Day 1- Welcome to Nepal. After your long flight to Kathmandu, you will be greeted at Tribhuvan International Airport and transferred to our hotel.
Day 2 – Now well rested from our travels, we’ll spend the day visiting Kathmandu. It is one of the most interesting and culture-rich cities in the world. Home to seven UNESCO World Heritage sites it is an exotic fusion of ancient and new. We will enjoy a guided tour of the city and experience some of it’s most treasured attractions.
Day 3 – Today we take a short domestic flight from Kathmandu to the lowlands of Nepal called the Terai. If the skies are clear during our flight it will offer our first glimpse of the snowcapped peaks of the Himalayas. That is not our only surprise for the day. After a brief introduction to our Royal Enfield motorbikes, we enjoy a short ride to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lumbini. This auspicious start to our journey begins at the birthplace of the Lord Buddha. We end the day not far away in the city of Butwal.
Day 4 – Butwal provides an exciting start to our travels. This day we ride 113km. Located between the low Terai region and the small communities high above, Butwal is a vital trading center and has been for centuries. Even today, commerce drives the bustling city. For us it is the gateway into the mountains as we ride the first twisty roads to our destination of Tamghas. The headquarters of the Gulmi district, it sits at an altitude of 1,838 meters. Our slow ascent into the Himalayas has begun.
Day 5 – Today we voyage further into the quiet countryside. Our route today is 113km long and ventures into an area near the Dhorpatan Hunting Preserve. The forests and winding rivers here are dotted with small villages and communities. As we continue on, we approach new heights nearing 3,000 meters. Here the air is crisp and clean as it descends off some of the highest peaks in the world. We finish the day in the small mountain town of Baglung.
Day 6 – Today we ride between giants. Leaving Beni in our mirrors, we begin the 67km trip upward into the Lower Mustang Valley. Weather premiting, we will get glimpses of Dhaulagiri (8,167M) to our left and Nilgiri (7,061M) to our right. Dhaulagiri is the 7th tallest mountain in the world, but the tallest with all of its mass within one country. The other prize today will be our first sight of Annapurna (8091m). It is a big day covering few miles with our heads turned to the summits high above. We end our travels in the quaint village of Chokopani.
Day 7 – Higher, and higher we go. We continue our push into the mountains past the town of Jomsom where trekkers and tourists gather. The ancient village of Kagbeni is our first discovery of an ancient buildings, but not the last. Our destination today is the quite community of Jharkot perched at the base of Khatung Kang (6,484). We don’t travel far today, only 50km, but it is an action-packed day.
Day 8 – Today we take our time viewing the sights and visiting the beautiful village of Muktinath situated at an altitude of 3,700 meters. This is a sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhists. The spiritual energy of Muktinath is in the thin air. Unlike the other visitors to this ancient destination, we don’t travel back down the way we came. We slip onto roads lesser known to visit more monasteries and take in more rugged views of Khatung Kang and the other views of the Himalayas. Today we pass beyond where all the other tourists do not go––into Upper Mustang. Our goal for the day is the town go Geling.
Day 9 – With the crowds of tourists behind us, we push closer towards Tibet to the walled city of Lo Manthang. Dating to 1380 it was once the seat of the Lo Kingdom. This is a start landscape today with not a tree in sight. The richness of the culture here is more Tibetan than Nepalese.
Day 10 – We have traveled far to get to Lo Manthang, and we do not want to leave this place too soon. Today is a rest day to explore the city and discover more of this unique corner of Nepal. We will take our time as we move about at we’re at a high elevation of 4,300 meters. Today you are all very much—Altitude Riders.
Day 11 – Now that we’re rested we inch closer to the Tibetan border and to one of the most unique travel experiences in all of Nepal. Today we visit the caves of the Mustang Valley. It is in these 10,000 caves archeologist found partially mummified remains, some nearly 3,000 years old.
Day 12 – The Upper Mustang is at times, otherworldly. Our visit of Dakmar takes us to a place of red cliffs, and ancient monasteries seemingly carved from the very earth around them. It is hard to imagine what life is like here, or what it was like during the peak of the Lo dynasty. Our route takes us to Ghami where we visit more of this areas unique antiquities.
Day 13 – It’s time to head down the mountain today, back to thicker air. We follow our tracks back down along the Kali Ghandaki river to Lete. We have seen much. This is a good day to photograph the peaks we might have missed riding up into the peaks.
Day 14 – Like the Kali Ghandaki River to our left, we flow downhill back towards Beni. Annapurna bids us a farewell as we descend to the village of Mallaj. At one point our route takes us within just 19km form Annapurna’s summit. Tonight is a final celebration of big mountains and the beauty of the Mustang Valley, but we have one more big surprise waiting.
Day 15 – It’s an exciting day as we arrive at the Kusma suspension bridge. One of the most famous sites in all of Nepal, we will stop to take pictures and soak up the sights before heading to Pokhara. By now our faces have been tanned by the warm sun of the high Himalayas and our bodies made tired from several days of riding. It’s time to rest and soak in our collective experiences. There is no better place to do that than the town of Pokhara. Today we end our short ride on the edge of a beautiful lake in Nepal’s most famous holiday town. It’s a great place to recharge for one last exciting ride.
Day 16 – This is one of our longest days at 166km, but the roads are scenic and easy to ride. Today we travel south to where we started, the city of Butwal. Our discoveries are not over, though. Along our route we visit the town of Tansen in the Palpa district. Built on the side of a mountain, it was once the seat of the powerful Magar Kingdom. In the 16th century it was so dominant it almost overthrew the Kingdom of Kathmandu. Today the royal palace has a small museum with a few relics of that bygone era. After riding more twisty roads and descending back into the lowlands, we arrive in Butwal.
Day 17 – After a short transfer to the airport just 45 minutes away, we board our flight to Kathmandu. Once again we get a chance to view the Himalayas a last time before landing at the domestic terminal at Tribhuvan airport. We will refresh at our hotel before heading out into the city to shop for souvenirs. As is so often the case at journey’s end, there will be much talk of a return trip. One visit to Nepal is never enough.
Day 18 – Farewell friends. This is our last morning together until we meet again.
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