The first two villages where we worked, Barra Number and Kashyem, are both located on the hillside facing towards Sikkim. The villages are a mile or so apart, a 40 minute walk with some modest uphill and downhill stretches and with views of Kanchenjunga over the nearby foothills to the north (cloud permitting!).
The extraordinary views and the beautiful countryside surrounding these villages make them ideal locations for organised walks. The fauna and flora are enormously varied and the hospitality of the villagers means that visitors receive a genuine welcome at every stop!
Various routes have been set up and the Foundation has provided some investments for tourist-friendly items such as western-style toilets. We have also provided training for tour guides and worked out a programme of cultural activities in each village where visitors might spend an overnight stop.
The programme can be either two day/one night or a single day tour, with the financial proceeds going towards paying local guides and village hosts who provide food, drink and accommodation. Contacts have been made with UK tour operators to encourage visitors to build in a couple of days to their tour in order have a really authentic village experience.