Australian bikers at a dinner at Kathmandu with our tour officer Ms. Pushpa Gurung
Liam Kelly was one of the group leaders of the Lhasa- Kathmandu Motorbike Tour with Explore Himalaya this autumn. He led the Australian riders on seventeen bikes from Lhasa, along the Friendship Highway to Kathmandu. After the end of the tour he shared his experiences with us, during an interview at Hotel Malla.
Australian Bikers ready to hit the roads
EH: One thousand kilometers on a motorbike, must be pretty exciting. Can you please share your experience on Lhasa- Kathmandu Motorbike Tour?
Liam: It was challenging. Roads were challenging, Royal Enfield 500cc bikes were challenging and we always made sure everyone was safe and enjoying the ride. The tour was awesome, it was a great tour.
EH: You rode over 5000 meter plus passes four times, what do you have to say about the Tibetan landscapes?
Liam: Beautiful! From Tingri to Zhangmu we traveled on a bus because of snowing and landslides. While, crossing the other passes, roads were fine and we had great time riding our motorbikes. We enjoyed Tibetan landscapes, lovely views and beautiful vistas throughout the ride. We could not make up to Base Camp because it was snowing and the road was blocked. Weather challenged the ride, but we were able to take most out of such circumstances.
Twist and turns to Kathmandu
EH: Apart, from the food and accommodation in Lhasa and Kathmandu, how were the food and accommodation in between, in the Friendship Highway?
Liam: Some of it was interesting. Tingri again, was challenging. There was no hot water. Otherwise, accommodation and was very good. About the food, though we were served local dishes it was delicious. The picnic lunch at Yam Drok Tse Lake was excellent, which was also the highlight of the ride. I must say the food was hygienic.
EH: During the long journeys, there are issues of mechanical breakdown and fatigues. Did any such thing happen during the ride?
Liam: We had few accidents. On the second day of the ride, from Lhasa to Gyantse we had four minor accidents. Nobody was seriously injured. Or, else we were well prepared. Two mechanics were traveling with us and we were backed up with spare parts and repairing kits. There was no problem in re-filling the fuel. There was no such big issue of mechanical breakdown or fatigue.
Picnic Lunch at Yam Drok Tse Lake
EH: As a group leader, are you satisfied with your performance? Are the members of this Lhasa- Kathmandu Motorbike Tour happy?
Liam: Yes, the group was excellent. Throughout the tour, the group was fairly easy to deal with. I think the group is also very happy. Anyways, I will find out once, they report about the tour to Travel Directors.
Eh: Is there anything else Explore Himalaya can do to make this cross country Motorbike Tour better?
Liam: It is understandable. We are not in New York or Europe. In the remote areas of Tibet, Explore Himalaya has managed to arrange such a wonderful tour. Our group faced few adverse situations on such challenging tours. However, without these unexpected challenges Lhasa-Kathmandu Motorbike Tour would not be the challenge that it is. It might be better if there were fewer temples and shrines to visit in your itinerary, these guys really want to ride the high mountains.
A short break to view Kharo La Glacier
EH: What was the best part of this trip?
Liam: The End!
EH: The end! Why? That means you aren’t happy.
Liam: No, the trip was brilliant and I am very happy. But, I am tired and it is time to go home and sleep for a while.
Tibetan ladies in their traditional costume
EH:How do you rate the services of Explore Himalaya?
Liam: Perfect. I must say 10 on 10.
EH: Okay, if you have to describe this tour in one word, what would you call it?
EH: Thank you so much, for your time.
Liam: No, its alright. Actually, it is my pleasure, getting interviewed. (Laughs)
Snaky highway flanked by the mesmerizing landscape
Fine Tibetan road to Nepal
A group photo at the doorway to Qomolangma National Nature Reserve
Livestock- Road barrier during the four wheel drive from Tingri to Zhangmu after the heavy snowfall
Mr. Christensen Dan and Mrs. Christensen Yvonne from Denmark dreamt of an Overland Tibet tour and Explore Himalaya fulfilled their dream of Tibet tour which started on April 28, 2013 and ended on May 7, 2013.The overland tour included 4-wheeler drive of 943kms along the celebrated route of the Tibetan plateaus on the Friendship Highway in Tibet and Araniko Highway in Nepal. The trip of hitting the road on the comfy 4-wheeler along these popular highways was Christensen couple’s journey of the lifetime. The exciting and mesmerizing highway provided them lots of interesting things to see on the way. The journey itself started from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet (Chinese Autonomous Region) or say Roof of the World. The scenic view of Yamdrok tso Lake at the 4447m and the distant but fantastic view of glaciated peaks pleased the Danish travelers through our exclusive country partner Kipling Travel.
The Overland Tibet Tour continued through the hilarious views of ancient and traditional Tibetan villages, the experiences of tranquility in the monasteries like Samding Monastry, Pelkor Chode Monastery, Tashilhunpo Monastery, Sakya Monastery and Rongphu Monastery no doubt made the couple’s entire journey even more worthy. The greediness to watch more in nature was absolutely fulfilled during this Overland Tibet Tour. The close view of mountain peaks including Everest, the villages and their unique culture with ancient values and flavor brought them to the different world. After, the stunning view of Yamdrok tso Lake the road led to Shigatse, the home of Panche Lama via Gyantse. At Shigaste road branched to two directions. West headed to the City of Ali and south continued with the Christensens to pass Shegar, New Shegar and Rongphu Monastry near Everest Base Camp. From there the road continued towards the Nepal border and then to Kathmandu along the Araniko Highway via Dulikhel. After the completion of the Overland Tibet Tour on May 7, 2013 the Danish couple was very much thankful to Explore Himalaya for arranging such a wonderful journey. Exploring the cultural sites of Kathmandu for the next two days the couple departed back home on May 10, 2013.
Overall a very good tour. Excellent itinerary. Guide, drivers and staffs were very good. Vehicle was in excellent condition.