Can you believe that we will be heading to India together next month??? We wanted to post a tentative itinerary for you to get even more excited and for families and friends to be able to follow along a bit more closely. Stay tuned to the Yak board for more updates!
Christy, Uttara, & Aditya
June 28: International Travel from US to India
The group will meet Christy at Newark Airport to check in for the flight–look out for an email from the Dragons office with details on our meeting time and place. Uttara and Aditya will be leaving a few days early to get everything set up in Delhi and will meet the group at the airport.
June 29: International Travel, arrive in Delhi
We’ll welcome you to India and transfer to a hotel near the airport for the evening. We’ll make sure everybody has food, water, and a good night of sleep (as much as possible anyway!).
June 30: Travel Day, Delhi to Leh
We’ll have to get up early and head back to the airport, but this time to the domestic terminal, for our flight up to Leh. We’ll get breakfast at the airport before our incredibly scenic flight north into the Himalayas.
Upon our arrival in Leh, we’ll take cars to our orientation site about a half hour away. We’ll get everyone settled, review health and safety information, and start getting to know each other on a deeper level, all while taking it easy to acclimatize to the altitude .
June 30 – 2: Orientation
It’s really important to rest during these first few days so that we can acclimatize to the altitude, so we’ll be staying somewhere beautiful where we can relax and get to know each other. Our orientation activities will be a mix of activities meant to help us get to know one another, important information on staying safe and healthy in this new environment/altitude/climate, and visiting some of the nearby sights.
July 3: Trekking Prep
We’ll go over all the essentials of how best to pack our bags, and instructors can help fit your packs in advance of our first trek.
July 4 – 8: Trek #1 in the Sham Valley
Trekking in the Sham Valley is gorgeous and a great way to practice our skills for our second, more challenging trek later in the month. We’ll take a challenging route on this trek, crossing a few passes and getting our bodies and minds primed. We’ll be staying in small villages each night, enjoying the company of the generous and hospitable families who host visitors as a means of creating sustainable livelihoods for themselves.
July 9 – 13: SECMOL
For nearly 3 decades, the Students Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh has promoted sustainable living and bolstered education for Ladakhi students. The campus is an incredible place to exchange with Ladakhi teenage peers, and we’ll have an exchange with the students who love sharing about their lives and culture and practicing their English with foreign visitors. There will be the possibility for day hikes and spending time next to the Indus River.
July 14 – 17: Homestays
We’ll travel a few hours outside of Leh to the site of our homestays! The families are incredibly welcoming, and usually there’s some young people around who speak English. You’ll also have fun practicing a few words of Ladakhi with incredibly charismatic grandmothers and grandfathers who stay busy tending to the fields and taking care of livestock. We’ll be meeting as a group during the day for lessons, activities, and day trips. We may get to help with harvesting in the fields or go for a hike up to the village’s summer fields.
July 18 – 24: Trek #2
We’ll head off from a nearby trail head on our second, more challenging trek. We’ll be well-supported with a team of guides, cooks, horsemen, and their pack of ponies. We’ll have thorough briefings on health and safety and will learn skills from instructors and guides as we navigate through this beautiful terrain with views of the Zanskar mountain range in our sights. We’ll look for wildlife and admire the surrounding mountains during the day and enjoy starry skies in the evenings before tucking in to our tents. On the final day, we’ll drive from our ending point back to Leh, where we can celebrate what we’ve accomplished!
July 25 – 26: Leh
We’ll have a couple busy days in Leh! There are many sights and possible guest speakers in Leh, and we’ll make our itinerary for these days according to the interests of the student group. Additionally, instructors will give guidance and direction and challenge students to use all the traveling skills that they have acquired to arrange their own day trip outside of Leh. There will also be opportunities to buy gifts and souvenirs to bring back home during these days. We will also shift our focus back home, and begin preparing for the transition from India back home and everything that means.
July 27: Delhi
We’ll have an early morning flight from Leh to Delhi on the 27th, and we’ll have a short time to eat mangoes and sweat in the heat of the Plains before our international flight in the evening. We’ll continue our conversations and sessions on what it means for this experience to come to an end. Christy will accompany students to the US on the flight back home.
July 28: Arrive in the US
The group lands in the early morning and Christy will help students get on connecting flights or ensure pick ups from loved ones at the airport.