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7 Day Into Thin Air Guided Motorcycle Tour in Nepal

Pokhara, Kaski District, Gandaki Zone, Province No. 4, Western Development Region, Nepal

Exciting Motorcycle Tour Nepal

If you want to come to Nepal to see mountains, this is the tour for you. Ride up to the huge, 4,000-meter high, sacred Hindu city of Muktinath where century-old temples are carved into the hillside, eagles soar overhead, and glacial rivers wind their way through snow-capped peaks. This tour is not for the faint-hearted as you will ride through a variety of terrains. You will experience water crossings, rocky ascents, suspension bridges, and the occasional bit of sand. If the sound of that makes you excited, then this is the tour for you!

Key information

  • Bike: rental bike (Royal Enfield Himalayan)
  • Terrain: water crossings, rocky ascents, suspension bridges, and the occasional bit of sand
  • Mileage: 520 kilometers / 323 miles
  • Daily rides: 50-120 kilometers / 31-74 miles
  • Meals: breakfasts, lunches, and dinners

Highlights

  • Climb into the Himalayas
  • Starts and ends in Pokhara
  • Traverse the world's deepest gorge
  • Visit an ancient Buddhist monastery
  • Ride across Nepal's longest suspension bridge
  • Purify yourself at the Muktinath temple
  • Explore a land that is like no other
  • 6 nights' accommodation

Styles


6 riding days
Group size: Maximum of 10 participants
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Accommodation

During the tour, you will be accommodated at remote guesthouses chosen by Hearts & Tears. All rooms are on a twin-share basis (two people per room in a single bed each) with attached western bathroom. If you prefer, you can also choose to stay in single rooms.

Program

Briefing session

The briefing session kicks off the evening before the tour starts at 17:00 at the Hearts & Tears' clubhouse located in Pokhara. The briefing session is factored into the tour dates. Accommodation is also included on the night of the briefing session.

The briefing session gives you a chance to meet the Hearts & Tears' crew, your fellow riders, and your bike! You meet in the clubhouse which is a short walk from your accommodation, enjoy a beer, and then get even more excited about the upcoming ride. A welcome package is provided to every rider which contains the itinerary, route map, buff, some stickers, and a Hearts & Tears t-shirt.

Matt usually conducts the sessions, and over some local snacks, he will go through the tour details and explain how it all works. It's a time to ask any questions you may still have, but more importantly, it's a time to get familiar with everyone (and place bets on who's going to come off first). By about 19:00, the session is over, giving you a chance to head out for dinner and explore Pokhara before the riding starts the following day.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Pokhara

Relax by the lake and take in the beautiful surrounds by the day. Meet your riding team, your trusty, and tour briefing by night. Tomorrow, you ride

Day 2: Pokhara to Baglung via Sarangkot

Ride up to the paragliding launching site which boasts Pokhara's premier views of the Annapurna Range. Ride across Nepal's longest suspension bridge for lunch at Kusma and visit Baglung's sacred Hindu temple.

Day 3: Baglung to Lete

Today, you start your vertical climb into the Himalayas. Ride from 1000 meters up to nearly 3000 meters and see the landscape change as you bid farewell to the jungles below and enter the land of more than 8000 meters of peaks.

Day 4: Lete to Kagbeni

Today, you enter the moonscape, a region where little vegetation grows, the rivers run wilder, and glaciers line your riding vista. You sleep in Kagbeni, an incredible Tibetan village where mountain goats are herded through cobblestone streets.

Day 5: Kagbeni to Marpha via Muktinath

Today you reach your highest point, Muktinath which is 4,000 meters above sea level. You take the back route via an ancient Buddhist monastery and as the air thins, you reach your destination. Enjoy a yak steak for lunch before descending down to Marpha, an incredibly beautiful Thakali village.

Day 6: Marpha to Tatopani

Visit the local monastery in the morning and then you start your descent back to the warmer climate below. It's the final night of the tour so to celebrate, you stop in Tatopani, home of Nepal's famous hot springs.

Day 7: Tatopani to Pokhara

Today, you hit paved roads again and wind your way back to civilization. You will be amazed at how much you have experienced in such a short time on the road. Needless to say, it's a fun night back in town.

Bikes

Hearts & Tears' trusty steeds are the infamous Royal Enfield Bullet. Its history is incredible and some quick googling can give you a good insight into this vintage bike. Hearts & Tears mainly rides the Himalayan 400cc these days but also have the 500cc and 350cc Bullet models in their fleet. Hearts & Tears also rides 250cc dirt bikes on their Enduro tours. Hearts & Tears commands a much different style of the tour as compared to the Royal Enfield so they don't mix the bikes with the same group.

Bike rental deposit

Hearts & Tears requires a bike rental deposit of 100 USD.

Road and traffic information

Spectacular winding roads cling precariously to the sides of the mountains. With few bridges and no tunnels, there are virtually no straight sections of road. Corner after corner, hour after hour, a 200-kilometer ride is a long way in Nepal. It’s an extreme terrain. Bikes and buses are the most common form of transport in Nepal. Riding is great fun and very different to the aggressive car-focused road culture of the west. Local people usually stick to the left side of the road, but there’s a chaotic, anything-goes style thrown into the mix. Literally, anything could happen anywhere at any time. It seems crazy at times and you’ll witness stuff that defies belief.

Driving is a team sport and everyone joins in. Truck drivers give various signals using the horn, lights, indicators, and their hands. Buses employ a boy to hang out the side of the vehicle and wave signals. Motorcycle passengers help out too. If you use your indicators as you do at home, you might be sending the wrong messages. If you know the local way, it’s easy. Hearts & Tears will show you how.

Location

This tour starts and ends in Pokhara. On the tour, you will ride to several locations in Nepal including Baglung, Lete, Kagbeni, Marpha, and Tatopani. Nepal is the most bio-diverse country on Earth. The world’s highest peaks, many over 8000 meters, lie along the northern border with China. 150 kilometers to the south, at the Indian border, the scorched flatlands are near sea level. That’s the steepest incline anywhere and accordingly, the landscape and climate change dramatically with altitude.

Few people realize that Nepal is the world’s second-biggest water-producing nation, after Brazil. This sustains an incredible abundance of life. Woolly yaks trudge through Himalayan snow and ice, while rhinos and elephants forage in sweltering jungles below. Despite being a land-locked country, there are even freshwater dolphins. New species of flora and fauna, previously unknown to science, are discovered on a regular basis. Nepal only stretches about 800 kilometers east to west, but maps fail to convey the scale of the scrunched-up mountainous landscape. The sheer size is hard to describe or capture in photos but perfect for exploring by motorbike.

Food

On the tour, all of your meals are included. For dinner and breakfast, you can choose from an A La Carte menu at the accommodations and when riding, you stick with daal baat. Any drinks and snacks between meals are not included. Safe drinking water can be found in the mountains at the various 'safe-drinking stations', but to avoid any issues, Hearts & Tears recommends always using bottled-water. Before purchasing, check the seal in case it has tampered. A bottle of water costs 25 NPR in towns and up to 100 NPR in the mountains.

What's included

  • Royal Enfield Himalayan rental
  • English-speaking guides and mechanics
  • Petrol, support jeep, and riding gear rental (if required)
  • TIMS and ACAP permits
  • 6 nights' accommodation
  • Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • Medical kit with a satellite phone
  • Pannier bag
  • T-shirt
  • Local SIM card (request before arrival)

What's not included

  • International and domestic flights
  • Nepal visa
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Transport to Pokhara
  • Tips
  • Laundry
  • Alcohol
  • Drinks / snacks outside of meal times
  • Personal expenses

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM). It is the only international airport in Nepal. From Europe, either Turkish Airlines or Qatar often provides the best connections. From Australia or New Zealand, Air Asia, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways are good options. Skyscanner is a great resource to search for the best flights.

Arrival by bus

Tourist buses leave Kathmandu every morning around 7 a.m. and cost between 10 - 25 USD. The first hour or two is congested, but the chaos is fascinating. The road winds its way through beautiful scenery. Buses normally arrive in Pokhara mid-afternoon at the tourist bus park, a 20-30-minute walk from Lakeside.

Arrival by taxi

Taxis can be organized from Kathmandu for around 100 USD one way. It’s cost-effective for two or three people and much more comfortable than a bus. Depart when you like, stop when you like, and get dropped off at your hotel. The downside to any form of road transport is that you can be delayed by traffic jams, accidents, or the occasional strike.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 10% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
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7 days / 6 nights
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Availability

Start: Sunday December 13, 2020
End: Saturday December 19, 2020

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