Track our Trekkers!
From 3-13 May 2013 we’re taking a group of adventurers to trek the Himalayas.
Part of the trip will involve working for two days with Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan (AAA), an Indian charity that works against the on-going exploitation and marginalization of homeless people throughout Delhi. The project has been carefully selected by the team at Different Travel to reflect the work that the Society of St James does here in the UK.
It’s not too late to show your support – to sponsor our group of trekkers, follow the link here.
We’ll be updating this page every day to let you know our trekkers’ itinerary for the day and, if the wonders of modern technology allow it, we may even have the occasional update from the team themselves!
Day 1: Friday 3rd May
Today our trekkers headed to London Heathrow airport where they caught an 8.5 hour flight to Delhi at 10pm. Here they are getting ready to leave Southampton (minus two who made their own way to the airport):
Day 2: Saturday 4th May
We heard from our trekkers at 6.30am this morning when they let us know that they had just touched down in Delhi after the long flight (11am local time.) They met up with their guide, Sushil, and transferred to a hotel to relax, freshen up and have some lunch.
This afternoon, they went on a sightseeing tour of Delhi. Here’s what Dee had to say:
You know the feeling of standing under a hair dryer or when you open the oven door? That’s what the heat is like… Old Delhi was a bit of an assualt on the senses. It’s loud, unbelievably crowded, the smells are overwhelming – and not always in the positive. Sights wise, it’s perhaps not as colourful as I had anticipated, certainly very hazy with street dust and fumes.
Pictures could not do it justice. It’s chaotic yet slow, dirty yet beautiful in its own way. Next it’s dinner followed by the overnight train to Pathankot.
Here’s a little look at what the train will be like:
Day 3: Sunday 5th May
Our trekkers survived the night train and are now in Dharamshala. They are spending the day there before setting off on the trek tomorrow. Dee and Fen have tweeted us some updates:
I tweet from Dharamshala. The @ssjcharity team are all well. 40 degrees in Delhi, done overnight train to Pathankot, now in the mountains!— Dee Russell (@TheDeeRussell) 5. Mai 2013
…and here are a couple of Fen’s photos taken out and about in Dharamshala:
Day 4: Monday 6th May
This morning our trekkers went to morning prayers at the Buddhist temple, and Fen took this amazing picture of the sunrise over the Himalayas:
After breakfast, the group set off for their first day of trekking – 12km from Dharamshala to Kareri, taking in pine forests and mountain streams before finishing with a 2 hour steep ascent to Kareri Village.
Day 5: Tuesday 7th May
We had an update from Dee this morning:
Day 1 of trekking was really tough on a lot of the crew and resulted in a few tears. Camp is beautiful and we are breakfasting next to the river ready for Day 2 which will be TOUGHER still.
Today the group are trekking 15km from Kareri to Bahl (altitude 1900m). Here are some pictures of some of the sights they can expect to see along the way:
Day 6: Wednesday 8th May
No updates from our trekkers today, but considering they are most definitely off the beaten track now that’s not a big surprise! Today they’ll be trekking from Bahl to Triund (altitude 2843m) which will take them approximately eight hours. They will cross a suspension bridge, ascend through pine forests, and finally reach their camp on an alpine meadow facing the snow-capped peaks of the Duala Dhar mountain range.
Day 7: Thursday 9th May
Today was the last day of the trek portion of the trip. The team trekked over a grassy ridge, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, before going down to Mcleodgunj where they met the bus to take them back to Dharamshala.
We had this email from Dee earlier this morning (evening their time):
We are back in Dharamshala having trekked like gooduns.
We worked so hard. Two of us got ill but we all reached the summit at Triund and now we are all back down.
Next is the overnight train back to Delhi.
Day 8: Friday 10th May
Now that the team are back in Delhi, they have been able to share some more images of the trek:
Today the team begin their work at Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan’s Mori Gate Shelter in Delhi. Their main task will be to repaint and decorate the ‘Rehabilitation room’. This is used for meetings, orientation programs, consultations and also as a bedroom for residents. Here’s a before picture taken earlier today:
Day 9: Saturday 11th May
Our group continued working on their redecoration project today in the sweltering Delhi heat. Here they are taking a well-earned break from their hard work:
Day 10: Sunday 12th May
The team finished their decorating project today. They decided to paint a mural inspired by one of the photographs taken before they left Dharamshala to begin the trek:
— Dee Russell (@TheDeeRussell) 12. Mai 2013
Now they’re transferring to the airport to head home at last. They are due to touch down at Heathrow tomorrow morning.