The Ganesh Himal Charity Trek 2024

MARK ‘FUNKY’ WILSON “It will change your life.” 

It’s your invitation to join us in Nepal 2024! 

17th NOV – 1st DEC 2024 
15 DAYS – $4299 USD per person 

 

Space is limited to 14 guests and this will fill up! 

Included: An all-inclusive package covering all meals, hotels, airport transfers, domestic flights, private transport, permits, expedition gear and the Heartspace team of 40 staff. 

Not Included: International flights, travel insurance, extra nights’ accommodation, and food outside of the tour dates, tipping. 

Breathe In The Himalayas 

During the day, experience the beauty of the Nepalese Himalaya with vast vistas of the Ganesh Himal, Manaslu and Langtang ranges. In the evening gaze at the star show around the campfire feeling a million miles away from the hussle of the city. 

Escape The Crowds! 

It is highly unlikely you will see any other foreigners on these trails! We have the Himalaya to ourselves trekking far from the congestion and crowds of the Everest and Annapurna regions. 

Amazing Campsites 

From monastery grounds, school fields, terraced farmland and local village clearings every location is spectacular and unique. Treat yourself to a nice yoga session or perhaps join a local game of volleyball or cricket. Be prepared to enjoy your time at the Heartspace campsites as much as your time on the trail. 

Small Intimate Groups 

We are all about quality over quantity keeping it small and intimate. Become immersed in Nepalese culture with your fellow trekkers while enjoying organic feasts and the Heartspace Expeditions ‘glamping’ experience. Sunrise cuppa delivered to your tent each morning? We’ve got that covered! 

Hike with Ease 

No Altitude Issues! 

The foothill trails are considered easy to moderate and the max altitude is 2250m (7400ft). We usually hike 3 – 5 hours in the morning and arrive at camp for lunch. The diverse terrain is constantly changing with village pathways, forested areas, dirt roads, terraced fields and jungle trails. Each day brings new and exciting trekking opportunities. 

Organic Homemade Feasts! 

Quality healthy food is so important to us and the meals are often said to be a highlight of the expeditions. In true Heartspace style everything is made from scratch. We will be purchasing fresh, organic spray free fruits, vegetables, rice and lentils directly from local farmers in the village where we stay. As ‘farm to table’ as it gets and the only footprint created is by the kitchen crew walking the produce to the kitchen tent. 

Authentic Nepalese Culture 

Experience local village festivals, traditional dancing, and food. You will have opportunities to tour through friends’ homes in the village and see how life continues much as it did for their ancestors. Explore Nepalese culture and life at a relaxed pace. Immerse yourself in the friendly and openhearted energy of the locals. The last foreign faces they saw were probably the guests from the previous Ganesh Himal charity trek! 

Experience Kathmandu 

The City of Temples 

Your tour includes a magical day trip where we visit three of Kathmandu’s World Heritage sites; the famous Monkey temples of Swayambhunath, the ancient Kingdom of Bhaktapur and the center of Nepalese Buddhism, Boudhanath Stupa. We also take a very special visit to the Active Hearts Foundation orphanage. See for yourself how your efforts supporting the Active Hearts Foundation are benefiting these beautiful children. 

The Heartspace Team 

Hike with founders Dan Keys (New Zealand) and Arjun Adhikari (Nepal) Together they started the Active Hearts Foundation in 2015 and Heartspace Expeditions in 2022. They have collectively 30 yrs of experience guiding the Nepalese and Bhutanese Himalaya, New Zealand, Australia and Africa. They will be joined by the Heartspace Expedition team who are guaranteed to make your trip exceptional! 

Read more on Dan and Arjun 

 

HEARTSPACE EXPEDITIONS 

GANESH HIMAL TREK ITINERARY 2024 

Nov 17 – Day 1: BRIEFING AND WELCOME DINNER 

Location: Lazimpat, Kathmandu 1400m ( 4600ft ) 

Welcome to Kathmandu, Nepal: the city of Temples! Our hotel is situated close to the tourist district of Thamel so you will find many cafes, shops, ATMs etc. within a short walk. This evening we will meet in the lobby at 5pm for your trip briefing. You will meet your fellow Heartspace team members, we will run through the itinerary and give you your Heartspace kit. Following the briefing, we will head out to dinner at one of our favourite local restaurants. 

Nov 18 – Day 2: JOURNEY TO GOGANE VILLAGE 

Location: Gogane Village 1600m ( 5,250ft ) Drive 4 hrs – Hike 1.5hr,5 km ( 3 mil ) 

After breakfast at the hotel, we depart Kathmandu in our private vehicles. We drive north out of the Kathmandu Valley and into the Nuwakot district. We climb into the Himalayan foothills and once we reach Sadtobate village, we bid farewell to the vehicles and its foot power for the next nine days. We will explore the village of Sadtobate and take a tour of the Active Hearts Foundation library project at Sadtobate High School. Following this, we hike the village paths toward the Langtang Himal and into Gogane village. This is our destination for the next two nights and home to our Nepalese family, of which you are now a part of. This evening you will meet your incredible kitchen crew, as they prepare the first of many delicious, organic feasts. 

Nov 19 – Day 3: EXPLORE GOGANE VILLAGE AND THE SURROUNDINGS 

Location: Gogane Village 1600m ( 5250ft ) Hike 4 hrs,10 km ( 6 mil ) 

Your first day in the Himalayan foothills begins with a hot drink delivered to your tent. Listen to the village wake up and join your team for breakfast while enjoying an amazing sunrise over the Langtang range. This morning we will hike the Active Hearts Foundation pipeline project (est. 2015) where you will be treated with great views of the valleys below. Your Heartspace team will share the stories of the 2015 earthquakes and the beginnings of the Active Hearts Foundation. Following a traditional lunch in the village, we descend to Gogane Primary School. We will spend time with the students in this beautiful little school and visit the Active Hearts Foundation Gogane School Library (est. 2022). This evening we will return to our family home for some relax time and a tasty dinner featuring fresh ingredients from the garden. 

Nov 20 – Day 4: HIKE TO KISPANG MONASTERY 

Location: Kispang Monastery 1900m ( 6200ft ) Hike 4 hrs, 8 km ( 5 mil ) 

We start the day with another organic breakfast, Gogane style! Before farewelling our Gogane family, we will tour a traditional Nepalese home where Ama(mother) shares life in her village and the way in which Nepali people live inharmony with their environment and community. Our morning’s hike slowly climbs around the valley revealing the local way of life. Along the way, we pass through Khule village. This is home to the Active Hearts Foundation Aiselu Bhume Secondary School Library (est. 2016). After visiting the library and having a cuppa, we continue along the trail with a gradual climb through terraced fields to our camp located beneath the enchanting Kispang Monastery. This afternoon we introduce you to the full Heartspace Expedition support team, their work ethic, smiles, and positive energy are always a guest highlight! Tonight around the campfire, far from the city lights, we’ll enjoy the star show in the Himalayan night sky. 

Nov 21 - Day 5: TRAVERSE TO SALME VILLAGE 

Location: Salme Village 1850m ( 6100ft ) Hike 5 hrs,13 km ( 8 mil ) 

Today if you’re lucky, you might wake to the sounds of Monks chanting in the monastery. Once ready, we depart camp and hike a stunning trail passing local Tamang style homes. The Kispang valley will start to reveal its beauty and Salme village will appear across the way. Through open farm country and forested sections, it’s a magical hike. There may even be a chance to cool down in one of the waterfalls during our journey! It is a longer morning hike and lunch will be served on arrival. This afternoon we can relax and enjoy the amazing vistas. There will be an opportunity to visit the Active Hearts Foundation Salme High School library (est. 2019) and perhaps even a game of cricket with the students. 

Nov 22 – Day 6: JUNGLE TREK TO BUNGTANG MONASTERY 

Location: Bungtang Village 1740m ( 5700 ft ) Hike 4 hrs,8 km ( 5 mil ) 

This morning we take breakfast with a view!! We farewell our new friends in Salme village and venture through a lovely forested section of the trail. The trail reveals fantastic vistas to the valley beyond, framed by lush junglescapes. After passing through a small clearing which is home to a couple of local homes, we make a short climb. You will have a wonderful view of the Bungtang village as you descend the steps to be welcomed in by the huge Buddhist prayer wheel. See if you can spot the Heartspace camp in the monastery grounds. Lunch is on arrival, then a chance to explore the village and enjoy the energy of this very special place. 

Nov 23 – Day 7: CLIMB TO MEGANG DANDA RIDGE 

Location: Waga Field 2130m ( 7000 ft) Hike 5 hrs,12 km ( 7.5 mil ) 

This morning you will once again be greeted by a hot drink in your tent before a nutritious breakfast. The Bungtang monastery grounds are a very special place for morning meditation and yoga. Once pack-up is complete, our hike follows the village paths and dirt roads higher up the valley to Lokil and Megang Danda. We will begin to have views from the ridge to the mighty Ganesh Himal Mountain range towering to the north. Once we arrive at our destination, the Heartspace team will have set up camp and lunch will be served. This afternoon will be yours to soak up the atmosphere of this beautiful location. No doubt our team will be keen on some soccer or cricket around camp. A small Buddhist temple is just a 15min climb above camp and offers an awesome opportunity for an amazing Ganesh Himal sunset and sunrise. Tonight we will have a campfire under the stars, while gazing over the Nepalese foothills far from any village. 

Nov 24 – Day 8: DESCEND THE JUNGLE TO MARPAK VILLAGE 

Location: Marpak Village 1700m ( 5600 ft ) Hike 4 hrs, 9km ( 5.5 mil ) 

This morning is a great chance to rise early and take the short climb to the ridge top temple and see the sunrise over the majestic Ganesh Himal range. The hike today begins with an easy trail following the rustic road to a junction where we enter the jungle. It is an interesting trek along local paths that eventually descend through small forested pockets, opening up to a view of Marpak village and our campsite. This community is very remote and your presence is bound to be exciting to the curious children who call it home. After lunch, the afternoon is yours to explore. Reflect while immersed inauthentic, rural Nepal—a strong contrast from the crowded tourist trails of Everest and Annapurna. 

Nov 25 – Day 9: DESCEND TO HULAK GAUN 

Location: Hulak Gaun Village 1250m ( 4000 ft ) Hike 6 hrs,13km ( 8 mil ) 

After a morning stretching session and pack down, we begin our descent. Today is a longer hike and a great adventure. Our Heartspace chef will send us off with packed lunches to fuel our day. As we descend, we trek through local farmland, village paths, and cross a few streams. Lunch is at a beautiful swimming hole so pack your swimmers! There is some climbing to be done after our lunch break as we rejoin the dirt roads and ascend to Hulak Gaun village. Vistas will now be looking west down to the Ahku Khola river system below. Tonight is our final night with the Heartspace support team. Our location is perfect for a fireside dance party!! Be prepared for a magnificent celebration feast. 

Nov 26 – Day 10: THE FINAL TREK DAY TO DHADING BESI 

Location: Dhading Besi 600m ( 2000 ft ) Hike 3 hr, 8 km ( 5 mil ) – Drive 1 hr 

The last mountain breakfast will prepare your body for the journey to Dhading Besi. Once camp is packed down we will gather the full Heartspace team for the farewell ceremony. As the team waves goodbye, we hike out along the village roads and switchback up a climb. The summit of this final ascent rewards you with the last views of Ganesh Himal on the trek. This is a wonderful location for a final group picture and a moment of reflection on a journey unlike any other. From here we board our vehicle and drive to the Himalika Camp Resort for lunch. The afternoon is yours to enjoy by the pool or explore the township which is the largest in the Dhading region. 

Nov 27 – Day 11: JOURNEY TO LAKESIDE POKHARA 

Location: Pokhara, Lakeside 800m ( 2600 ft) 

After breakfast this morning at the resort we board our private vehicles and begin the 6-hr 150km ( 90 mile) scenic drive to enchanting Lake Pokhara. We will take lunch on arrival and check into our hotel for the next two nights. Tonight, we head out as a group to one of our favourite lakeside restaurants for dinner. 

Nov 28 – Day 12: FREE EXPLORATORY DAY IN POKHARA 

Location: Pokhara, Lakeside 800m ( 2600 ft ) 

Today is yours to enjoy. You’ll have a free day to relax and explore in Pokhara. Situated in the heart of lakeside Pokhara the hotel is close to all the action. You can find cafes, bars, souvenir shopping, pharmacies, ATMs, outdoor gear shops and spa treatments within a few minutes walk. Breakfast is included at the hotel. Lunch and dinner are yours to explore some of the quality restaurants Pokhara has to offer. 

Nov 29 – Day 13: FLY TO KATHMANDU VALLEY 

Location: Lazimpat, Kathmandu 1400m ( 4600 ft ) 

After breakfast in our hotel we head to Pokhara airport. From here we’ll take the beautiful 30min flight following the Himalaya back to Kathmandu city. Looking out to the north you may even recognize some of the mountains above our hiking trails. There are opportunities to see the Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu and Ganesh Himal ranges. We will take lunch on arrival to Kathmandu and have an afternoon to ourselves before dinner. 

Nov 30 – Day 14: KATHMANDU UNESCO SITES & ACTIVE HEARTS FOUNDATION ORPHANAGE TOUR  

Location: Lazimpat, Kathmandu 1400m  

Today is a great opportunity to see some of the most unique parts of the valley. It is known as the city of temples and stupas. The intricate tapestry of culture and tradition is closely associated with the inhabitants of Kathmandu valley. There are 7 world heritage sites in Kathmandu Valley. We will explore our three favourite sites today. The World Heritage sites we will visit are: Swayambhunath: Also known as the “Monkey temple” Bhaktapur Durbar Square: This former stronghold of the Malla Dynasty has remained virtually unchanged since the 17th-century. Boudhanath: Boudhanath stupa is one of the largest stupas in the world. We will also take a very special visit to the Active Hearts Foundation orphanage in Bhaktapur Kingdom. We have been supporting this orphanage since 2019 and it is a guest highlight to see how your assistance is helping the children. This is always a trip full of smiles and dancing! This evening we gather for the final celebration dinner at one of our favourite restaurants and reflect on our adventure of a lifetime! 

Dec 1 – Day 15: DEPARTURE DAY 

All great things must come to an end. Today we farewell you from Nepal. We hope your Heartspace Expeditions experience and your efforts supporting the Active Hearts Foundation have encouraged awareness and gratitude. You will leave behind new friends, family and a better Nepal than you found when you arrived. Thank you for becoming a part of the Heartspace family and for living your life with purpose. 

 

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