A 11 day Women's Walking Retreat in the foothills of Eastern Nepal with Everest Summiteer Brigitte Muir and Women's Mentor Juliette Robertson
FOR HEART-CENTERED ADVENTUROUS WOMEN 45+
(if you are younger and want to learn from your elders, you are welcome too!)
Immerse yourself in a different life and culture! Transform your perspectives on what's possible!
Are you ready to break out and have some fun with a bunch of like-minded women aged 45+ to reflect, dream and share with local Nepali women in a breathtakingly beautiful, rustic mountain environment? AND to be part of monthly mind and fitness expanding pre-trip webinars?
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, personal reflection, inspiration and helping local women.
If that resonates with you, join our Inner Circle to stay in touch and learn more by clicking:
- "I'm interested! Please give me access to more info!"
You'll find the button at the bottom of this page and will gain access to Brigitte and Juliette's e-mails and a 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 together: Kathmandu, walking in the hill country, sharing and learning 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.
For those who wish, there will be a chance to experience a true summit day to the top of a 4000metre peak with a unique view of the entire Himalayan range. Warning! This will require serious training.
Why: Because we can! And we owe it to ourselves to take time out to hear the call of our spirit. This is first and foremost a very 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 8 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 Nepalese Women's fund that we love to support.
Adventure Travel: please note that the itinerary may change 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 making them a reality! Will it be a creek powered flour mill? A couple of mules to carry flour and produce to the market?
Pre trek monthly webinars are included in the trip cost: each month, we gather for a webinar, discussing our aims, fitness progress, answer questions about the trip, and prepare our skills exchanging field sessions. A great way to bond as a group, and to connect with geographically close participants. Walking with someone else is always more fun!
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 . 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.
BONUS: PAY YOUR DEPOSIT BEFORE THE CALENDAR YEAR, AND GET A FREE COPY OF BRIGITTE'S EBOOK!
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 way to give")
Beside offering The Authentic Woman Program which includes pre-trek preparation, facilitation of group discussions, one on one walkie talkies and post trek planning sessions, professional Women’s Mentor 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 corporate 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 overseas agency commission.
ALTITUDE AND ATTITUDE: ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS
A Note on Adventure Travel
There is an itinerary. It is important to have a base plan to work from. Adventure Travel is about going with the flow though, as anything can happen at any time. We do the worrying, You enjoy the adventure! :-)
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, we can help. We walk from one hour a day to a maximum of seven ( except on the optional Pike Peak summit day, where you might have to be on the trail for ten to eleven hours.) 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 stress you! A retreat, by its very definition, is about drawing back from our busy world. It's a time of contemplation and reflection. As this is a Walking Retreat, you will need to be fit enough to enjoy the hill walking but it is also about having fun on the trails. We are not climbing in snow or scaling Mount Everest! (although you’ll hear plenty about that, and learn quite a few insider tricks along the way).
We are also created Trek Fit 101, for participants who want a qualified Professional Fitness Trainer to mentor them virtually and help them prepare. This will be at an additional cost and tailored for you to ensure you are ready. Contact us for details.
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. And more exciting than staying at a luxury resort with another hundred people! This is an investment in your present, in your future, in your well-being, and a chance to 'belong' to a community of extraordinary 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 Brigitte and Juliette, with the other 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 pre 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. Your close ones will thank you for it!
I’m a fussy eater – I might not cope with the food
Well 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 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$200 extra so bring a friend or just share!)
We will be in comfy twin share mountain tents with foam mattresses on the floor for seven nights. What an adventure! 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 us feel:
- your spine tingle when you close your eyes and feel the evening mountain air,
- the smiles and greetings of women tending their fields as we walk by,
- the every day loving care and laughs of our Tamang guides, porters and cooks and helpers on the trek,
- the excitement, warmth and fun of our local women gatherings
- the early morning so special connection with monks reading their prayers in a temple perched on a cliff,
- Eagles gliding in the sky above the rododhendron forest, on the way to climb a mountain
- your own breath in and out giving your steps a rythm, and your life meaning,
- your own giggles and aha moments,
You’ll find that everything falls into place, and so it should.
We are creating our own reality
PS: Brigitte can answer any other questions you might have on praticalities. Just email [email protected] and say hi!
AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE, LEARN, RECHARGE, REFLECT, AND HAVE FUN!
This 11 day Women 4 Women Walking Retreat is for women like you who want to take time out to walk in a beautiful place, learn from another culture, share, reflect, recharge and if you wish to, define your professional and/or personal direction with the fabulous Juliette. This is about jumping into life with a bunch of women from two different worlds, Nepal and the West.
This fully supported journey is a unique, self-empowering, fun, challenging yet reflective, walking retreat below the Everest region of Nepal.
You’ll be trekking 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, walking up magical forests to discover incredible views, visiting temples, markets and experiencing local village life and food, camping under the stars and laughing.
We offer a unique opportunity to share your heart and brainstorm with other authentic women of different cultures. If you wish to, you'll be guided to go within to clarify and gently define your life’s purpose and direction. You'll have the option/opportunity to journal and plan and will return home recharged and rearing to move forward. Oh.. and you'll be learning the secrets of moving well and safely while trekking at altitude from an Everest Summitter! You might even challenge yourself to get to the top of Pike Peak, a 4065m mountain allowing a stunning view of the entire Himalaya.
Brigitte and Juliette's combined experience and teachings will be integrated into the walking retreat to assist each woman who desires so 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 on request individual and group mentoring sessions.
Pre-trek warm-up webinars will occur every month via Zoom on-line for all Walking Retreat participants around the world. These are not compulsory but they are rewarding. Here we talk about trip details and get to know each other, share and laugh and break through any initial concerns. In the final month prior to our trip we will be discussing the Cultural Diversity of Nepal and how to share your unique skills in a simple 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 love for women helping women.
Everyone also has access to insightful pre-reading and may join our Cultural Online Book Club that will open your eyes to Nepalese life and help enrich your experience. If you enjoy reading and discussing other cultures, you will love our Cultural online Book Club.
During the trek, our optional 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 heart, 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.
Isnt't it all exciting? We are excited!!!
Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu
OFFICIAL START OF TRIP: 1 PM IN HOTEL GARDEN, AFTER EVERYONE WHO HAS NOT ARRIVED EARLY HAS CHECKED IN.
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.
EXTRA DAYS: Please note that extra days in Kathmandu, flight over Everest, or excursions to other places near or far way can be organised for you by Friendship World Trek, our tour operator in Nepal, if you wish to arrive early, or stay on longer. ( cost: not included in this walking retreat's cost)
Day 2 - in Kathmandu Dawn walk to Swayambhunath and Bodhnath visit
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 Paphlu, Naya Bazaar Market, walk to Lura
Time walking: 2-3 hours
A very early start today, with a packed breakfast from the hotel.
The flight to Paphlu, with extraordinary views of mountains on the left side of the plane, takes about one hour. Once at Paphlu airport, we meet our local porters and hosts. They will take our gear to the Lura Camp, while we stroll down to the market at Naya Bazaar. (about one hour)
We hop in tuk tuks to reach the river from Nyay Bazaar, and walk up the hill to Lura . This takes about one hour, or more, as we’ll probably be chatting away with everyone else who went to the market!
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 perhaps meet the women for our first contact session.
ABOUT NEPALI TIME: In Nepal, things always happen, but it helps to go with the flow! That's OK. Brigitte has over thirty years of experience at navigating Nepal and will make sure that each day brings its own rewards, whether planned, or not!
After dinner, rug up for our evening candlelight Women’s Circle number 2 to acknowledge the combined wisdom we bring from our individual lives and all that we can share and learn from the local women.
Meals: Packed breakfast from hotel.
Others: Included from landing in Paphlu. Please note that airport delays may occur and that airport food is not included.
Highlights: Flight across the Himalaya, local market, making ourselves comfortable in our two persons tents, Women's Circle and/ or Women's meet, our first night under the Himalayan night sky, snuggled up in our sleeping bags in our billion star hotel..
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
Time walking 1-2 Hours : one hour to temple, possibility of going to High meadow above village, add an extra two hours. Optional. Gomba highly recommended.
Today we make ourselves at home. For those who choose to, early morning meditation with Juliette, Then it is morning tea in bed 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. Going up, and down, on trails in the wilderness preferably, to prepare you for the terrain in Nepal.
Being in touch with other women before the trip through our monthly WOW Zoom sessions online means you can share your fitness challenges, 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! Not to mention that wilderness is good for the soul..
Day 5 - To Chiwang Monastery
Time walking: a comfortably paced 6- 7 hours (packed lunch)
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 comfortable six to seven hours walk takes us from fields and orchards through a steep forest to our camping spot, in the grounds of the monastery.
A NOTE ON LONGER WALKS: we have enough staff on this trip to allow for different paces. We stop regularly for snacks and drinks, enjoy the views and each other, and have a longer stop for lunch.
Juliette will facilitate a Women Circle which will take its participants further into their personal desires....
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 – Portrait and Witchcraft
Time walking: 4 hours to Salleri - 1hour from river to Lura uphill.
Morning: For those who wish to, a 6 am meditation with the monks will start the day on a connected with the universe note.
After breakfast, we walk down the forest back to the valley and Salleri for a traditional studio portrait ( three hours). Now let me tell you, that is an experience you will never forget!! It is then back to Lura ( tuk tuk down to river, one hour walk uphill) for the second part of our trip: tomorrow we start our Himalayan View Adventure!
At night time, our local Bon witch doctor, 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, walking and talking in between.
Note: 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 Himalayan View Camp
Time walking: 5 to 7 hours (packed lunch)
From Lura we walk 5 to 6 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 camp in a lovely meadowcalled Tenkh Kharka, at around 3,440 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 and your leaders in a very special place..
Day 8 - Forest Walk, Comtemplation or Optional Pike Peak Climb
Stay at Camp:
Optional Forest Walk:
Altitudes: 3440m to 3600m to 3440m
Time walking: 2 to 4 hours (packed lunch)
Optional Pike Peak Climb 4065m
Time walking: 10 to 11 hours (packed lunch)
We have the option of climbing to the top of Pike Peak at 4,065 m for a view of the Himalaya that Sir Edmund Hilary described as the best in Nepal. An estimated ten to eleven hours is needed to go to the summit and back. This is for committed climbers only. They will be guided by our very experienced team of Sherpas, having been taught by Brigitte how to best perform at high altitude in the days leading to the summit attempt. A hard day out, with rewards to boot, whether one summits or not, whether there are 360 degree views or not.
The views, although not 360, are also available without the hard work, from our Tenkh Kharka Base.
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- eleven 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 over one tousand meters higher than the top of Kosciuszko!
Day 9 - back to Lura, the future
Time walking: 4 hours
After a hearty breakfast we take a leisurely walk down through the forest for three- four 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
Time walking: one hour down to river, then Tuk Tuk to Phaplu.
Early start, walk down to river and tuk tuk to Phaplu airport, where we board our flight back to Kathmandu and an afternoon flurry of (Christmas) shopping, washing, talking... and enjoying our complimentary one hour trekkers massage!
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.
A NOTE ON FLIGHTS DELAYS: Nepal is a place where flight schedules do not always mean a lot. We are not responsible for delays. If flights are delayed, you will have to cover your meals over what is included in each day. We of course do our very best to ensure everythign runs smootlhly.
Day 11 Fly out
END OF TRIP: check out, 12noon today.
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 by Friendship World Trek, our tour operator in Nepal, if you wish to stay on. ( cost: not included in this walking retreat's cost)