Join the Hospice of St Francis 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: London - Kochi
Fly to Kochi on an overnight flight and upon arrival transfer to a central hotel to freshen up. This evening you will have a trip briefing and welcome dinner. Meals: Dinner.
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 camp for our first night camping, and a hearty dinner. Approx. 10km/5 hrs. trekking. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
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 stay overnight in a mountain hut. Approx. 13km/6 hrs. trekking. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
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. Approx.17km/7hrs. trekking. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
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). Approx. 10km/5 hrs. trekking. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
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. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 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.
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. 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
- Airport 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
- Transport to/from UK airports
- Personal kit and equipment
- Travel insurance
- India e-visa
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7th - 17th November 2019
Registration Fee: £395
This trip is graded as Moderate to challenging