Tibet the ‘Land of Snows’, the ‘Roof of the World’ has one of the richest cultural and spiritual traditions in the world. Tibet, the very name evokes feelings of awe and mystery. A land of ancient Buddhist culture, awesome landscapes, artistic monasteries, exotic cities, hidden valleys and centuries-old caravan trails, Tibet offers a totally different experience. Here men and gods inhabit the same landscape, both physical and mental. Since Tibet opened for tourism it has become increasingly easy to travel there. However, travel in Tibet can be challenging, and it does require a little extra preparation. The term “four seasons in a day” happens quite frequently here! Roads may wash out, and vehicles can break down. Even simple things can take a surprisingly long time. When you arrive in Tibet, take the time to adjust to the slower pace of life, and remember, much of the reward of travelling in Tibet is that you are in a remote, unpredictable, and fascinating region.
One of the most strenuous bike trips in the world with six 5000 meter plus passes. Spectacular scenery, challenging riding and encounters with one of the world’s most fascinating cultures make this a truly incredible experience.
The road from Lhasa to Kathmandu provides one of the truly classic biking routes of the world. We journey from Lhasa in the heart of Tibet, with it’s magnificent temples and amazing culture, to the Tibetan plateau, and right up to Everest Base Camp before seeking the Bhote Kosi valley and the road that takes us down, down, down into the semi-tropical gardens of Nepal, and the vibrant culture of Kathmandu.
This spectacular trip is not easy. Dusty rough roads, 5000 meter passes and unpredictable weather challenge even the best prepared riders. However, with training and commitment, the rewards of undertaking this journey are more than worth the effort.
You may choose either to begin your trip in Kathmandu, or join the trip directly in Lhasa. Upon arrival in Lhasa, we’ll spend there days visiting the famous Potala palace, the Jokhang Temple, and other local sights. We’ll take plenty of time to chill out and acclimatise to the altitude (3600 m).
The ride begins easily as we follow the broad river valley out of Lhasa, but steepens as we make our way to our first pass, the Khamba La(4794m). At the top, our hard work is rewarded by fabulous views of the scorpion shaped lake Yamdrok-Tso. The next day we cross the Karo La. From here, the glaciers are so close we can almost touch them! After the Karo La there is another small pass and then its an easy ride down into Gyantse, and our last large town, Shigatse. A few days and a few passes later, we turn off the main road onto the steep switchbacks of the road to Mt. Everest. Here’s the test of your “true grit!” The road is steep, dusty, and long! Once over the pass and in view of the mighty peak, all the struggle is forgotten in the excitement of arriving at the foot of the world’s highest peak. We’ll spend two days at Rongbuk monastery, travelling up to base camp, exploring and resting from our efforts so far. The final decent to the Nepal border will be memorable. We descend steeply through the gorge, witnessing the vegetation as it turns from dry, brown grasses to lush jungle and rhododendron forests. After days on the dusty high plateau, the thick, humid air is welcome, and the smells of the jungle blend with the exotic spice of Nepali cooking to present an intoxicating atmosphere. After crossing the Tibet/Nepal border, a short cycle down will bring us to The Last Resort, a tropical hideaway with available massage, sauna and plunge pool; luxury to welcome you to Nepal and wash away the dust of the high plateau! Rejuvenated, we’ll get back on our bikes and finish off our epic journey to Kathmandu.