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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Visitors at Norbulingka Monastery, Lasha.
Tibet lures numerous visitors every year with its distinct charm. Roof of the world, The Highest Plateau, The Forbidden Kingdom or The Last Shangri-la; it is Tibet. 1000km long Friendship Highway joins the capital city Lasha of Tibet to the Himalayan nation Nepal. The journey on the Highway is what we call the Tibet Overland Tour. Mr. Madsen, Ms. Mikkelsen and Ms. Oskarstottir from Denmark were on this extremely exciting Overland Trip last spring with Explore Himalaya.
A scenic view on the Friendship Highway.
The tour started at Lasha upon their on April 7 2012. Lasha 3650m has the 1000 years of cultural and spiritual history. The magnificence and dignity of the Potala Palace symbolizes the popular and enigmatic power of politics and religion in the region. The ancient Mega fortress, which was constructed during the mid-seventeenth century, stands 300m tall on Marpo Ri “Red Hill”.
A cattle herder on the highway.
The tranquility at the spiritual Sera, Norbulingka and Drepung Monasteries no doubt reflects the peace loving nature of the noble Tibetans. The typical Barkhor Square links this ancient city to the modern world with easy availability of modern amenities.
The two days sightseeing tour at Lasha also provided the visitors with opportunity to acclimatize the high altitude just before hitting the road along the Friendship Highway to Nepal. On 11 April the highland journey on a 4-wheeler began.
Monks at their leisure time.
The perfect itinerary on the Overland Tour had enough time to explore, acclimatize and retreat in the secluded highway of the Himalaya joining two nations.
Via Gyantse, Shigaste, Shegar, Rongbuk and famous Everest Base Camp the Danish team arrived to Kathmandu on April 16 2012.
Potala Palace- Tibet.
The jovial group of 19 Danish got here in Lasha from Beijing via train on October 9, 2012. The part of their retreat was planned on Friendship Highway; a highway beginning from the Roof of the world Tibet to all the way to Nepalese border Kodari. The lineup spent the next three days at Tibetan capital Lasha. The first two days at Lasha, the group had the sightseeing tour to tranquil habitat of the monks; Sera and Norbulingka Monasteries.
They even made to spiritual Jokhang Temple and the typical Barkhor Square on the very day. The dazzling Potala Palace stood tall yet humbled to greet the squad. The royal monument reflects the Tibetan primeval culture. The Drepung Monastery in Lasha which sits on the foot of Mt. Gephel is one of the great three Gelukpa university monasteries of Tibet. The final day at Lasha was important for the visitors to become accustomed with the altitude before they hit the 1000km 4WD ride on the Highway.
Icy lake on the Highway.
The Danish squad utilized every opportunity on the highway. On the way, they encountered the one of the highest altitude passes like Karo La Pass 5045m, Gyatso La Pass 5220m and Tong La Pass 5143m. The stately view of Yamdrok Tso Lake 4770m from the ascent of Gyatso La Pass was worthy enough to make the spellbinding halt.
Twists and Turns amidst Himalayas.
Driving amongst the Himalayan ranges with the brief halts and good night rest at the typical Tibetan cities was overwhelming the Danish travelers. Gyantse Dzong and Kumbum Monastery at Gyantse, Tashilhumpo Monastery at Shigaste, Rongbuk Monastery at Rongbuk added the cultural flavor of Tibetans and Buddhism during the drive.
Monastery on the top of the hill.
The Danish were overjoyed to board on a comfy 4-wheeler to the famous Everest Base Camp. After, the most exciting journey on the highway situated at the highest plateau the team was at Zhangmu on October 17. Leaving the last Chinese city behind, the Danish group was driving on the Araniko Highway towards Kathmandu on October 18.
Rear window view.
Pics: Explore Himalaya.
Keeping alive the spirit of adventure, Explore Himalaya has come up with a new product, the exciting ‘Tibet Motorbike Tour’. This is a ten-day motorbike adventure across Tibet, ‘the Roof of the World’.
If you are a biker and love adventure, this is the ultimate trip for you.You begin your journey from Lhasa, riding across the ancient cities of Shigatse, Gyantse and Shegar.Traversing scenic locales, nomadic settlements,and high mountain passes, you reach Rongbuk and Everest Base Camp- the highest place on earth a biker can ride to.
Browse our Tibet Motorbike Tour & Photo Gallery