Pilgrimage Itinerary
Day 1
(October 5)

Welcome to Kathmandu!
Stay: Khachoe Ghakyil Nunnery (Kopan Nunnery)
(Elevation 4,500 feet / 1,400 meters)

You may prefer to arrive 1 or 2 days earlier to Kathmandu to settle in, recover from jet lag, sightsee, and prepare for the trek. Effie Fletcher of Himalayan High Treks (effie@hightreks.com) can organize any earlier arrival, so do let her know. If you are arriving by plane, our local staff will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to Khachoe Gyakyil Nunnery.

Effie Fletcher of Himalayan High Treks (CST #2085690- 40) has been organizing pilgrimages for a variety of organizations since 2001 and treks since 1988.

Airport Arrival
Visa: First you will go through immigration to obtain your visa. A one-month single-entry visa will cost you US$40 and is easily attainable at the airport upon entry.

Please bring at least 2-4 passport-sized photos (you can never have too many) and have two of them accessible upon arrival at the airport. You will need them if you wish to get your visa at the airport. You will use a couple more on the trek at various checkpoints for additional permits

Proceed through customs and exit into the public area of the airport. When you're outside, look for a sign that displays "Lawudo." If you do not see anyone at the airport, or if there has been a last-minute change in your flight details, contact Amber Tamang at +977 98510-84961. There is a free phone in the arrivals area of the airport.

A Tip from Amber: There will be people at the airport who will ask for money to help you with your bags. You can use a free luggage cart if you wish, but if you prefer assistance from one of these people, have a small bill (US $1 or 100 rupees per bag) handy in your pocket to give to them. Keep your wallet well-hidden as you exit the airport. Our staff will find you and we will make sure you and your luggage are safely transported to Kopan Nunnery.

5:00pm: We will all meet before dinner and be briefed about what to expect for the coming days.
6:30pm: Dinner at Kopan Nunnery
7:30pm: Meditation and Teachings with Ven. Amy

Day 2
(October 6)

Relax from travel; Tour Kopan Monastery and Khachoe Ghakyil Ling Nunnery; Visit Thamel Temples; Circumambulate Boudhanath (Boudha) Stupa
Stay: Khachoe Ghakyil Nunnery (Kopan Nunnery)

6:30am: Meditation with Ven. Amy
7:00am: Breakfast at Kopan Nunnery
8:30am: Tour Kopan Nunnery and Monastery
10:30am: Bus to Kathmandu
11:30am: Lunch in Kathmandu
1:00pm: Walking tour of temples (wear good walking shoes)
3:30pm: Bus back to Boudha; Practice at Stupa and Circumambulation (Korwa)
5:00pm: Dinner in Boudha
7:30pm: Teachings with Ven. Amy

Day 3
(October 7)

Kathmandu to Lukla Flight. Then walk 5-6 hours from Lukla to Monju
Stay: Monju Guest House, Monju
(Elevation 9,186 feet / 2,800 meters)

5:30am: Depart Kopan for flight to Lukla; Arrive domestic terminal, Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) in Kathmandu, for flight to Lukla
5:00pm: Arrive in Monju
6:00pm: Dinner in Monju
7:30pm: Teachings with Ven. Amy

At Domestic Airport
Luggage is weighed (no more than 33 pounds or 15 kilos per person, which includes carry-on), we are checked in, and we wait to see if the weather will permit us to fly. Be prepared that there can be a variety of delays to flying up on our first try. Usually in this season, there are many morning flights, but occasionally we cannot fly that day and must wait at the airport for several hours before returning to our lodging. So flexibility in the mind is encouraged!

The mountain flight takes about 45 minutes and could happen anytime between 7am and 9am. The plane is small and holds about 16 passengers. It is a spectacular flight on a clear day as you will see the Himalayan range come into view, but it can be a bit bouncy due to air currents. It could be the adventure of your life!

We will then land in Lukla, a small trekking village with many lodges. You are now in Solu Khumbu. The people are Nepali Hindus, Buddhist Sherpas, or Tamangs. We will have some breakfast and tea at a lodge while we greet our porters. If our flight is delayed, we will have a light breakfast at the airport in Kathmandu.

The Trek Begins
We will then start walking over some of the most beautiful terrain you may ever see. This is the starting point for many Everest Base Camp treks and expeditions to summit Mt. Everest. The first day's trek begins with some downhill and relatively flat areas, with a few uphills involved. As it is a popular route, we may be walking with a number of other trekkers, groups, and porters carrying goods. We will pass pack animals such as donkeys and yak. It is best to move to the inside of the path if the animals are passing.

After passing through the busy village of Lukla, we will pass a sacred naga tree. Nagas are serpent spirits who help protect water sources and natural habitat. We will make a short stop to make offerings to help clear any obstacles on our journey. Small stone houses with prayer banners will come into view along with a variety of mani stones (large boulders carved with many mantras of the Buddha of Compassion). We will also cross two dramatic steel suspension bridges and the Sherpa villages of Choplung, Ghat, and busy Phakding (pronounced Pak-ding). Depending on when we eat breakfast and get started on our trek, we may stop for lunch in Phakding. We will also cross the Dudhkoshi River and follow the river canyon for a while.

It is apple season! If you like crisp, tart, red apples, I have found that the Phakding to Monju route has some of the best and the lodge owners will happily sell you a bag. A great offering to Lawudo is to bring apples— something they do not have there. Best to peel them first before eating.

You can notice the lushness of this area while the Lawudo region, due to its high elevation, will appear starker. Lawudo will also be at the beginning of its potato harvest. Potatoes are a main staple for this area and Lawudo has some of the best and most nutritious potatoes you will ever eat.

Day 4
(October 8)

Monju – Jorsalle – Namche Bazaar
Trek 5-6 hours.
Stay: Holiday Lodge, Namche Bazaar
(Elevation 11,280 feet / 3,400 meters)

6:00am: Wake up, tea or coffee
6:30am: Meditation with Ven. Amy
7:00am: Breakfast
8:00am: Trek to Namche Bazaar
6:00pm: Dinner
7:30pm: Teachings with Ven. Amy

After we pass Monju, we will enter Sagarmartha National Park and pay our park entrance fees here along with a few other checkpoints on the way.

More snow mountains will start coming into view and we will find our first strenuous hill just before Namche Bazaar. The Namche hill will take about 2 hours to climb and is simply switchbacks over large boulders.

As we enter the village of amch , we will encounter a vast amount of lodges piled one on top of another. We will stay here for three nights so we get better acclimatized. You can explore local monasteries or various shops, handle any last major internet communication (although Lawudo may have internet by the time we arrive, it will probably be very slow), and access the last ATM before Lawudo. (Before flying up to Lukla, you can purchase Nepal SIM cards in Kathmandu for unlocked smart phones, which may give you some reception and internet while at Lawudo if needed.)

Namche Bazaar is the main trading center for the Sherpas and a bustling hub for the Khumbu region. Upon arrival, your afternoon will be free to explore.

Day 5
(October 9)

Rest Day at Namche
Acclimatize and dayhike.
Stay: Holiday Lodge, Namche Bazaar

7:00am: Wake up, tea or coffee
7:30am: Meditation with Ven. Amy
8:00am: Breakfast
9:00am: Day Trek
6:00pm: Dinner
7:30pm: Teachings with Ven. Amy

The best way to avoid altitude sickness is to take things slowly, hydrate well, and do short day hikes returning to the same elevation. So this is a perfect day to climb a little higher, then return back to Namche for optimum acclimatization. Participation is highly encouraged.

We will hike to the Cultural Center, the Sagarmatha National Park Visitors' Center, above Namche and enjoy the views along with some shopping stalls and tea shops. It is also possible to see wildlife such as blood pheasants and Himalayan thar along this walk. Depending on when we return, the afternoon is free.

Day 6
(October 10)

Rest Day at Namche
Acclimatize and dayhike.
Stay: Holiday Lodge, Namche Bazaar

7:00am: Wake up, tea or coffee
7:30am: Meditation with Ven. Amy
8:00am: Breakfast
9:00am: Day Trek
6:00pm: Dinner
7:30pm: Teachings with Ven. Amy

To continue our acclimatization, we will hike to the Everest View Hotel, a luxury experience with a helipad and great views of Mount Everest. We will enjoy lunch there before heading back to Namche.

In addition, Namche is a great place to buy additional offerings for the Lawudo Family, so we will load up on some offerings for Lawudo here and may even hire an extra porter to help.

Day 7
(October 11)

Namche Bazaar to Lawudo
Trek 5 hours.
Stay: Lawudo
(Elevation 14,000 feet/ 4,270 meters)

6:00am: Wake up, tea or coffee
6:30am: Meditation with Ven. Amy
7:00am: Breakfast
8:00am: Leave Namche
12noon: Lunch along the way
2:00pm: Arrival to Lawudo!
6:30pm: Dinner
7:30pm: Teachings with Ven. Amy

After our rest in Namche Bazaar, we will walk uphill out of the village and then enjoy the flat of a lovely pine forest for about an hour. We will pass a lovely stupa uilt for Lama Zopa Rinpoche's mother and the small village of Teshio and get our first look at Lawudo from the path far below. he last section of the day's walk from Teshio to Lawudo is the most physically challenging of the trek. You can expect a very steep uphill along a tree-lined and rocky trail. We will make our way along it slowly. It will take us approximately 3 hours. Then we will finally arrive at this precious retreat place. Relax, settle in, enjoy the scenery, visit the li rary, and spend time with Rinpoche's sister, Anila Nawang Samden. I will show everyone the cave that day and we can have time to meditate there as we slowly settle in for retreat.

Day 8
(October 12)

Visit to Thamo and Khari Gompa
1-hour walk downhill and 1½-hour walk back up.
Stay: Lawudo

6:30am: Wake up, tea or coffee
7:00am: Meditation with Ven. Amy
7:30am: Breakfast
8:30am: Visit Thamo and Khari Gompa Nunnery (Ani Gompa)
11:00am: Walk back to Lawudo
12:30pm: Lunch
Afternoon: Relax, journal, enjoy the library, meditate in the cave
6:30pm: Dinner
7:30pm: Retreat begins with Ven. Amy

We will walk down a steep slope one hour to Thamo (pronounced Ta-mo). Thamo has a lovely nunnery, or ani gompa, named Khari Gompa and presided over by Khari Rinpoche, a 27-year old reincarnate lama who may or may not be in residence for our visit. Approximately 30 nuns over the past 12 years built this new nunnery. It was back reaking work as they hauled sand and stones from the river for years. hings have improved uite a it since my rst nyung n (fasting retreat) with them in 1990, when the toilet was just out along the footpaths! Most of the original nuns I knew have since passed away, but there is a newer crew of lively Sherpa and Tibetan women. For many women, such as those from poorer areas, this is their only opportunity to get an education.

I will lead some basic meditation during the afternoon and will explain the meaning of retreat.

Day 9-12
(October 13-16)

Lawudo Retreat with Ven. Amy Miller;
A 3-day meditation retreat.
Stay: Lawudo

The retreat will begin in the evening on October 12 and conclude the morning of October 16.

Day 12
(October 16)

Retreat Conclusion; Walk to Cherok
Walk is one half hour each way.
Stay: Lawudo

7:30am: Breakfast concludes the retreat, then take the rest of the morning to relax and reflect on the retreat experience
12noon: Lunch
1:00pm: Walk to Cherok; rest of afternoon free
6:30pm Dinner
7:30pm Teachings with Ven. Amy

Cherok is a 1-hour walk slightly uphill from Lawudo. We will visit Venerable Pema Choden, precious nun and daughter of the past Cherok Lama; the home and gompa are in an interesting cave in a region that is right out of Tolkien! We may pass some huge yaks, see horses, and still find some remnants of the beautiful wildflowers that cover the barren terrain all summer. Edelweiss is a late bloomer so there may still be some left at the time of our visit.

Day 13
(October 17)

Day Trip to Thame, Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Birthplace
Walk 2-3 hours to Thame and 2-3 hours back to Lawudo.
Stay: Lawudo

6:30am: Wake up, tea or coffee
7:00am: Meditation with Ven. Amy
7:30am: Breakfast
8:30am: Trek to Thame; visit Rinpoche's birthplace and Thame Gompa
1:00pm Lunch at a simple lodge in Thame
2:00pm: Trek back to Lawudo
6:30pm: Dinner
7:30pm: Final reflections with Ven. Amy

ham is where Rinpoche and his si lings were orn. We will visit the birth house and ham ompa a ove the village. A simple lunch will be at a local lodge before returning to Lawudo around 4pm.

Day 14
(October 18)

Trek from Lawudo to Monju
Stay: Monju Guest House
(Elevation 9,300 feet / 2,800 meters)

6:30am: Wake up, tea or coffee
7:00am: Meditation with Ven. Amy
7:30am: Breakfast
8:30am: Lawudo Departure
12noon: Lunch in Namche
1:00pm: Departure for Monju
4:30pm: Arrive Monju
6:30pm: Dinner
7:30pm: Teachings with Ven. Amy

Following breakfast, we will depart our Lawudo mountain home for the return to Lukla and flights to Kathmandu. As the descents are often much more challenging for the knees, you may want to wrap your knees with knee compression sleeves. I have found them very helpful. This is definitely the time to use trekking poles if you like, which can easily be purchased in Kathmandu or Namche.

Day 15
(October 19)

Trek from Monju to Lukla
Trek 5 hours from Monju to Lukla; re-confirm tickets;
enjoy a free afternoon.
Stay: Himalaya Lodge
(Elevation 9,383 feet / 2,860 meters)

6:00am: Wake up, tea or coffee
6:30am: Meditation with Ven. Amy
7:00am: Breakfast
8:00am: Departure from Monju
1:00pm: Lunch after arrival in Lukla
6:30pm: Dinner
7:30pm: Teachings with Ven. Amy

This is our last trekking day of the pilgrimage. Enjoy one last look at the majestic scenery, explore the local village, take in the clean mountain air, and reflect on your Lawudo experience.

Day 16
(October 20)

Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu
Fly in the morning; enjoy a free afternoon.
Stay: Hyatt Regency, Boudhananth
(Elevation 4,500 feet / 1,400 meters)

6:00am: Wake up, tea or coffee
6:30am: Meditation with Ven. Amy
7:00am: Breakfast
8:00am: Departure from Lukla
Lunch and Dinner: On your own
Afternoon and Evening: Free

Sometimes the departure day from Lukla is a bit of a hectic adventure as there are many trekkers flying out and many flights. Our flight will hopefully depart before 9:00am unless there is a delay due to weather.

In Kathmandu, we will be picked up and transferred to the Hyatt Regency, walkable to the Boudha stupa. The hotel will be a luxurious relief in some ways from the primitiveness of the previous days and a bit of a jolt, so just breathe and observe your mind.

Take time to reflect on your Lawudo experience, rest, and explore more of Kathmandu. Make any final preparations for onward travel or your flight home.

Day 17
(October 21)

Stay: Hyatt Regency, Boudhananth

Breakfast: At the Hyatt Regency at your leisure
Lunch: On your own
4:00pm: Meet at the hotel lobby for our last outing together to the Boudha stupa for prayers, teachings, and final circumambulation (korwa)
6:30pm: Farewell dinner at Hyatt Regency

Rest before heading back home, or do some final shopping and sightseeing in Kathmandu.

Day 18
(October 22)

Departure Day and End of Pilgrimage

Breakfast: At the Hyatt Regency at your leisure

After breakfast, Amber will organize your transfers to the airport, or you may choose to continue exploring the region. Farewell and safe journey.

Notes: This is meant only as a guide to what our days will be like.
1. PreTrip Arrival: Fly to our meeting point in Kathmandu, Nepal. Travelers from the Americas ‘lose’ one day crossing the international date line. You must arrive in Kathmandu no later than Thursday, October 25, 2018. If you arrive early, we can arrange transfers and additional accommodations on request (additional cost).
2. Changes may be made as we go along and will be announced as well as posted when possible in the hotel reception areas. These changes will be based on local conditions, health and hotel availability.
3. Times mentioned are all approximate and rounded off.
4. Sturdy vehicles with air-conditioning will be provided.
5. Airport transfers included on October 23 and November 12. We can arrange optional transfers and services at a modest cost should you arrive early or depart late from the program.
6. Included meals for each day have been shown as bold at the end of each daily description.
7. Contact information is current and subject to change.
8. The format for the phone numbers is country code, city code, then the local number in parentheses. Nepal’s country code is 977 and India’s country code is 91. For mobile phones in Nepal you don’t need to put the city code 1 after the country code as you do for other local numbers. You will find more information about international calling in our trip notes, provided after registration
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For more information please contact Effie Fletcher, Pilgrimage coordinator at
Himalayan High Treks
241 Dolores Street, San Francisco, CA 94103-2211 USA
Phone US & Canada toll free (800) 455 8735
Phone (1) (415) 551 1005 * Fax (1) (415) 861 2391
Ven. Robina Courtin
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