a fascinating monastery for young monks who are in deep Buddhist studies. Engage the young monks in dialogue. Meet head lama, Ngwang Kusang Khempo.
Selo Monastery Guest House. (B> Thupten-choling, L, D> Selo Monastery)
Day 8 – Oct 21– Sunday – Selo Monastery to Pikekhop (10,500’)
Trek 6 hrs uphill to Pikekhop.
Camp (B> Selo L> in-route D> Pikehop)
Day 9 – Oct 22– Monday – Pikey Peak – Loding
Early morning wake up and summit Pikey Peak I, 1.5 to 2 hrs trekking. 14,000’.
From summit, enjoy finest view point of Everest region and surrounding Himalayas: Chyo Yu, Thamserku, Mount Numbur, Keralung, Makalu, Kanchanjangga, Annapurna, Gaurishangkhar and Langtang. Return to Loding Village., 2-3 hours.
(B> Pikekhop L> in-route D>Loding Village)
Day 10 – Oct 23– Tuesday – Loding – Chiwong Gompa Monastery (8999')
After breakfast descend and then uphill to Chiwong Monastery. Site for spectacular Mani Rimdu Festival. Establish camp. Afternoon meditation at Chiwong Monastery.
Camp (B> Loding L> in-route D> Chiwong)
Day 11 – Oct 24– Wednesday – Chiwong Gompa Monastery (8999')
First day of Mani Rimdu festival. Take a mountain walk above Chiwong to hang prayer flags. Sit with monks in a Wang (a teaching from the Rimpoche). Followed by audience with Sang Sang Rinpoche, reincarnation of Trulshig Rimpoche’s father.
Camp (B, L, D)
Day 12 – Oct 25 – Thursday – Chiwong Gompa Monastery (8999')
Sacred Cham Festival dances and traditional Sherpa dancing for Mani Rimdu.
Optional hikes for those who prefer.
Camp (B, L, D)
Day 13 – Oct 26 – Friday – Chiwong Monastery (8999')
Fire Puja at Chiwong Monastery. Destruction of sand mandala.
After Fire Puja, return to Phalpu. Everest Lodge.
Camp (B> Chiwong L> Chiwong D> Everest Lodge)
Day 14 – Oct 27– Saturday – Phaplu (8100')
Rest day in Phaplu. Explore the culture, architecture and tradition.
Day 15 – Oct 28– Sunday – Phaplu (8100')- Kathmandu (4593')
Fly back to Kathmandu. Check into Hotel Manaslu.
Visit Kathmandu on your own. By western standards, the city is intimate. You can visit the many interesting sights, shrines and markets, or stroll in Kathmandu's fascinating Asan Tole bazaar. Don't miss the Durbar Square… then there’s Thamel: backpacker’s area, many deals to be had. Located just east of Thamel is the magnificent Garden of Dreams, restored to its previous splendor, show cases the Rana period, 1850-1950. Lunch in the Garden or, choose Fire and Ice Pizzeria across the street. For the early bird, visit Swayambhunath (the “Monkey Temple,” overlooking the entire Valley; go at sunrise if you want to take in ritual time with the many Buddhist pilgrims. For shoppers, Millennium: whole sale jewelry/ Thamel, Sustain your Body/Sustain the Earth… visit Wild Earth Pvt. Ltd, Dhapasi Marg, Bansbari, tele# 977-1-4374178/4650240 www.WildEarthNepal.com handcrafted soap, massage oil, essential oils, aromatic amulets and pillows, incense, balm and cream, herbal sachets. A perfect gift might be a signed picture book by Thomas and Carroll: The Hidden Himalayas, Tibet: Reflections from the Wheel of Life, Sacred Landscape, Himalayan Pilgrimage to Tibet or, Himalayan Style. We gather for a final farewell dinner, with a new respect for the extraordinary geography we have traversed and a greater understanding of the Himalayan Kingdom.
6:30 pm- Farewell dinner at Thomas and Carroll’s house.
(B>Manaslu Hotel, L>on your own, D>T&C’s house)
Day 16– Oct 29– Monday – Kathmandu (4593') –Departure
Bid farewell, Himalayan style. Depart Nepal on flights back home.