Everest made easy
You read about Sujoy Das when we profiled him as one of our “how-to” men and women in our 25 August 2007 issue. If you were impressed by his single-minded devotion to the mountains, here’s your chance to share his adventures. A chartered accountant by training and a photographer by calling, Das has launched South Col Expeditions, which specializes in guided treks for people with little or no trekking experience, including children. Departures have been scheduled for the Annapurna foothills (December), Everest Panorama trek (April 2011) and Everest Base Camp/Kala Pattar (April 2011). The Annapurna trek (seven days, Rs15,500) route lies through the picturesque landscape of the eastern Himalayas, with a maximum of 6-7 hours walking daily. The Everest Panorama trek (10 days, Rs13,500) is perfect for those who can’t spare the time required for the Base Camp visit. And the “dream trek” to the Everest Base Camp (18 days, Rs22,500) takes you into hallowed climbers’ territory, past Sherpa villages and glacier trails.
Child’s play: Das’ treks promise to get even novices to trekker country. Photo: Sujoy Das
“All the treks are rated easy to moderate,” says Das, “and accessible to children in the 8-12 age group. The days are divided so that there are no drastic altitude changes. Kids are more likely to get bored than tired, so we have ingenious ways of keeping them entertained and engaged.” With ample time to get into shape, this is the best time to sign up for one of his trips. Visit www.southcol.com for details. All costs per person, on Kathmandu-Kathmandu basis.
Shoot a tiger
For a value-added Ranthambhore trip, join Nikhil Devasar and Aditya Singh’s photography workshop in the wilds. Designed, as they say, to turn a DSLR-owner into a photographer, the three-day course will include theory classes on basic techniques, image-editing and processing, review sessions and three safaris into the national park, the holy grail being, of course, a tiger shot like the one above. The Rs14,500 cost per person on twin-sharing basis includes all meals and accommodation at the Ranthambhore Bagh (www.ranthambhore.com), railway station transfers and workshop fees. The first workshop (18-20 June) is already full, but the duo plan more such ventures. Email at email@example.com or call +91-9810008625.
Photo: Nikhil Devasar
The well-prepped sightseer
Two summer vacations? Eighty per cent of respondents to TripAdvisor’s annual summer travel survey in India say they’re planning to take more than one holiday this season. And while 71% will be going up the beaten path to the hills, a respectable 51% are going down to the seas again: In fact, Goa actually beats Shimla and Ooty in the popularity stakes. Adventure activities may be picking up, but it doesn’t reflect yet in the survey: Eighty-six per cent travellers still want to go “sightseeing”, while 75% will visit a historical or cultural site, and 70% will explore a national park. But before they set out, 80% will methodically draft a to-do/see list. A stopover at the neighbourhood salon also seems mandatory: 55% want haircuts before holidays, while 20% will have a manicure/pedicure and 37% will pick up sunblock. Around 5,000 people responded to the survey.