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Lhasa and Kathmandu Cycling Adventure Tour

offered by supplier M20818 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 24 day(s)
Group Size: 5 - 16 people
Destination(s): Tibet   Nepal   Chile  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1995 Pound Sterling (GBP)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1995 Pound Sterling (GBP)

Cycling in the Tibetan Plateaus from Lhasa to Kathmandu is an awe-inspiring experience and a must for adventure cyclists. Our Tibet cycle tour travels from between two of Asia's most exotic cities. On the tour we will mountain bike over 5 major passes above 5000m and traverse a distance of 1000km over the backbone of the Himalayas.

Starting in Nepal, with a couple of days exploring Kathmandu we then take a dramatic flight across the great Himalayan range to Lhasa, capital of Tibet. This is one of the most interesting, remote and spectacular parts of the world. We have 4 days of sightseeing and acclimatising before cycling across a beautiful landscape of snow-capped summits. All around us are scenes of religious devotion; prayer flags fluttering on the tallest mountain passes and processions of devout pilgrims travelling to the numerous monasteries and temples.

Riding to Everest Base Camp is a spectacular feature of our tour, and another major cycling challenge, as the road climbs almost fifty hairpin bends over the Pang La Pass. Here at 5,150m we see the magnificent views of the Himalayas, and of Mt. Everest itself. Finally reaching Base Camp is an experience few will ever forget. The Tibet cycling holiday offers some great physical challenges: extreme mountain biking through breath taking scenery as you cycle "the Roof of the World".

Itinerary:
Day 1: Kathmandu. Arrival in Kathmandu. You will be met from your flight and transferred to the joining hotel. Introductions and group chat followed by an evening meal together. Accommodation: Hotel. Sleeping altitude: 1314 m.

Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu. A free morning followed by a tour of the main sights in Kathmandu: Monkey Temple, Durbar Square and Kumari Bahal. Accommodation: Hotel. Sleeping altitude: 1314 m. Includes: Breakfast.

Day 3: Fly to Lhasa. This morning we fly to Lhasa, there will be time this afternoon to set up our bikes. Accommodation: Hotel. Sleeping altitude: 3514 m. Includes: Breakfast.

Day 4: Sightseeing in Lhasa. Visit the Jokhang monastery and the Potala Palace. To most Tibetans the Jokhang is the most important and most sacred temple in Tibet. Along with the Potala Palace it is part of a UNESCO world heritage sight and a popular tourist destination in Lhasa. Accommodation: Hotel. Sleeping altitude: 3514 m. Includes: Breakfast.

Day 5: Sightseeing in Lhasa. Free day, with the option to go to the Sera monastery. One of the 'great three' university monasteries of Tibet, the Sera was built in 1419 during the Ming Dynasty. It was named Sera, meaning rose, because the hill behind it was covered in wild roses in bloom when it was built. Accommodation: Hotel. Sleeping altitude: 3514 m. Includes: Breakfast.

Day 6: Lhasa - short ride out of Lhasa. Our first ride takes us to visit the project, Braille without Borders. In the summer of 1997 Sabriye Tenberken, blind herself, travelled to Tibet to investigate the possibility of providing training for Tibetan blind and visually impaired people, as there were no programs educating and rehabilitating blind people within the country. She then took the initiative to found the present project.

Day 7: Lhasa to the base of the Khamba La pass. We leave our hotel in convoy out of Lhasa, stopping outside the Potala Palace for a group photograph to mark the start our epic journey. Once outside Lhasa you have a chance to take advantage of the flat roads and go at your own pace, stretch your legs and get warmed up for the climbs to come! The route follows the deep green water of the Kyi Chu (Lhasa River), with hills forming a picturesque backdrop as we head towards Chusul.

Day 8: Base of the Khamba La pass to Nakartse. Today marks the first of our major climbs - 23 km to the Khamba La pass at 4807m. Recently laid tarmac aids our climb, but it will still be a tough day's cycling as our bodies continue to adapt to the high altitudes. We will stop for lunch after about 5 km, before completing the last 38 km into camp along flat but tough terrain.

Day 9: Nakartse to Lungmar. As we leave our camp today on the tarmac road we head west and climb to cross the Karo La pass (5032m). The first of the passes above 5000m, this is a challenging but enjoyable ride to the top of the pass, from where you will see an imposing glacier. Karo La is where Francis Younghusband fought a battle with Tibetans in 1903 to reach Lhasa.

Day 10: Lungmar to Gyantse. Today begins with a gentle climb of 15km to the top of the Simi La followed by an easy ride of 35km, mostly downhill to Gyantse. The town is home to some magnificent military and religious sights dating back to the 15th C. You will be free this afternoon to enjoy looking around Gyantse.

Day 11: Gyantse to Shigatse. A comfortable ride of 95 km on a nice tarmac road to Shigatse. As we follow the Nyang Chu River, we turn one corner after another along a series of bends in the road. Unusually for this trip we are on flat road all day.

Day 12: Rest day in Shigatse. Today is a rest day, with the option of a guided tour of the Tashi Lhunpo monastery by our Tibetan guide. The Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is seat to the Panchen Lama, the second most important spiritual leader of Tibet and was founded by the 1st Dalai Lama in 1447.

Day 13: Shigatse to the base of the Tso La pass. We leave Shigatse in convoy, climbing steadily up 125 m in the first 8km at the start of a long day's cycling. After some 35 km we cross the almost unnoticeable Tso La pass (4050 m).

Day 14: Base of the Tso La pass to base of Gyatso La. A steady 8km climb takes us to the Tso La pass (4580 m), followed by a fast downhill descent of 425m over 29 km, and a flat stretch into Lhatse. Lhatse is reminiscent of a Wild West frontier town; children here are both friendly and inquisitive and not afraid to interact with us strangely dressed cyclists! We head out of Lhatse and into the Chusar Chu valley, where we camp at a very picturesque spot along the riverside.

Day 15: Base of Gyatso La to Shregar. The day starts with a 24 km climb on sealed roads to the highest pass - the Gyatso La (5220 m). You may well be greeted by excited children from a roadside school at the foot of the descent, before you reach camp at a picturesque site next to the river.

Day 16: Shregar to Padu. A fast descent from camp takes us through a checkpoint and to the turn-off for the highlight of the tour: Everest! We drop further into an almost desert-like valley floor and onto camp surrounded by rugged mountains.

Day 17: Padu to Rongbuk. We take a gradual climb through villages where children will come and greet you and savour any photo opportunity and even a test-ride on your bike! Jagged snow-capped peaks confront us as we start our climb to Rongbuk. You will be seized by the anticipation of seeing Everest right in front of you as you turn every corner. The last few days are justly rewarded by the awe-inspiring backdrop of Everest on reaching our camp just beyond the monastery at Rongbuk.

Day 18: Rongbuk to Everest Base Camp. We embark on the final leg to our closest point to Everest Base Camp. This is a steady 8km ride taking us to the base of the North Face for a truly spiritual experience - simply unforgettable.

Day 19: Zamphuk to Tingri. Today brings us a superb off-road ride along smooth mountain tracks with the occasional rough sections that will provide a challenge even to our hardy support vehicles. With the Himalayas forming a backdrop this makes for another superb day's cycling - cross-country mountain biking style. You will have the option of rewarding yourself for the last few days of hard cycling by visiting the local hot springs!

Day 20: Tingri to the base of the Lalung La. Today's cycling is predominantly flat although headwinds may hamper the otherwise comfortable day! The ride will take us past monasteries, fortresses and along rivers of clear river mountain water. We will camp again by the riverside at the foot of our final climbing challenge - the double passes of Lalung La (5009 m) and Yakri Shong La (5149 m).

Day 21: Base of the Lalung La to Nyalam. Today starts with a long 12km drag to the Lalung La pass where we will gain views of Shishapangma before embarking on a superb descent before our second big climb of the day to the Thang La pass. The Thang La pass gives amazing views from within the midst of the Himalayas; a vivid reminder of the fact that you are crossing the world's highest mountain range on our journey into Nepal. We are, however, starting our descent into Nepal and the change in vegetation will become noticeable as we reach our camp in the tight confines of a gorge with breathtaking drops, just beyond Nyalam.

Day 22: Nyalam to beyond Kodari. On emerging from your tent you may well be greeted by mountains protruding the early morning cloud. Today is all about pure descent - on the world's longest downhill ride, leaving the barren Tibetan Plateau behind and on into the lush scenery of the Nepalese jungle. The descent will take you over bridges and through stream crossings from the many waterfalls carrying water off the mountain walls, which you will never stray far from, steep drops on the opposite side of the road. As we reach the border town of Zangmu the surroundings will change suddenly as you come to long lines of trucks awaiting passage into Nepal.

Day 23: Beyond Kodari to Dhulikel. Today starts with an undulating ride through small villages, with inquisitive locals and picturesque views of the tree-covered mountainsides, peppered with houses. The weather is noticeably warmer now and will replace the altitudes of Tibet as we face the challenge of the 25km climb (904m) into Dhulikel. We will make a stop for lunch after 10km. We stay in a beautiful mountain lodge where it may be possible to discern the Himalayan mountain range if the mist is not too dense.

Day 24: Dhulikel to Kathmandu. Our final day's cycling takes us from Dhulikel to Kathmandu, our starting point 3 weeks ago. We will pass school children on their way to school and the roads will become increasingly more hectic as we approach Kathmandu; you will need your wits about you, at the same time as trying to absorb the spectacle of early-morning life all around you. We group up close together in convoy, following our support vehicle on the outskirts of Kathmandu and cycle all the way to our original hotel. Once at the hotel we will pack up the bikes and have lunch, leaving the rest of the afternoon to revisit Kathmandu and do some shopping. In the evening we will get together for that all important and well-deserved celebratory meal!

Day 25: Tour ends, flight home!

Supplemental Tour Information:
Although it is our intention to operate the itinerary as detailed below, it may be necessary to make some changes as a result of climatic conditions, alterations to flight schedules or other operational factors.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Accommodation is on a twin share basis. Single rooms/tents are sometimes available at extra cost. 11 nights hotels, 1 night in a lodge and 11 nights camping.
- Food is provided on the cycling days. On non cycling days breakfast is included.
- Transportation and local guides in Nepal and Tibet are provided. On arrival in Kathmandu (on day 1) you will be met and transferred to our hotel
- Your flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa is included.

Price Excludes:
- International flight to Kathmandu or visas.

Notes:
- A 30 day multi entry visa can be obtained on arrival ($40US). We will arrange China visa and a special Aliens Travel Permit, to be collected and paid for in Kathmandu ($114US or $198US for USA passport holders).
- Spending money depends on your tastes. £250 (300€) should be plenty to cover the tour. International departure tax is around £18 (25€). At your discretion, you will be expected to reward service. £25 for the guide and team at the end of the tour is recommended.

About This Supplier
Location: England
Joined InfoHub: Mar 2011

M20818 is a specialist company taking small groups of cyclists to spectacular, remote areas of the world. We offer a unique blend of physical challenges, cultural experiences and cycling camaraderie, at highly competitive prices. M20818 guides are experienced cyclists and tour leaders. Destinations include Laos,...

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