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Biking Itinerary & Trip Details

Biking in the Himalayas presented by Bici Adventure (Switzerland)

TRIP: Biking in the Himalayas

DATE: 8 August 2014 to 23 August 2014

DURATION: 16 days

COST: $7,780 AUD (includes $2,000 fundraising donation to Lille Fro Foundation, which is tax deductible in Australia)

MINIMUM GROUP SIZE: 6 people

OPERATED BY: Bici Adventure, 6314 Unterägeri, Switzerland. Telephone: +61 2 8005 6553 (Australia),  +41 (0)41 750 26 65 (Switzerland). Web: www.abenteurreisen.ch

Itinerary

Days 1 &2 | Delhi, India

You will be picked up form your international flight and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy a half day sightseeing in India’s capital city. Relax at your leisure and explore.

Accommodation: Hotel

Highlight: Delhi’s delights. Sightseeing in the capital.

Day 3 | Leh, 3500m above sea level

One of the most spectacular flights imaginable! Weather permitting, we enjoy a scenic bird’s eye view over the largest mountain range in the world, the Himalayas. The rest of the day is for resting in the comfort of your hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel


Highlight: Scenic flight over the Himalayas

Day 4 | Leh sightseeing, 3500m above sea level

Following breakfast, our jeep takes us to Thiksey, a hilltop Tibetan Buddhist monastery perched on top of the cliff face 20 kms from Leh. From here we venture to Leh’s Royal Palace. Depending on how everyone is feeling, we begin to explore some hidden corners of Leh and unwind into the pace of Ladakhi life, a mix of the new with constant reminders of the past. An ever presence of monks carrying prayer wheels and amulets, their wrinkled faces more shadow than light. 

Accommodation: Hotel

Highlight: Thiksey Monastery.

Day 5 | Leh and surrounds, 3500m above sea level

Our itinerary today begins with a visit to nearby school supported by Lille Fro ‘Little Seeds’ education program where you will have the chance to help the children in their lessons.

After lunch you will be fitted for your bike ready for the coming days’ cycling. If you would like you can bring your own saddle and other gear such as helmet, gloves, shoes, pedals etc).

In the afternoon we visit the Namgyal Tsemo Gompa, a 14th Century monastery perched on cliff above Leh.

Accommodation: Hotel

Highlight: Visit to Lille Fro’s partner school and Tsemo Monastery

Day 6 | Leh to Likir, 3600m above sea level

It’s on yer bikes! We start with a relaxed pedal around Leh starting in the old city and cycling to the Spituk monastery from where we follow the Indus river upstream to Choglomsar before heading back to Leh. We use these first 30km to get used to our bikes and the traffic conditions.

In the afternoon we travel from Leh by jeep following the Indus valley retracing the southern branch of the Silk Route that once connected Europe with the Far East. As we leave Leh behind us, the Buddhist prayer flags adorning village houses become more apparent and white washed stupas break the monotony of the khaki-coloured landscape.  

We travel through over the moonscape of this high altitude desert, crossing the point whether the Zanskar River meets the Indus.

We take the winding path up to Likir local monastery with its towering statue of Buddha overlooking the valley below..

Accommodation: Camp

Highlights: Basgo and Likir monasteries

Day 7 | Likir to Shukpanchen, 3000m

This morning we pedal our first little pass. It’s an easy 30 minute ride to a breathtaking view at the top of the surrounding 6000m-high mountains. The next two passes today are more challenging but completely doable. On each of the downhill runs we have the option of sticking to the tar-sealed road or having a go on smooth singletrails.

By early afternoon we reach our final destination of the village of Hemis Shukpanchen leaving us with plenty of time to relax and take in the amazing scenery.

Distance: 26.5km. Total ascent: 1031m. Total descent: 869m. Maximum height: 3874m. Minimum height: 3447m.

Accommodation: Camp

Highlight: Getting off the beaten track following the single trails 

Day 8 | Hemis Shukpanchen to Lamayuru

Today is all about variety. After a big breakfast, the road takes us down the valley through the magnificent gorge towards Hemis Chu on the banks of the Indus River. We follow this mighty flow for 23 kms before crossing the river just after Khaltse and merging onto the Kargil-Srinagar highway.

We ascend to be rewarded with a wonderful view of the moonscape below, the remnants of an ancient lake not far from campsite for the night.

After a break, we treat ourselves to the great Lamayuru gompa, one of the oldest and richest centres of Buddhism worldwide. Here we learn the legend of the sacred lake which was sat beside the monastery which according to legend and back by scientist, once existed some 35,000 years ago. Today leaving in its place one of the most spectacular land formations.

Distance: 47.1km. Total ascent: 975m. Total descent: 1040m. Maximum height: 3633m. Minimum height: 2946m.

Accommodation: Camp

Highlights: Gorge of Hemis Chu and Lamayuru moonland and monastery

Day 9 | Lamayuru to Alchi to Leh

After a long descent we meet once again with the mighty Indus. From Khaltse it is a short trip across the river and uphill to Alchi where we find one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries. In this magic place are paintings date back almost 1000 years.

We load the bikes into a truck and enjoy the scenery as we travel back to Leh by car.

After a warm shower, we head out to explore the town’s fine dining.

Distance: 67.61km. Total ascent: 1195m. Total descent: 1320m. Maximum height 3625m. Minimum height: 2946m.

Accommodation: Camp

Highlight: Singletrails and Alchi

Day 10 | Leh to Sarchu to Chumik Gyatsa

We leave Leh on the Manali Highway for a 250km we journey over Taglang La, the second highest motorable pass in the region. The trip over the partially sealed and gravel roads is an adventure in itself.

In Sarchu we walk join our local support team for the hike to Chumik Gyatsa, one of Lille Fro’s beneficiary villages. Here we will be greeted by ever hospitable locals and the broad smiling children.

Accommodation: Camp

Highlight: the trip over Taglang La

Day 11 | Chumik Gyatsa

Today we have the opportunity of rolling up our sleeves to help our on Lille Fro’s community greenhouse project. Witness first hand the immediate and tangible difference Lille Fro’s programs are making in the lives of impoverished communities living in some of the remotest places on earth.  Take time to explore a traditional Ladakhi lifestyles which has not changed for hundreds of years.. If game, enjoy a butter tea with your hosts and experience a genuine hospitality Ladakhi style.

Accommodiation: Camp

Highlight: Connecting and working alongside the locals. Giving back.

Day 12 | Chumik Gyatsa to Tso Kar

Today we hike and short distance down the valley back to the Manali-Leh Highway. Back in our cars, we take a side trip to the beautiful salt lake of Tso Kar.

If we are fortunate, in the afternoon we may meet some Changthani, the nomadic people who graze their goats and sheep moving around the plains 8-10 times each year.

We will stay at a fixed camp at Ponganuga.

Accommodation: Fixed camp

Highlight: The Rupsha region.

Day 13 | Tso Kar – Leh

This is our last day in Changthang, the barren lands of the Rapshu region. We pass back over Taglang La to Leh where there will be time to browse the bazaar for pashmina shawls, prayer flags and copper singing bowl.

Early evening we drive to Shanti Stupa, one of Leh’s more impressive landmarks. A foreboding structure overlooking the town. Here we stop to reconnect, take a breath and enjoy the sunset from the impressive terrace.

Accommodation: Hotel

Highlight: Breathtaking views along the highway. Sunset at Shanti Stupa.

Day 14 | Leh to Delhi

We fly out early so we can make the most out of our time in Delhi. Shop till you drop or pamper yourself at our luxurious hotel near the heart of India’s capital city.

Accommodation: Hotel

Highlight: Flight back to Delhi

Day 15 | Delhi

Get lost in the sights and sounds of this vibrant city. Walk amongst the street merchants or bury yourself in an underground bazaar. Make the most of our last day before heading to the airport for a late night flight home.

Accommodation: Hotel

Hightlights: Sightseeing and shopping in Delhi.

What’s included:

  • Return domestic flight from Delhi to Leh (scheduled flights / economy class)
  • 15kg luggage allowance (domestic flights)
  • Airport taxes, fuel charges
  • Airport pick up and transfers
  • All meals and beverages drinks for the entire trip
  • All ground transportation including airport transfers and jeep safari
  • the development and co-ordination of a specifically tailored volunteer program
  • all accommodation including a superior local hotel in Ladakh and first class hotel in Delhi (based on double room occupancy *NB: Single occupancy rates apply)
  • All land services and transfers, all visitor entries
  • Qualified BICI Adventure guide
  • Local Ladakhi team, tour guides and porters
  • Bike hire
  • Waterproof sport bag (value 200 CHF)
  • Tips for BICI staff and porters ($100 US)

What’s not included:

  • International flights
  • Travel visas
  • Travel insurance. (Please note travel insurance is compulsory for all Bici Adventure trips with cover extending to medical evacuation)
  • Alcoholic beverages, mini bar

Group bookings & tailored trips

Our aim is to keep group sizes small to ensure trips are as personalized as possible. As such, we regret that places may be limited. If you have a group of 6 or more, please let us know as we may be able to take your group as a separate trip.

Optional side trips to the Taj Mahal in Agra can be arranged on request.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is a proud supporter of Lille Fro and is pleased to offer our guests special fares on your flights to India.

Singapore Airlines operates over 120 flights per week between Australia and Singapore, flying from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, with regional wing SilkAir operating services from Darwin. Convenient onward connections to Delhi are available, with 2 flights per day. From 30 May, the world's largest commercial aircraft, the Airbus A380, will begin services to Delhi and Mumbai.

Please contact us for further information on accessing these special fares.

Acclimatisation and altitude

We take acclimatisation seriously and so should you. After stepping off the plane in Leh, we start our acclimatisation process. This is critical due to the drastic change in elevation and the different oxygen conditions in breathing.

Our acclimatisation program has been planned together with experts and physicians In Switzerland and meets the highest safety standards. We carry comprehensive medical equipment at all times.

Safety Standards

At Bici Adventure, the safety of all members of our expedition is paramount. We undergo intensive research and pre-tour preparations working only alongside local partners who also undergo our training programs and comply with our high safety standards.

Guides: Only experienced bike and trekking guides are engaged. We conduct regular training of our staff and train using different emergency scenarios. We also promote the education and training of our local staff.

The standard safety equipment includes:
- Oxygen
- Medical case
- Medically trained personnel 

For our Himalayan tours we have jointly developed a high altitude safety concept with a high-altitude specialis which has been implemented successfully.

Weather and Climate

Leh, the capital of Ladakh sits at an altitude of approximately 3,500 metres on the Tibetan plateau at the junction of the Himalayas and Ladakh ranges. Ladakh is one of the highest and driest habitable places on earth.

In summertime, the mountain ranges acts as a barrier to the monsoon rains, which means very little rainfall throughout the year. Flora and fauna survive on glacial water as do the locals for their water requirements.

August is the height of summer in Ladakh. During the day temperatures reach around 30 degrees sometimes falling to zero at night. These numbers decrease the higher we climb.

Rare unstable weather conditions bringing rain and snow in recent years mean all climatic conditions must be taken into account - from heat to snow and storms.
As we are in a high altitude desert, the sun is intense. Protective clothing, sunscreen and a hat are packing essentials.

CONTACT US TO JOIN THIS TRIP OR FIND OUT MORE