Yesterday the postman delivered me a calendar – a rare sighting the days – but this one came from the foothills of the Himalayas and celebrated the 10th birthday of Village Ways.
Village Ways is an eco-tourist initiative which invites visitors to remote parts of India, Nepal and now Ethiopia, to walk among the hills and stay in the tiny local villages, in guest houses built by the villagers and staffed by them. The idea is to preserve the mountain villages which struggle with depopulation as their young people are forced to go to the cities to find work.
I read about them when they had only just started, over ten years ago, and spent a delightful ten days walking through the Binsar wildlife sanctuary in the foothills of the Himalayas in north west India. You can read about it here on the FoodsMatter site.
At that point they just had five villages taking part but over the last ten years the concept has proved so successful that they can now offer holidays in six different areas of India itself (from the Himalayas to Kerala in the south), Nepal and Ethiopia – and now I see that they have linked up with like minded organisation in Georgia, northern Thailand and even Spain!
The holidays are very reasonably priced – around £800 for 12 nights plus your travel to India or wherever – although of course, they are not grande luxe! But then that is not what you go for.
I have been promising myself another trip ever since I came back – so maybe I really need to do something about it with all of these ten year anniversaries! Maybe I’ll celebrate 10 years of the FreeFrom Food Awards with 10 days in Nepal……
For more, check out the Village Ways site.