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Offline emperor zog

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Riding the Himalayas of India
« on: December 17, 2018, 01:38:11 pm »
In May and June of this year a mate and I from Knysna decided to ride the Himalayas of India. I in fact had booked to go on a guided tour the year before but just before that was about to happen Knysna caught fire and I lost my house and just about everything I owned (and no insurance). But Paul had been hiking in India 2 years before and approached me about doing a biking trip this year. What was great was that he had been there, knew the geography, the topography etc etc. And of course we did a lot of online research. We decided to do it low budget style with no fixed itinerary, just a general idea of where to go. So, full on camping where we could. The area we covered was in what is known as the Himachal Pradesh and includes mainly the provinces of Lahaul and Spiti but we went as far as the Tibetan and Chinese borders and up into Kashmir. We timed the trip for late May and early June when the snows and ice had started melting and the passes were opening up. Remember that in winter the passes are all totally snow and iced up and are impassable so many towns are completely isolated for the winter months. We rode every major, and many minor, passes of the Himalayas over a 5 week period including Taglang, Zoji, Namki, Baralacha, Khardong to name a few. This includes the highest motorised pass in the world, Khardungla at 18380 ft. We flew into Delhi, incredibly hot and one of the filthiest cities in the world. Then a ten hour bus ride to Macloed Ganz in Daramsala. This was our base as it were and for those how don't know, is the home in exile of the Dalai Lama. We managed to hire bikes here, 2 brand new Royal Enfield Himalayans. ( see my comments in the general section about these bikes).The cost for six weeks hire was approx R8500, what a bargain. Fully loaded with camping gear we set out. Incredible riding, sometimes incredibly dangerous on passes barely half a road width wide with no barriers and thousand m drop offs. Plus of course insane truck and bus and taxi drivers. No rules apply. We rode in temperatures from 47C to -5C, in snow storms, dust blizzards , mud, rain and everything in between. The Himalayas are truly awe-inspiring and one feels continuously dwarfed by their sheer size and magnificance. Our bikes performed incredibly well and did not give us any major problem, including no punctures. The advantage of riding a Royal Enfield is that they are the bike of India and wherever you go there is a dealer, simply everywhere. Even in a quiet month in a big town, a dealer will sell anything from 200 to 400 bikes! The people were on the whole very welcoming and helpful. A big negative for me was the insane amount of litter and filth in every town. It is what it is but eventually you are totally gatvol. We camped wherever we could, stayed in low cost guesthouses and home visits. We took time off in major towns like Leh and often went hiking for the day to get a break from riding. all in all a once in a lifetime sort of trip, true true adventure bike riding. I have posted some pics on the general site but can post many more if anyone wants.
 
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Offline daveh

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Re: Riding the Himalayas of India
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2018, 01:42:14 pm »
Sounds like a real adventure. Do please post some pictures.
AT
 

Offline Crossed-up

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Re: Riding the Himalayas of India
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2018, 01:53:54 pm »
Love to see the pics and a map of your route.
 

Offline Offshore

Re: Riding the Himalayas of India
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2018, 02:06:13 pm »
Sub. Looking forward to this....
 

Offline emperor zog

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Re: Riding the Himalayas of India
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2018, 02:09:57 pm »
Himalayan trip pics
 

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: Riding the Himalayas of India
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2018, 04:19:04 pm »
Thanks so much for the RR, this is a bucketlist trip!  :3some: :thumleft:

Stunning pics!!
 

Online eberhard

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Re: Riding the Himalayas of India
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2018, 06:34:00 pm »
Thank you for a very different (interesting and otherwise) and informative report. And great pictures!  :thumleft:
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Offline Highsider

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Re: Riding the Himalayas of India
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2018, 07:37:31 pm »
Wow what breathtaking images.  Thanks for sharing.


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