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In the chilly month of February, the team at NETIF decided to chase away the winter blues and do some serious promotion for tourism and the environment in Shivapuri - Nagarjun National Park and the villages of Chisapani and Mulkharka. NETIF’s aim was to promote the area as a local and international tourist destination, promote villages along the route, spread the word about the importance of our environment and also exercise and recreational possibilities right on the door step of Kathmandu.

Main Objectives
1. Promotion of “Together for Tourism 2011”.
2. Campaign for environment conservation and awareness.
3. Promotion of outdoor activities on the ‘Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail’ (KVCTT).
4. Creating awareness about the importance of recreation in our daily lives.
5. Promotion of environmentally friendly tourism.

Preparing for the event
A lot of work went into getting things ready for the event, what, when, where and how is always the nuts and bolts of organising anything and the team at NETIF where flat out on this one. NETIF worked in conjunction with the village coordinators and committees at Mulkharka and Chisapani, Nepal National Parks, the Nepal Tourism Board, Nepal Cycling Association, Dawn til Dusk and Biking First to get the event together.
Issues we faced where the logistics of firstly getting 70 bikes to Chisapani. On a short reki trip we discovered that the truck-able road was very long and rugged indeed and a day trip to explore our options turned into a rather chilly overnight trip and stop in Chisapani. NETIF decided that we needed three tip trucks to get the bikes up and that it would take a full day. We also inspected the cycling route and where on the lookout for any danger places that needed marking out.

What to eat and where to stay was the next issue we faced. It was decided to take lunch in Mulkharka and the evening meal and breakfast was to be in Chisapani with the help and support of all lodge owners and a Chef, Suroj Ji from Shangrila Hotel. Trust us ordering food for 100+ people and getting it there in one piece was no mean feat.

Promoting the event was the key to its success, so brochures where made and mailing lists and invitations sent out with an online registration form up and running thanks to the loads to

Though at times it seemed as if NETIF would never get there, as always a great effort by everyone and lots of hard work saw the event come together at the last moment.

The Big Event
Some 100+ people attended the event in total, a few more than we expected which posed some last minute accommodation headaches. The main group departed Kathmandu by bus from outside the Nepal Tourism Board and headed for the drive to Sundarijal where refreshments where had. From here we trekked up into Shivapuri – Nagarjun National Park via the entrance gate and army check post. The first point of interest along the trail where the tourist shelters and rubbish collection points and incinerators built by NETIF. The trekkers climb up for about an hour, past the water supply for Kathmandu Valley and Sundari Mai Temple to Mulkharka. At Mulkharka there was Dhal Bhart waiting for the hungry group. A presentation was made to the local village committee of donation boxes and environment sign boards.

The trail proceeded up through the National Park, the route was marked with environmental signboards and slogans to remind trekkers of the importance of our natural environment. Local guides helped the trekkers to indentify types of trees and shrubs, Nepal’s National Flower, the Rhododendron and species of birds. Sadly the weather was a little bit cloudy and there were not very good views of the Himalaya from Bhorlang Bhanjyang. Trekkers arrived in Chisapani around 4 o’clock to the local villagers offering rhododendron flowers and khata while traditionally dressed village men played long horns and trumpets....the party had already began.

Behind the scenes, the NETIF organization team where working hard to get everyone roomed and prepare the food as well as unloading and storing bikes that got a bit tussled around on the journey up. As darkness came we were treated to a traditional dance show, some great food and a welcome presentation from the NETIF president and the local community. After dinner the real party raged on well into the small hours of the morning with dancing and singing and much enjoyment taken by all.

The following morning, there were a few sore heads that heading down the road for a bike initiation and distribution, followed by breakfast. The villagers bid us a fond farewell as we headed out by bike down to the Dhaps, these beautiful wetlands are a suburb feature of the natural environment that abounds in Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park.

The biking route leaves the Dhaps and heads down along the beautiful Nagamati River, a very important water source for the Kathmandu Valley. The ride ended back in Shivapuri with a big catered lunch and it was a good time to relax with new friends and share our memories.
Will NETIF be doing it again? YES YES YES....Stay tuned for NETIF’S next promotional event.

Media Coverage
A huge media contingent turned out for the event and in fact where the life of the party, they hiked up with the group and biked down as well and enjoyed the event. Positive reports and reviews where published in various news papers, magazines and press release as well as coverage aired on TV and radio in the two weeks after the event. As a promotional event for local and international tourism, we consider it a great success.


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