An 11 day Women's Walking Retreat in the foothills of Eastern Nepal with Everest Summiteer Brigitte Muir and Women's Mentor Juliette Robertson
Are you ready to have some fun with a bunch of like-minded women, reflect, dream and share with local Nepali women in a breathtakingly beautiful, rustic mountain environment?
Well, you are in the right place.
We invite you to join us for our Women's Walking Retreat in the hill-country of Nepal in the safe hands of Everest summiteer, Brigitte Muir OAM and Women's Mentor Juliette Robertson for 11 days of fun, walking, reflection, inspiration and helping others.
If that resonates with you, join our Inner Circle and click :
- "I'm interested! Please give me access to the podcast"
You'll find the button at the bottom of this page and will gain access to Brigitte and Juliette's e-mails and the podcast, answering questions you might have - or did not even think of!
Plus you can explore the whole itinerary , costs and inclusions by navigating the menu either across the top or down the left side depending on the phone or screen you are using. Enjoy having a good look around!
Eleven fabulous days of walking in the hill country and trekking to a 4000metre summit with a unique view of the entire Himalayan range, sharing with local women, meditating, journaling, laughing, eating, reflecting, teaching, shopping, refining and planning the next stage of your life below the highest peaks in the world.
Why: Because we can! And we owe it to ourselves to take time out to hear the call of our spirit. This is also a pretty special opportunity to meet local village women, hear their stories and experience a sense of belonging to a small subsistence farming village full of big personalities! Definitely, a time to share, reflect, recharge.
How: Please refer to the "Costs" tab in the menu for all details. Inclusions will amaze you and delight you!
How Many: The trip will proceed with a minimum of 6 to a maximum of 12 participants
Bring a friend along! When you bring a friend along, you'll earn an AUD $100 refund. Consider it a thank you bonus to share with your friend, once both payments have been made in full or alternatively, you can donate it back towards the Lura Women's micro finance fund.
Adventure Travel: please note that the itinerary may change slightly according to outside circumstances and people's wellness. That is why it is called an adventure! Your leaders are well versed in making the most out of every situation to ensure the best for each participant, so you can relax and enjoy the journey!
A UNIQUE WAY TO GIVE
When we give, we grow. Imagine what can happen when a bunch of women with skills acquired in their professional and/or family lives meet a group of local women who are excited about learning! Whether it is discussing the best way to look after your back when working in the fields, or which improvements to make to their working lives, or new business ideas, the empowerment and fun come from working together, across cultures and continents, in a subsistence farming village setting. If you wish, we will brainstorm with you an appropriate topic that you can contribute easily, with confidence and joy.
Future fundraising: once ideas have been discussed and approved by the local women, we go ahead with makign them a reality! Will it be a creek powered flour mill? A couple of mules to carry flour and produce to the market?
ABOUT YOUR HOSTS
Our fully supported Trek is run by Friendship World Trek and Expeditions and will be escorted by world-famous Australian Everest Summiteer, the unconquerable Brigitte Muir OAM who turns 60 this year and is ready to party. Brigitte was the first Australian woman to climb Mt Everest, and the first Australian, male or female, to climb the highest peak on each continent. You can read her own account in the ebook version of The Wind in my Hair
She has led countless treks and mountaineering expeditions to the Everest Region of Nepal. She knows the people, villages, paths and sites very well and has established a community program for local women in Lura (Beyond The Smile). We are so lucky to be able to meet and learn from these local Nepali women who we will work and plan with during the trek. ( see " A unique ay to give")
Beside offeringThe Authentic Woman Coaching Program which includes pre-trek preparation, facilitation of all group discussions and post trek planning sessions, professional Women’s Coach and Facilitator, author and fellow adventure traveller, Juliette Robertson, will also facilitate with Brigitte the skill exchange workshops with local women. Juliette has lived a richly diverse life. Now in her 50's, she is a senior Learning and Development Consultant, and professional Coach and Mentor to women from corporates to small business. Juliette has travelled the globe, much of it solo on adventurous expeditions and has recently launched her 3rd book, a travel memoir " One Spanish Summer and other stories from the Road". She is a wife and working mother of two teenagers and a lifelong student of personal development - finding one's purpose and taking action. She loves writing, dancing and creating the space where people work together to do extraordinary inspiring things.
A little more about our operator in Nepal: Friendship World Trek and Expeditions is a fully registered Treks and Expeditions Operator based in Kathmandu. Its owner, Nima Dorjee Tamang, was born in the area that we will be visiting. This means that local people are employed, whether as highly skilled guides and cooks or cheery porters, male and/or female.
The money you pay goes straight to them, without an expensive agency commission.
AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE, RECHARGE, REFLECT, AND HAVE FUN!
This inaugural 11 day Women 4 Women Walking Retreat is for women like you who want to take time out to share, reflect, recharge and define their professional and/or personal direction. This is about jumping into life with a bunch of other fabulous, diverse women of two different worlds. You might be a mother, a female business owner, a female leader, creative or activist - a woman contemplating the next chapter of her life and wanting to learn, connect and share
This fully supported journey is a unique, self-empowering, fun, yet reflective, walking retreat below the Everest region of Nepal.
You’ll be travelling in a landscape of subsistence farming villages, temples, forests and rivers against a background of snow-capped mountains and Nepali smiles.
You’ll be sharing time and exchanging skills with local village women and each other, meditating with monks in a hilltop monastery, visiting temples, markets and experiencing local village life and food, camping under the stars and laughing.
The opportunity is there for you to share your heart and brainstorm with other authentic women. If you wish to, you'll be guided to go within to clarify and gently define your life’s purpose and direction. You'll be journaling and planning and will return, recharged with a plan to help you move forward.
Brigitte and Juliette's combined experience and teachings will be integrated into the walking retreat to assist each woman to tap into her inner knowing in a deeper way to find her true north and set plans in motion to help her move in her desired life direction. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in pre-trek preparatory webinars and on-trek group coaching discussions ( we call them masterminds)
Pre-trek webinars will occur during the month prior to the trek where we will be discussing the Cultural Diversity of Nepal and how to share your unique skills in an authentic way. You will have the opportunity to speak with Brigitte Muir who will share insights about her inner and outer journeys, her connection to mountains and their people, her community work and her motivation for women helping women.
You will also be introduced to insightful pre-reading and activities that will form the basis of our group mastermind discussions about mindset, mindfulness, meditation, visualisation, affirmations, journaling and more.
During the trek, these facilitated discussions will be times of learning, sharing, feedback and helping each other clarify the next chapter while having a blast in the process. As you tune in to listen to your spirit, you will gain clarity and confidence to take action and move ahead.
There will be a post-trek webinar reunion to regroup, follow up on insights and actions and provide tools to help you move forward, as well as a private Facebook page to keep in touch and share.
FITNESS AND PRACTICALITIES
I really want to go, but who am I kidding? No way I am fit enough.
Well yes, you are. Or if you need a little preparation, I can help. We walk from one hour a day to a maximum of six. That’s with a light day pack, and plenty of stops along the way. Challenging enough to get you out of your comfort zone, but remember, we are not out to kill you! This walking retreat is about having fun, not climbing Mount Everest! (although you’ll hear plenty about that, and learn quite a few insider tricks along the way)
We will be flying up to Phaplu and walking at around 2500 to 3500 meters which is not much higher than Mount Kosciuszko. You also have the option of pushing your limits and summitting Pike Peak, a 4065m look out on the whole Himalayan Range.
Geez, that costs a bit. I really should spend the money on the family /extra mortgage repayments/a car upgrade/blah blah blah.
You are worth it. The experience we are offering you is worth it. Hell, it is cheap for what you’ll get out of it. This is an investment in your present, in your future, in your well-being, and a chance to 'belong ' to a community of extraordinary local women.
Plus you get to go to a cool place, discover a new culture that no “factory treks” will ever give you, spend time with me, and Juliette, the other cool women on the trip and most importantly, spend time with you.
AND you’ll have the most exotic Christmas presents ever this year, plus you’ll have re and post trip webinars … do I need to go on?
My partner, kids, job and pets need me. I need to be responsible
Yes you do! Relax….It is less than two weeks, not months away. You can organise your way around that if you really want to. It’s a matter of choices. Get creative. Take the lead. Find a solution. Be proactive
I’m a fussy eater – I might not cope with the food
Well I must say the food is yummy and plentiful, and guess what? You won’t have to cook for almost two weeks! Dietary requirements will be catered for. The Tamang are wonderful cooks AND when we are camping, you will eat in a camp dining room with table and chairs.. luxury!
Mmmm Hygiene is pretty important to me…..
Ablutions considerations: a toilet tent with a toilet seat over hole, dirt thrown on top of your business, and a new location as needed. And yes, toilet paper is allowed.
A bowl of warm washing water in your tent after your wake up.
A cuppa in bed to welcome the day, with a smile and a cheerful “good morning didi*” salutation. Hot water on demand for extra washing of hair and clothes. (hot shower and flushing toilet in Phaplu and Kathmandu) * polite greeting, literally, older sister.
Who am I kidding… I so want to go but I cant rough it for 10 days!
Actually you’ll be in a twin share super deluxe room in Kathmandu for 3 nights ... (If you require a single, you’ll have to pay an extra US$25 per night so bring a friend or just share!)
We will be in comfy twin share tents with mattresses for 6 nights. If you have a favourite sleeping bag, do bring it along. Otherwise, we will hire you one . . .
I bet you that once you have decided to come, you will like me feel:
- your spine tingle when you close your eyes and feel the evening cool air,
- the wood smoke from village fires wafting in the night,
- the laughs of our Tamang cook and helpers in the kitchen tent,
- the excitement and warmth of our local women gatherings
- the song of the creek running down the mountain side,
- the chants of the monks celebrating life and a new day,
- your own giggles and aha moments,
You’ll find that everything falls into place, and so it should.
We are creating our own reality
Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu
There is nothing better after a long flight than to see a sign with your name at the airport!
The colours and busyness of Kathmandu are left behind at the gate of our hotel.
We are staying at the International Guest House in Paknajol (photo), a Sherpa style hotel centered around a lovely, quiet garden. Today, we meet each other, chill out and go for a walk through Thamel. This is the tourist shops and restaurants area of Kathmandu, a wonderful array of small streets where food and exotic items for sale are everywhere the eye can see. Think the bar scene in Star Wars.
Back at the hotel we’ll have our first candlelight Women’s Circle just before bed to quietly share our intentions in anticipation for what these 10 days will bring for each of us.
Task today: Official welcome, gear assessment and hire, have fun in a new place.
Highlights: shopping and meeting our group, at last, after so many emails and webinars shared!
Meals: normally when in towns meals are not included. Tonight though, dinner is on us! Complimentary welcome meal in Nepali cultural dance restaurant.
What is a Women’s Circle?
There is something profoundly powerful in a group of women sitting in a circle.
When we meet in circle we join to hold everyone in sacred space and purpose.
Women are naturally more oriented to relationships & connection.
Conversational circles are purposeful opportunities for women to gather and talk about topics that are important and meaningful. They are a space where women can encourage, challenge and support each other. It’s a way to amplify the power of Women’s leadership.
In a nutshell a Women’s Circle is:
– A sacred space honoring the uniqueness of each individual
– Everyone is equal
– It’s a safe space where you can speak from your heart
– Listening is directed to both individuals who are speaking and the themes, connections, wisdom & energy that is emerging within the context created
– It’s a container that can hold diverse perspectives
– It’s a space for you to tell your stories, talk about your roles, gifts, concerns & visions.
– It’s a space for you to create the future you desire
Note: none of the activities proposed in our trips are compulsory. they do however, give you an opportunity to stretch yourself in a safe environment, at all times.
Day 2 - in Kathmandu Dawn walk to Swayambhunath and Bodhanath
Two contrasting destinations, both bringing us to the here and now of our journey!
In Kathmandu. Jetlag can be a wonderful thing. As we wake up before dawn ( Nepal is 5.15 hours ahead of Australia) we walk through the empty streets across town to the top of a hill nearby. This is where Swayambhunath ( the Monkey temple) is located. The Tibetan name for the site means 'Sublime Trees'. On the way, temples, dogs, whiffs of incense, goats and denizens of the early morning. Many, many steps get us to its wonders, ... and breakfast .
On a terrace overlooking Kathmandu, we enjoy a well deserved fast break, along with a conversation/ Q&A with Brigitte about achieving goals and our upcoming journey.
We drive in our private bus to Boudhanath, a Unesco World Heritage site, for a scrumptious lunch at the Caravan Cafe and Gallery, and for koras around its stupa, one of the biggest in the world. This is a very sacred site to Tibetans, and Buddhists in general (a kora is a clockwise reflective walk around a shrine, in this case the beautiful stupa, or hemispherical structure containing relics).
- do not forget notebook for the morning walk.
- finish packing gear for an early start tomorrow
Meals: not included today, as we are out and about in the city. From tomorrow, all meals will be included until we return to Kathmandu.
Highlights: dawn walk with devotees and early local joggers, koras at Boudanath, shopping and storytelling.
Day 3 - Mountain flight to Phaplu, walk to Lura
A very early start today, with a packed breakfast from the hotel. Domestic departures at Kathmandu airport are always a huge entertainment. This time of year, chances of bad weather delaying flights are extremely remote, so we can enjoy the show and get ready for an amazing flight.
The flight to Phaplu, with extraordinary views of mountains on the left side of the plane, takes about one hour. Once at Phaplu airport, we are reunited with our gear, we meet our local porters and hosts and make our way down to the river through fields and isolated farms. Then it is an uphill walk to our Base Camp for the next week, Lura. ( one hour walk)
Lura is a subsistence farming village of about twenty-five households. Brigitte first visited the area in 2007 and has returned many times since.
Once our camp is established, we gather in the mess tent for a cuppa and our Mastermind session (2)
Highlights: Flight across the Himalaya, meeting the villagers, making ourselves comfortable in our two persons tents, Mastermind session.
Did you know? Phaplu is not only the home of an airport. Phaplu Hospital was built by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1975 with the objective to provide medical services to the densely populated southern part of Solukhumbu District of Nepal. On completion of the building, the hospital was staffed by New Zealand volunteer doctors and local paramedical staff. The Himalayan Trust of Sir Edmund Hillary has directly managed the hospital from 1975 to 1984. The hospital was then handed over to the government of Nepal, and is still supported by the Himalayan Trust through the German Sir Edmund Hillary-Stifftung Deutschland.
Day 4 - In Lura
Today we make ourselves at home. For those who have chosen to participate in Women Circles, the early morning session will bring revelations, facilitated by the amazing Juliette. Then it is morning tea and warm washing water delivered to the tents, before a delicious breakfast.
A walk up the hill will take us to the Lura temple, where we can meditate, or have an impromptu yoga/chi gong/ stretching session, depending on the groups skills, and who would like to share their knowledge with others.
We walk back through a beautiful forest, and have either a local women meeting, or a bon witch doctor evening.
About walking: our journey is one taking place in hilly country. That's Nepal for you, ups and downs! This mean that even if we only walk one hour, it will be one that either goes up, or down. Fortunately, Brigitte has thirty years of experience at teaching trekkers how to save energy while walking! You will need to do some walking to prepare for this trip though. Being int ouch with other women before the trip means you can find walking companions, and we will always be there to advise you on training if needed. How exciting! A great way to get in shape, physically and mentally!
Day 5 - To Chiwang Monastery
Chiwang Monastery is perched on top of a cliff above Paphlu. It is the stage of the very famous Mani Rindu Festival, which attracts thousands of visitors in October/November. We have the whole place to ourselves as we embrace the moment in a stunning environment.
A five to six hours walk takes us from fields and orchards through a steep forest to our camping spot, in the grounds of the monastery.
Juliette will facilitate a Women Circle which will take its participants further into ....
Or.. an impromptu stretching/ yoga/ qigong session might just be the ticket before our dinner with a view.
All Meals included.
Highlights: Share villagers life as we meet them in their everyday activities, walk up the forest, koras and prayer wheels at the monastery; free time, stretching with a view; Women Circle.
Day 6 - market and witchcraft
Morning: Meditation with the monks. What will the reflection bring? After breakfast, we walk down the forest and monkeys back to the valley and Salleri for a traditional studio portrait. Now let me tell you, that is an experience you will never forget!!
Then it is onto Naya Bazaar and the weekly market. Have you ever had Momos? Well, you will today! Walking back to Lura takes about one hour, or more, as we’ll probably be chatting away with everyone else who went to the market!
At night time, our two local Bon witch doctors, as the locals call them, introduce us to an ancient religion, that came to Nepal before Buddhism, and still is at the core of life in remote villages..
All Meals included
Highlights: Buddhism in the morning, Animism at night, shopping, eating momos, walking and talking in between.
About Bon: The witch doctors, as local people call them, are Bon female shamans. Bon is the oldest spiritual tradition of Tibet. Tamang people, who live in the area we visit, originally came from Tibet.
Day 7 - walk to Pike peak Base Camp
From Lura we walk 4 - 5 hours up through a magical forest, past the Hindu Gyamdanda temple, then up a narrow ridge to a landscape of alpine meadows and yak grazing, opening onto the whole range of the Himalaya.
We establish our Pike Peak Base Camp in a lovely meadow located at around 3,500 metres.
We will spend two nights at this camp, which will be either the starting point of the Pike peak climb, or an opportunity to spend time with yourself in a very special place..
Day 8 - Climb Every Mountain Pike peak climb
We have the option of climbing to the top of Pike Peak at 4,065 m for a view to the Himalaya that Sir Edmund Hilary described as the best in Nepal. An estimated ten hours is needed to go to the summit and back. The views are also available without the hard work, from our Base Camp.
If you want a day with yourself, this is your chance. Make the most of "me time" while the early risers go to the summit and back. Whichever option you choose will be the right one for you...
Summit bid: roughly ten hours
The climb is like many activities on this trip, optional. Staying at Base Camp for a very special me time is yours if you want it. Even there, you are still higher than the top of Kosciuszko!
Day 9 - back to Lura, the future
After a hearty breakfast we take a leisurely walk down through the forest for three hours, and arrive back at our camp in Lura where we will spend the day enjoying local hospitality.
Back to Lura for our last day there, love and sharing on the agenda. Oh, and perhaps a little dancing? Villagers love sharing their culture, and as long as you can shake your bonbon, you are in for a treat, and lots of laughing!
Day 10 - Walk to Phaplu, fly out, Kathmandu Delights
Early start and a 45 minute walk to Phaplu airport, where we board our flight back to Kathmandu and an afternoon flurry of (Christmas) shopping, washing, talking.
We will have a group Retreat Debrief, a sharing of what we have learnt and insights and plans for the future.
End of Expedition - Party
Meals included: Breakfast.
Day 11 Fly out
Awakening to the last day can be a good time to get out early and say a private goodbye to this kind land.
Last minute shopping, goodbyes, exchanges of gifts and contact details. A lift to the airport for your flight
Meals included: Breakfast.
Please note that extra days in Kathmandu, flight over Everest, or excursions to other places near or far way can be organised for you if you wish to stay on. (cost: not included in this walking retreat's cost)