This is not a trip for the faint-lunged! But the strenuousness of the trip is more than compensated for by what is arguably the most spectacular and varied mountain scenery in the world. Moreover, the areas travelled through - Ladakh, Zanskar, and Lahaul - represent some of the last places on earth where Tibetan Buddhist culture thrives. This ride is one of the most spectacular in the world. It begins in Manali, a hill station situated in the foothills of the south side of the Himalayas. It then winds its way across the main Himalayan range, crossing four passes in transit from the alpine scenery around Manali to the high altitude desert scenery of the Tibetan plateau, finally ending 500km away in Leh, Ladakh
Day 01: Arrival at Delhi
Up on arrival at Delhi airport transfer to hotel for overnight stay.
Day 02: Delhi - Manali (510 kms/12 - 13 hrs)
After breakfast half day sight seeing at Delhi. Evening catch AC Luxury Volvo Coach for Manali. Overnight journey.
Day 03: Manali (1925 m/6314 ft)
Arrival at Manali by morning and transfer to hotel for Acclimatise. Evening set out your bike and explore the Mall road. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 04: Manali - Marhi (42 kms/3320 mts)
Today we will start our first day cycling up to Marhi. The valley is full of snow clapped peaks and some breathe taking view Pine and Deodar trees. It's also "warm up" for the tough ride ahead. Cycling out of Manali through an evergreen area we tackle the first set of many hairpin bends and switchbacks on the way to the Rohtang pass. Dinner and overnight stay at tents.
Day 05: Marhi - Sissu (78 kms/3350 mts)
We start the day by finishing the 12 km ascent to the Rohtang pass, where if the whether is fine there are some lovely scenic views on the horizon of snow covered peaks and Glaziers. Once we have refreshed ourselves in Rohtang, we leave the lush vegetation behind and continue with a descent to Gramphu. From here we will encounter some unmetalled stretches of flat road as we cross the raging torrent of the river at Khoksar and continue a short and easy ride to Sissu in the foothills of the Pir Panjal range. From here a short ride to Keylong crossing mountain streams flowing over the road. Dinner and overnight stay at tourist rest house/hotel.
Day 06: Sissu - Jispa (48 kms/3820 m)
A relatively easy day cycling up to Patseo. The terrain is much more arid and the road is rutty, dusty and rocky. Passing the hamlet of Jispa we come out of a gorge and descend downhill before starting the ascent to Patseo. We now get a sense of the isolation of the area, with a few sheep dotted around and we begin to enter the territory of the Lamas. In the far horizon you can see the bleak and awesome spectacle of the Higher Himalayan ranges. Dinner and overnight stay at tents.
Day 07: Jispa - Patseo (58 km/4255 m)
Hard long climb to the Baralacha La Pass but the rewards are great as you travel through this wild and scenic country. The pass is arid with no vegetation, the sides of the mountains looking more like a quarry covered with loose rocks and scree. As we descend the gorge area of Bharatpur we will cross Mountain Rivers before reaching our destination. Dinner and overnight stay at tents.
Day 08: A rest day
An important days rest to further acclimatise and to absorb the magnificent scenery.
Day 09: Patseo - Sarchu - Whisky Nullah (56 kms/4750 mts)
The day starts with some easy cycling but we are soon tackling the zigzag "21 loops of Gata" at 15,030ft up the canyon wall. Once we reach the summit of the Nakeela Pass its downhill to Whisky Nullah. The day passes some beautiful arid mountain scenery of the high ranges. Dinner and overnight stay at tents.
Day 10: Moray plains - Debring (82 km/4835 mts)
We start by ascending the second highest pass on the Manali-Leh highway up to Lachalang La. The road here is likely to be the worst of the trip with a distinct lack of tarmac, it's very gravelly and there are many loose stones. We have a long descent to Pang down a steep sided gorge followed by a 8km switchback climb before reaching the flat top of the Moray Plains. This barren area is known for its extreme temperatures in the morning and evening, fast winds and sandstorms. The only sign of life is the hardy Nomadic Changpas who can be seen tending their yaks in this most desolate place. We camp at Debring 20km below the world's second highest pass, the Tanglang La at 5,360m. Dinner and overnight stay at tents.
Day 11: Debring - Rumptse (51 km/4260 mts)
This is a challenge indeed, but truly satisfying when you reach the top, before we set off down the exhilarating 1,200m descent of switchbacks to the village of Rumptse. Dinner and overnight stay at tents.
Day 12: Rumptse - Leh (91 kms/3500 mts).
As we continue the descent to Upshi the scenery changes dramatically as we arrive in a fertile irrigated valley by a river dotted by pretty villages and Stupas. The spectacular red coloured mountains around us add to the beauty and richness of the scenery. Crossing the Indus River the road improves as we follow the other road users towards Leh. This is an easy ride as we pass the Thiksey Monastery and the Chortens Garden before we reach Leh. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel/Guest house.
Day 13: Leh
Taking a rest from the bikes today you have the chance to explore Leh and some of its twisting narrow streets, explore some of the more famous sites, such as Leh Palace or the Sakar Gompa monastery. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel/guest house.
Day 14 : Leh - The Khardung La Pass (41 kms/5580 mts) - Leh
We will set of for the Khardung - La Pass as soon as light comes up. Cycling 26 miles and gaining 6000 feet, this is the ultimate challenge of the trip. It is the highest motorable road in the world taking you to a dizzy 5,600m! The view from the top is spectacular, stretching from the Indus valley in the South over the endless peaks and ridges of the Zanskar range to the giants of the Saser Massif in the North. You can feel proud of a true achievement as you finish the trip with your final satisfying descent. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel/guest house.
Day 15 : Leh
Rest day at Leh. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel/guest house.
Day 16 : Leh - Delhi
Early in the morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Upon arrival at Delhi half day sight seeing. Evening transfer to airport.
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