This trip starts with a trek in the beautiful Kannan Devan hills area of Kerala which will take you along a route through the highest tea estate in the world; Kolukkumalai. You will cross the foothills of the second highest peak in South India and trek through the rolling grassland and natural brooks of the Western Ghats. After the trek you will spend two days supporting a hospice care centre in Trivandrum on a range of activities and tasks to help improve the facilities for the benefit of the patients and their families.
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.
Days 1-2: London - Trivandrum
Depart London for Kochi on an indirect overnight flight. Upon arrival in Kochi we transfer to our central hotel to freshen up. This evening we will have a trip briefing and welcome dinner. Meals: Dinner. Overnight: Hotel
Day 3: Kochi - Munnar - Kolukkumalai
After breakfast we set off to Munnar (approx. 4 hours) where we will switch vehicles and transfer by jeep to Kolukkumalai situated 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), and winds through the plantations until we reach one of the oldest tea factories in the region, built in 1935. From here we continue to our campsite for a hearty dinner and our first night camping. Trekking: Approx. 10km/5 hours. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Overnight: Camping
Day 4: Kolukkumalai - Rhodo Mansion
It is worth waking up early this morning to enjoy spectacular views of the sunrise over the Western Ghats. Today we pass through more tea plantations before reaching the foothills of Meesapulimala, 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 (2,640m). In the afternoon we descend through rhododendron and pine forests, to the Rhodo Valley where we will either stay overnight in a mountain hut or at our campsite. Trekking: Approx. 13km/6 hours. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Overnight: Mountain hut or camping.
Day 5: Rhodo Mansion - Camp Footprint
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 our final campsite. Trekking: Approx.17km/7hours. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Overnight: Camping
Day 6: Camp Footprint - Top Station - Munnar
After another sunrise-viewing 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 back to Munnar (approx. 5 hours). Trekking: Approx. 10km/5 hours. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Overnight: Hotel
Day 7: Munnar - Trivandrum
Today is a travel day as we transfer from Munnar to Trivandrum by road (approx. 8-9 hours). There will be plenty of stops along the way. Our hotel in Trivandrum will be our base for the next 3 nights. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Overnight: Hotel
Days 8-9: 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 unique opportunity to gain an understanding of hospice care in India, and what CanKids does for the local community. The specific tasks will depend on the most urgent need at the facility at the time of your visit. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Overnight: Hotel
Day 10: Trivandrum - London
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. The day-to-day program is subject to weather, general conditions and the progress of the group. While we do not anticipate any changes to the itinerary, we cannot be held responsible for changes made due to unexpected circumstances. Ultimately the safety and health of the group takes priority in all circumstances.
What is included
- Return flights from the UK
- Airport taxes and charges
- Local transfers and transport in India
- All accommodation as per itinerary
- Materials required for project
- English-speaking local guides
- Porters and support staff
- Different Travel UK tour manager
- All meals as per itinerary
What is not included
- Any necessary vaccinations
- Spending money (tips, drinks, souvenirs)
- Transport to/from UK airports
- Travel insurance
- Personal kit and clothing
- Indian visa
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