Kathmandu in Nepal is the starting point of the trip. While our Nepali team organises Chinese visas for everyone, you can explore Kathmandu. Go on a guided tour to Baktapur, an interesting village of artisans, then explore the Thamel shops. Our bikes and most of the heavy luggage are transported by truck to Llasa during this time. On about day 3/4 we fly to Llasa, right past Mt Everest. Llasa is at 3600m, so we take it easy for a few days, acclimatising, visiting markets and perhaps a monastery, and of course the Potala Palace, the ancient home of the Dalai Lama. At this altitude it is initially difficult to walk up stairs, but after a few days your body adjusts and you are able to do a lot more. During this period our bikes arrive and we assemble them. If we feel up to it we may do a short ride around the city.
Every day is a challenge. Sometimes it is the hills, which are built at a very gentle gradient so the big old Chinese trucks can negotiate them. Some days it is the altitude that affects everyone in different ways. Other days it is the cold or the heat of the day. Sometimes the altitude nulls your hunger. Or perhaps it will be the road conditions. Most of the Friendship Highway from Llasa to the Everest turnoff is now sealed. After that the road condition deteriorates, to rough rutted four-wheel drive country. Sometimes the challenge is negotiating the local kids and their reaction to us as strange westerners.
Then there is the terrain and grandeur of the Tibetan plateau and the Himalayas. We descend through kilometres of road works to Nepal. Border crossings are an experience not to be missed, along with the change in landscape, culture, weather and the locals’ reactions to us.
What more can we say? This truly is an incredible journey.
Number of Days: 28 days (23 days cycle)
Distance/Grade: Moderate to Hard
Accommodation: Hotels, & Tents
Price: $5960 NZD,