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Blog – Explore Himalaya Travel & Adventure

Ducati Everest Challenge 2014: Intimacy with the Himalayas, curiosity towards Tibetan culture and passion for speed

Kathmandu Lhasa Motorbike Expedition

If it is silky smooth ride with fair amount of challenge you are after, the stretch of autoroute on the roof of the world is ideal. After the many motorway challenges have been faced and conquered for the first 100 kilometers to Kodari, the ride gets truly adventurous as soon as it begins to chase the celebrated Friendship Highway. Roads and the driving conditions on the highway best suit the superbikes. Flanking Tibetan landscapes, snaky lefts and rights, soaring passes close to the sky and glimpses of treasured Tibetan culture during the frequent stopovers- this ride genuinely offers the pleasure of lifetime.

The highest altitude Motorbike Ride

Motorbike Trip to Everest Base Camp

A team of adrenaline hungry Nepalese riders took on Everest Challenge 2014 on their pet beasts- Ducati Superbikes. The Ducati Everest Challenge 2014 began on 10th of June. Six riders of the burgeoning Ducati Community Nepal set off to enjoy the pleasure of riding the Roof of the World. Launched from the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, the monstrous Ducati bikers rode 1000 kilometers on the Friendship Highway to the Tibetan capital, Lhasa and then rallied back to Kathmandu on the 19th of June via Everest Base Camp of the Tibetan side. The 1000-kilometer stretch along the foothills of Himalayan giants is a fantasy with unrivaled scenery—windswept Tibetan landscapes, magical highland lakes and the dramatic rise and fall of the winding curves of the highway.

Motorbikes in high altitude passes

Riding a superbike to the Everest Base Camp

Pramod Shrestha (Goofy), the Road Captain of the Event and five other Nepalese Ducati Riders experienced smooth rides. The power of the Ducati beasts was unleashed on the roads of Tibet. On the road to Lhasa, the ride over Khamba La Pass was much anticipated. On the open highway, the bikes fared exceedingly well and succumbed to no altitude issues- none at all. The weather was favourable throughout and the joy of riding was thus exceptional.  The beasts scored an average speed of 80 km/hour, allowing the riders to stay ahead of schedule, even arriving in Lhasa three hours earlier than the projected time. The ride itself is larger than life, but the major celebration going on in Tibet during the time was a fascinating fortune. The Shakadawa festival, the year of the horse, which is celebrated once every 12 years, and the revelry and festivities had reached its pinnacle on this full moon evening that our riders pulled into town. The guys had fun walking around and also feel extremely privileged to be able to witness these merriments.

Windswept landscapes of Tibet

The time to triumph over the Challenge was on the ride back to Kathmandu. However, to grab the most out the trip the Ducati riders planned to take on every challenge head-on. The team of adrenaline junkies arrived to the top of the famous Yam-drok Tse Lake and established an idea to traverse down to the bank of this alpine beauty and daringly they made it. The adventure continued and the fleet of Ducati arrived at Shegar. From Shegar, a divergence from the Friendship Highway that unfolds mishmash over a 68 kilometers stretch is the way to Everest Base Camp. The hard-hitting and unpredictable road was so challenging that the monster Ducatis had to slow down to 10km/hr. Despite these adverse conditions, the wheels rolled to the Base Camp of world’s highest peak, Everest. The Ducati Everest Challenge 2014 was accomplished and the experiences of the ride would forever fondly haunt the heads and souls of all the riders.

Friendship Highway Tibet

Riding to the Tibetan cities

Ducati Everest Challenge 2014 was supported by Explore Himalaya Travel and Adventure and Turbo Motors Trading Pvt. Ltd. After the completion of the Event the Road Captain, Pramod Shrestha said, “It felt great to ride a bike worthy of excellent roads in Tibet. There was not much traffic and hence my machine and I had the freedom to fly across the Tibetan Plateau.”

Superbikes parked at Himalayan foothills

 

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Farmer’s festival in Nepal- Ropai Festival

Month of June in Nepal is a season of farming. Monsoon downpour soaks the farmlands and the farmers enjoy sowing rice plants in their fields. June 29th in the Hilly Region of Nepal is observed as Ropai Festival. Rice plantation festival, Ropai is a unique festival to observe. The work of farming can be the fun of the highest level and it can be observed during Ropai Festival in Nepal. Oxen ploughing fields, women sowing seeds and gentlemen digging the fields and the fun part of drenching each other with muddy water in the field is a great enjoyment.

The traditional music fusioned with typical Ropai songs sung by the farmers fill the atmosphere in the fields. The monsoon festival related with agriculture and celebrated by the farmers these days is a center of attraction for Nepalese city dwellers as well as foreign visitors. Here we have a short photo essay on Ropai Festival, have a look.

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Langtang Trek- paramount of 360 degree Himalayan view

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After six hours of bumpy ride from Kathmandu via Nuwakot we arrived to Syabrubeshi, the starting point for the trekking to Langtang. Day rest at Syabrubenshi to acclimatize well before gaining higher elevation is a fine strategy to begin the trek. It is a warm neighbor hood, as all travelers end up before and after to this spot. On the other hand if you have forgotten any of your gears, you’ll definitely get to buy supplies here. Next day starting early to reach Lama Hotel is a 1348m climb, where you come across very few tea houses. Reaching Lama Hotel and enjoying the pleasing sound of the river will certainly relax you after a long day’s walk. Travelers and locals gathering around the fire place is some sight. For addition food prepared by timber fire is a delicious treat.

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The trial towards the next place tomorrow cross passes a very windy region with Rocky Mountains on your left throughout the route. In Lama Hotel there are hardly ten tea houses or guests places. As in Langtang Village there are several more hotels with additional telephone services and internet facilities. A night at 3500 meters from 2748 meters might only seem 800m above regarding the previous days 1400m climb, but to tell you, the wind in this area will make you feel way above than its actual altitude. It is likely to stay close to the fire place in the common dining room. During night, sky filled with bright stars look very clear and near. Locals and guest house owners and workers are very hospitable .Endless flow of hot tea and coffee is a must. Accommodation is up to the scale for a trekking route.

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Again, the next day might only seem 300 meters climb from 3500m to 3800m, the highest point you will go in the trek unless you cross a pass beyond it to reach Gosaikunda. Kyangjin is situated at 3800m above sea level .Be prepared for some snow fall even at 3800m. Orbital view of Himalayas and snow capped Rocky Mountains is by far the awesome Himalayan panorama. Sight of yaks grazing on the hanging cliffs is a thrilling sight. Since it is a national park your intake of protein will be only eggs and cheese, no meat. Kyangjin has its own cottage industry for cheese. Do visit if you can take out some time from you rest. The day when you head back, you can start a little early and walk for an hour to reach to the view point at 4000m, definitely worth making that small climb.

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Coming down might look easy but don’t over do your self, at times it might be heavy on you knees, as per your endurance and dropping of altitude you can decide for your self where you want to stop for a night. Langtang is precious traveler’s destination, surrounded with scenic beauties, Flora and fauna plus wildlife. Visit for yourself and know the difference!

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Michael Jenkins accompanied by our tour leader

Text and photo credits to: Bishant Bista

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Nepalese Ducati Riders take on the Everest Challenge 2014

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Ducati Everest Challenge 2014 began hitting the roads early morning on 10th of June. Ducati Motorbike Expedition that involves the cross border Friendship Highway all the way from Nepal to Tibetan capital Lhasa is an action packed ten days tour. Six young Nepalese riders of Ducati Community Nepal including an expert rider Mr. Pramod Shrestha (Gufi), as their road captain will be accompanied by a supporting vehicle and a Ducati mechanic through the ride. Families of the riders and the Event supporters attended a small gathering at Ducati Showroom in Naxal to see them off.

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2000km long Biking Expedition that covers Tibetan cities and northern Base Camp of Everest, is supported by Explore Himalaya Travel and Adventure and Turbo Motors Trading Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Abhinav the organizer of the event and also the member of TOC 8848 Club (A club of Ducati customers in Nepal) said “the event is organized to allow the Nepalese Ducati customers to enjoy their bikes to the fullest.”
The riders will arrive back to the capital on 19th June 2014.

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Best of Nepal- the quick glimpse of Nepal’s treasures

The best of Nepal trip that covers three major towns of Nepal is a quick outlook of Nepal’s cultural, natural and wildlife treasures. Kathmandu valley, a landmark of ancient civilization offers incredibly fascinating craftsmanship of native Kathmanduians, who dwelled in the valley during ancient and medieval ages. Pokhara, the most beautiful bride adorned by Mother Nature herself, is best opted urban destination for awe-inspiring Himalayan views including the virgin mountain, Fishtail and massive Annapurna Range. Besides the city of Lakes and Caves, Pokhara is the starting point for major treks to Annapurna Region. Chitwan is a wildlife hub. The first wildlife park also the UNESCO World Heritage Site for wildlife conservation. Chitwan National Park is a protected home to Royal Bengal Tiger and One-horned Rhino. Wildlife Safari atop a giant Asian Elephant and canoeing over Rapti River for birding and spotting ghariyal crocodile and gangetic dolphins is fabulous experience at Chitwan.
Shah family from Britain Ajit, Nina and Nikhil had great experience with us during their Best of Nepal Tour this autumn. Here we have few lines quoted by the family on the Best of Nepal Tour and our services.

Fishtail Lodge in Pokhara is wonderful; excellent food, friendly hotel staffs and the incredible views of mountains from the room, the best memory of our trip. We would recommend the hotel to every traveler to Pokhara.
The services of Explore Himalaya were excellent. Sabin, our tour officer was always on time and went beyond expectation to let us use his mobile sim for our phones. Guides, transportation and staffs were just amazing throughout the tour.
Sabin and Pushpa looked after us very well and made our Nepal Trip very enjoyable. We rate Explore Himalaya with five stars.

 

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7th Everest Day honors the legendary Sherpa Climber

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The mourning candle light procession occupied the streets of Kathmandu on May 28 2014. The procession of national and international tourism personals that marched from Thamel ended at the premises of Nepal Tourism Board via King’s Way. During the silent mourning session, the mass gathered at NTB offered condolences to the 16 Sherpa Climbers who died during the brutal Everest Avalanche in April 18. The event on the eve of 7th Everest Day was organized by the private sectors of Nepalese Tourism, Joint Tourism Coordination Committee (JTCC).

Early morning on May 29, JTCC organized a rally that kicked off from Thamel and once again reached NTB. The rally adorned by the lights of traditional music and legendary climber Kancha Sherpa comprised hundreds of tourism professionals.

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Celebrating 7th Everest Day as well as Republic Day the private sectors of Nepalese Tourism honored Kancha Sherpa, the only living climber of the first successful Everest Expedition led by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa back in 1953.
The veterans of Nepalese Tourism Industry including the chairman of TAAN Ramesh Dhamala, Chairman of NMA Ang Tshering Sherpa, Chairman of PATA Nepal Chapter Suman Pandey and Kancha Sherpa among others officially kicked off the ceremony by lighting seven candles during the inauguration of the celebration.

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During the celebration Nepalese climbers, Seven Summit Women Team was offered the financial support by the NMA Chairman for their sixth Expedition. Saili Basnet the leader of the team expressed the gratefulness towards private sector of Nepalese tourism for supporting their dreams. Similarly, the next group of Nepalese women climbers led by Maya Sherpa was also financially supported by NMA for the successful upcoming expedition to Mount K2. The cultural dances were also the major highlights of the celebration.

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