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
All white- Black the riders space
Tshering,our Tibet Tour guide took an extraorninary trip across Tibet with our Australian agent/ partner Travel Director's tour group last year. She shared with us snapshots from her journey. Here we reproduce some from the collection.
About to embark on the World's Highest Train Journey- Beijing to Lhasa by train
Magnificent landscape – from aboard the train
Sightseeing in Lhasa – the iconic Potala Palace
Stroll through the busy Barkhor Market, Lhasa
Ready to kickstart – Bikers ready to hit the road from Lhasa to Kathmandu
Picnic by the lakeside – At Naghatse
Ride to Shigatse
At a stopover – bikes & support vehicle
The Grandest View ever!! North Face of Mount Everest – The ultimate destination for any hard core biker – Everest Base Camp, Tibet – the highest place any biker can ride to!
Rongbuk(5000m), Everest Base Camp ( North Side)
A meal above 5000m is bound to be an unforgettable one – At Everest Base Camp, Tibet
World's Highest Train Journey
Lhasa- Kathmandu Motorbike Tour
(Photos courtesy : Tshering Dhoka)