Join St Margaret's Hospice on this fundraising challenge which takes you to breathtakingly beautiful areas of the hill stations of Southern India. This beautiful trek will take you along a route through the highest tea estate in the world; Kolukkumalai, crossing the foothills of the second highest peak in South India and through the rolling grassland and natural brooks of the Western Ghats.
Do Something Different...
You will spend two days assisting at a hospice care project in Trivandrum which provides assistance to children with cancer and their families, to enable high standards of treatment, care and support, and to ensure that no child suffers for want of treatment through lack of finance. Possible tasks include redecorating and painting, creating a garden and relaxation areas, or generally working to improve the environment for those who are supported by these facilities.
Day 1-2 (Sat 2nd - Sun 3rd Feb): London - Kochi
Fly to Trivandrum and transfer to a central hotel for the next three nights. Depending on flight times there may be an opportunity for an introductory visit to the project this afternoon. You will have a welcome dinner this evening. Meals: Dinner.
Day 3-4 (Mon 4th - Tue 5th Feb): Trivandrum
We will spend two full days helping with a variety of tasks such as painting, improving facilities, gardening and so on at the CanKids facility in Trivandrum. You will also have the opportunity to gain an understanding of hospice care in India, and what CanKids does for the local community. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 5 (Weds 5th Oct): Trivandrum - Munnar
After breakfast today we say farewell to Trivandrum and drive to Munnar (approx. 8 hours), stopping regularly throughout the journey for breaks. You will have lunch enroute. Upon arrival you will check in at your hotel and have dinner. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 6 (Thurs 6th Oct): Munnar - Kolukkumalai
This morning we transfer by jeep to the start point of our trek, at the confluence of three rivers and home to sprawling tea plantations. Our trek starts fairly gently as we pass through the tea estates (including the highest tea estate in the world at 2,160m). The day will end at one of the oldest tea factories in the region, built in 1935, before continuing to camp for dinner and the first night camping. Approx. 10km/5 hrs. trekking. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 7 (Fri 7th Oct): Kolukkumalai - Rhodo Valley
It is worth waking up early this morning to enjoy spectacular views of the sunrise over the Western Ghats. This morning we pass through more tea plantations before reaching the foothills of Meesapulimala, (2,640m), the second highest peak in South India. We continue on a ridge which offers spectacular views of the Tamil Nadu peaks and lowlands before summiting Meesapulimala itself. In the afternoon we will descend through rhododendron and pine forests, ending in the Rhodo Valley where camp is set up alongside a peaceful mountain stream. Approx. 13km/6 hrs. trekking. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 8 (Sat 8th Oct): Rhodo Valley - Camp
Today we set off through fragrant pine forests and rolling grasslands, enjoying views of the mountain ranges above. We descend to Yellapatty tea plantation which we cross to reach a small forest which leads us uphill to tonight's camp. Approx.17km/7hrs. trekking. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 9 (Sun 9th Oct): Camp - Top Station - Periyar
After another sunrise opportunity we continue our trek along the mountain ridges, with beautiful views over the tea plantations. Today is a great day for spotting the endemic birds of the Western Ghats as the territory changes from forest to evergreen and grasslands. This afternoon we will pass through some small villages where we may be welcomed in for a cup of chai before finishing our trek at historic Top Station (2,200m) where we say farewell to the trek support team and transfer to our hotel in Kochi (approx. 5 hours). Approx. 10km/5 hrs. trekking. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 10 (Mon 10th Oct): Periyar - Kochi
Today we have a day to relax in Kochi, a thrilling coastal city with diverse cuisine, culture, history, art, and music. We enjoy a farewell dinner in the old town this evening. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 11 (Tues 11th Oct): Kochi
Transfer to the airport for the return flight to London. Depending on flight times you might arrive into London the next day. Meals: Breakfast.
N.B. This itinerary may change due to weather, the ability of the group and so on. We will do our best to keep to the itinerary but cannot be held responsible for changes outside of our control. In all circumstances your guide and tour leader will have the final say in the interest of the group's health and safety.
What is included
- Return flights from the UK
- Airlport taxes and charges
- Local transfers and transport in India
- 2-3* hotels, tents on the trek
- Materials required for project
- Porters and expert English-speaking local guides
- Different Travel UK tour manager
- All meals as per itinerary
What is not included
- Any necessary vaccinations
- Drinks, laundry and personal expenses
- Spending money
- Transport to/from UK airports
- Tips and gratuities
- Personal kit and equipment
- Travel insurance
- India e-visa
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2nd - 12th February 2019
Registration Fee: £370
This trip is graded as Moderate to challenging