Arrival in New Delhi
Land in Delhi then get picked up from airport and taken to our Aeroplaza hotel. We have a luxury car and driver on standby should anyone wish to visit any tourist attractions in the capital. Contemporary Delhi is a bustling metropolis which combines the ancient with the modern.
New Delhi to Narkanda
Weather permitting we fly to Chandigarh (321m) where we pick up a van to drive to the outskirts of Shimla (2,276m) where we get on the bikes! We head to Narkanda riding through foothills of the Himalayas with some breathtaking views. We stay overnight in Narkanda (2,760m) in chalet style accommodation.
Narkanda to Kalpa
We descend to under 1000m as we ride along the fierce Sutlej river flowing in the gorges below until we reach Reckong Peo. We then drive up through the apple orchards until we reach Kapla (2960m).
We’ll spend some time in the village, walking around the apple orchards and taking in the stunning views of Shiva’s mountain ‘Kinner Kailash’ from the temple dedicated to this Hindu God. We organise our permits in Reckong Peo and take a ride to the Tibetan border at Chitkul (3450m) with magnificent views of snow capped mountains.
Kalpa to Tabo
We set off early as we have a potentially long day on a road prone to land slides with incredible mountain views. We pass through various checkpoints, head over the Malling Nullah pass near Nako Lake and enter the Spiti Valley proper at Sumdo then follow the Spiti river and relax at our hotel in Tabo (3,280m).
Tabo to Kaza
We start the day with a visit to the Ajanta of the Himalayas (as the Tabo Chos-Khor Monastery is popularly known) built in AD 996 and also visit the monastery at Dhankar. We arrive in Kaza (3,800m) early where we check in to the charming Hotel Spiti Sarai for 2 nights. We have lunch at the excellent Himayalan Cafe and stroll around the market exploring local handicrafts, shops and mingling. Good night to write postcards!
Today we head into the remote high altitude villages of Spiti and firstly visit Langza (4,435m) famous for its fossils. Then on to Hikkim (4,400m) known for the world’s highest post office (and send those postcards) and Komic, the highest motor-able village in Asia (4520m). After lunch we visit the incredible Key monastery near Kibber (4,166m).
Kaza to Sissu
A long day today initially following the Spiti valley with amazing scenery all the way. We cross the Kunzum pass (4551m) and enter the Lahaul Valley. Between Batal and Gramphu the road offers some of the most thrilling riding of the tour with several water crossings challenging enough to test your grit, determination and skill. We earn some well earned rest in charming Sissu.
Sissu to Sarchu
We head over our highest pass so far, the impressive Bara-lacha La (4,890m) following the Leh-Manali Highway. The roads over the pass are pretty good and the view is incredible. From here it is an easy ride to Sarchu where we stay in our first high altitude tented accommodation at 4600m.
Sarchu to Leh
A long ride today firstly through the 21 switchbacks known as The Gatu Loops, over the Lachulung Passes (5,039m) and then through the Moray Plains, a beautiful desert surrounded by towering Himalayan peaks. This is a great place to open up your Bullet a little before we head over the second high pass of the day Taglang La (5,328m) and then down into the first village in Ladakh, Rumste (4,100m) and decent roads take us through thrilling landscapes and past Buddhist Monasteries. Then we follow the Indus River into Leh (3,500m) and our hotel and base for the next week.
A well-earned Rest day in Leh where we can do some sightseeing and shopping.
Day trip to Sham Valley
A relatively easy day’s riding takes us to the Sham Valley where we visit the controversial Magnetic Hill and take lunch in a charming hotel.
Leh to Nubra
Today we ride the highest road on our trip over the infamous Khardung La (~5,358m). The road is very good over the pass and the views are just incredible. We descend down the mountain into the Nubra Valley where we swap our bikes for camels! We stay in a very pleasant tented camp.
Nubra to Leh
We return to Leh via the magnificent Buddha statue at Diskit Monastery and either again cross Khardung La or attempt the daunting Wari La (5312m) depending on the road conditions. After returning to Leh we will have our farewell dinner in the mountains and reflect on the epic journey we’ve made together.
Leh to Dehli
We fly back to Delhi early morning and return to civilisation. We have the afternoon to investigate this incredible city.
And so concludes the tour.