Since '02 xBhp is different things to different people. From a close knit national community of bikers to India's only motorcycling lifestyle magazine and a place to make like-minded biker friends. Join us

WE DESIGN ON

Lenovo ThinkPad
Magazine
Castrol Power 1

Regularly check tyre pressures.

Our Partners

User Tag List

Results 1 to 8 of 8
Like Tree4Likes
  • 2 Post By sudhaeci
  • 2 Post By sudhaeci

Thread: Nepal Off-road adventure.

  1. #1
    Rookie
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Nepal Off-road adventure.

    Hey friends, pardon me with this long story and I hope you might not find it too boring.

    We never knew about existence of this place called 'Manang' despite surfing through various motorcycle forums, desperately searching an answer for a question that rises once a year but the most interesting topic of every year - "Machi, where we gonna ride this year?".

    We've always wanted to ride from Delhi to Leh-Ladakh but due to our holiday period falling during winter in India [most of the motorable passes in that region are shutdown during this] and the overwhelming number of riders visiting that region, we thought of exploring a new place which is not popular among riders but as exciting as the aforesaid. Geno said its gotta be mountains and a bit of snow would be good. So we narrowed upon Nepal / Bhutan and after a brief online research or at least what we would like to call it, we chose Nepal due to the terrain, mountain ranges and trekkers' reviews.

    Not knowing where and how, Geno told me about setting Pokhara or Kathmandu as our starting point so we started looking for mountain ranges around them.

    We used Google maps to zoom-in and search for places as we always do and noticed Annapurna ranges to be of an interesting region and started gathering details about it. Reviews and photos from trekkers were breathtaking and all we wanted to know was the possibility of riding a motorbike around the region. We could find nothing but one on xbhp done this. I was initially planning for a ride from Pokhara to Muktinath which is a smooth one on sealed surface but this guy had written about another track - the most challenging one he has ever experienced and warned about how spine-breaking it was. If Pokhara to Muktinath forms a semi-circle, the other track forms the rest of circle and there is no way to complete the circle on a motorbike due to no motorable pass joining these tracks [Google about lake Tilicho that sits in between these and lucky trekkers get to see this as they complete the whole circuit unlike a rider who must turn back at Manang]. So the option was to consider one round-trip to Muktinath and another to the very adventurous ride to Manang.

    As google map showed it was pretty much possible to reach Manang in one day from Pokhara, we had an itinerary to visit Manang, Muktinath and Kathmandu all in 9 days but we were once again proven wrong about our amateurish planning by mother nature. Oh yes we took three days from Pokhara to Manang and had to abandon the rest of our plans due to the challenges described below.

    Stepping aside from boring paragraphs, let me write about the days in sequence;


    Day-1:

    Left Delhi at about 7AM and reached Gorakhpur for dinner. No stops whatsoever on the way except breakfast. Boring highway journey.

    Day-2:

    Left Gorakhpur at 7AM and reached Nepal border [Sonauli] within 2 hours. As ATMs were all closed at Gorakhpur in the early morning, we couldn't draw any money and decided to get it done at the border but it was the same story there too. As we were searching for ATMs, an agent came forward and guided us to his office across the border, did all the paper-work [Indians don't need a visa except an identity document but need to get the vehicle documents and road-tax] and took me back to India on his Enfield-Classic and found an ATM just 2 KMs from border. Paper work was done within 10 minutes but sourcing money took over an hour and we could convert money at his agency. **Important: 1000 Indian rupees are not accepted anywhere else in Nepal beyond this border so convert as much as possible here. You'll know why when I write further. After this the same agent took us to the road transport office and got us another permit paper which he said would be required when pulled over by traffic police elsewhere. Sealed road started disappearing after Sonauli and we were eating dust due to overwhelming number of trucks carrying sand and rocks along the mountain pass. Reached Pokhara for dinner.

    Day-3:

    We previously contacted few motorbike rental shops over facebook but they were not actually upto what they claimed to be. We were interested in hiring RoyalEnfield Himalayan but it was pretty difficult to source one in Pokhara. We finally found but just one and I had to go with Honda VR [lucky me] scarifying the Himalayan to my buddy.
    We started late in the morning as we killed 2 hours negotiating about the deposit due to the fact we could only convert 15,000 INR and both of our Indian ATM cards were non-functional in Nepal. Look for a small "T&C" in your debit card that notifies about being useless in Nepal & Bhutan or you would be running around for pennies like we did. As we left Pokhara by 11AM, we were aware about the town where sealed road ends - Besishar. It was around 110KMs and we took 4 hours and spent an hour for food.

    As this was the last town where legally sold petrol is available, we decided to top-up our tanks and spare. Not enough destitutions for the day as our fate thought, the only gas station in the town ran out of supply and assured us they’ll surely get it refilled in just two days. Roaming around trying to understand what people say, we understood petrol would be available at a town called Chame which was just 70KMs away.

    Thinking what could go wrong as we still had half a tank of fuel, we resumed our ride. All hell breaks loose here and the road disappears with a huge drop to a muddy passage.

    Convincing ourselves it could get better, we started riding over rocks and sharp stones waiting for at-least some sort of rideable path to make the pace over 10KMPH. As it was already 4PM, it started getting dark, I mean pitch-black and we could barely see anything. We could just feel a massive mountain so close to our left and a huge valley onto our right. Being unable to guess what is around us, we continued focusing on finding a human on the way just to inquire about accommodation. Recovering from the first fall on fine sand after an hour, Geno insisted that we must call it a night and I couldn't agree more as we were struggling to get the unnecessarily heavy Enfield back up. Upon riding for another hour, we found a lady who suggested us a place [Sayange] to stay and we could find a hotel there for 100 Indian Rupees. Though the place was good enough to crash, I was just worried about the bush-fire around the place and locals didn't give a f**k about it and asked us not to worry.

    Day-4:

    As the previous night was cold, we could leave Sayange only after breakfast at about 8AM and took our own time enjoying the nature on the way. We wasted waiting for a mudslide to be cleared by a digger on the way and we rode across a suspension bridge to cross over a river for lunch. As we kept moving, people on the way we met warned us about altitude sickness due to ascending at a faster pace than trekkers and about harsh weather. They added about how most of the Manang population descend during winter due to extreme cold. Though we both were initially discussing about taking extra care and blaming each other for missing AMS pills, we eventually drifted off that seriousness and enjoyed riding towards Chame. We were stopped by the regional checkpost officers and asked to submit the lower mustang permit.

    We were aware about this permit and had a plan to purchase it at Pokhara for INR500. However as we missed, we were taken to the regional police station and were made to pay double the fee with officer's written endorsement where we had to waste almost 3 hours negotiating and asking for alternate options. Remember, you gotta get this permit and stop at every state check-post [usually a house with a small notification board] and submit your personal identity document and motorbike documents for registering your entry. Chame was pretty cold and it was the night we started struggling to get some sleep as it went below -10. Remember, nobody provides room heaters and it is not recommended to bring one here due to low level of oxygen. Beware about taking long hot showers for this reason and the fact that most of locals use gas heaters that depletes oxygen further. Get your thermals with appropriate temp rating. You would just be given a quilt, pillow and an average bed to survive the night at any hotel. Fireplaces are available at dining places though which are operational from 5 to 10PM.

    Day-5:

    Most people said Chame is the right place for acclimatization [2650m] but it wasn't a challenge at all. We left Chame by 8AM and couldn’t bear the cold riding just for half an hour. This is where rapid ascend starts and the weather got wilder.
    We had to stop following unbearable pain [no heated grips] desperately looking for some heat which we could accomplish by holding the engine for quite a while. My mate was urging me to end the ride with a village called Pisang [3250m] due to the weather and difficult terrain but as we came all the way and just few hours away from our target, we convinced ourselves not to quit and continued. As the altitude steadily increased, we could feel the engine knocking due to lack of Oxygen and not too late after 4 hours of ride, we finally reached our destination - Manang.

    It was a small village surrounded by stunningly beautiful peaks of Annapurna range and we've experienced the most beautiful views and landscapes of our journeys ever done so far. Riding up to our desired destination - The Gangapurna Lake [frozen lake], we felt the pride of accomplishing the ride that we've always wanted. Stayed at the frozen lake for a while, admiring the beauty of massive Himalayan ranges, astonished by the massive ice caps and moreover a complete silence [nothing moves here except the noise of wind] made us stunned. It was true heaven and we wish we could have stayed there for the whole day but just had to leave before sunset due to temperature falling below -21. We returned back to Chame after having RE-Himalayan skidding for no reason as usual. Let me tell you about the terrain that it actually didn't slip off - well, nowhere. We may sound stupid but what could have we done wrong riding below 5KMPH extreme off-roading?

    Day- 6 & 7:

    Stayed at Chame and left to Pokhara next day. We both had dozens of falls over black ice and descending was more challenging as we had to deal with this extremely slippery surface especially for the first 3 hours. The moment we noticed glossy surface, we determined it was safer to ride as slow as we could over the water rather than going around the puddle and slipping off ice. As we had to cross few frozen waterfalls and streams on the way, we were too slow and cautious as if we slip off a descending curve, we would go straight down to the valley. We however made it to Pokhara with just minor injuries and in one-piece. Oh I forgot to add an important factor that consumed 4 hours of ours - beloved Himalayan that had it's radiator pipe burst due to the previous day fall. During the drop, the crash guard had an impact with the pipe and in turn damaged it, causing all the oil to run out eventually. Due to no motorbike mechanics from Chame to Besishar, we had to take extra care about not overheating the engine and had to take frequent breaks ensuring the engine still had minimum amount of oil for safe run. We believe Himalayan might not be the suitable one for this trip but we would in deed love to hire it for comparatively easier terrains. Remember to carry your fuel jerry can and essential replacement spares as you won't find anyone for help from Besishar to Manang, that's for about 5 days two way. You can however find black-market petrol in Chame. Petrol a litre was 110 Nepal rupees in Pokhara and 200 rupees in Chame.

    Day - 8 & 9:

    Pokhara - Gorakhpur - Delhi and then back to Chennai.


    Expense details:

    Hotel rooms in Pokhara - Just like any town in India, you may find hotels within the range of 1000 INR.
    Hotel rooms elsewhere - 100 to 200INR as it was off-season and we two were the only ones staying in the whole lodge/house.
    Food costs the same everywhere - 250 INR for a rice meal with veggies. Chicken/Buffalo costs an extra 200 and yak costs 300.
    Motorbike rental per day was 5000 local with 20,000 NR refundable deposit.
    Permit to enter Manang region costs 1000 NR and fuel a litre is about 110 NR.
    Food would consume most of the money after motorbike rental but we found every one we met were honest and saw no rip-off.

    You can find our photos here - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=0ed63bf4fb and video clip here - https://youtu.be/tlzHP61Lock

    Let me know if you need any additional information about this and I'll be excited to talk to you. Always open for suggestions and comments.

    Thanks for your time. Cheers!

    - Sudhakar.
    Last edited by xBhp; 04-08-2019 at 04:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    India
    Posts
    1,522
    Mentioned
    43 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Nepal Off-road adventure.

    Thread approved.

  3. #3
    Addicted
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Bangalore
    Posts
    210
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Nepal Off-road adventure.

    too long essay

    bring some pics mate

  4. #4
    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Dum Dum, Kolkata
    Posts
    5,440
    Blog Entries
    3
    Mentioned
    115 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Nepal Off-road adventure.

    Nice read but a few pics would have been great!

  5. #5
    Rookie
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Nepal Off-road adventure.

    I've posted the photos link in my previous message but as people ask for them to uploaded here, I've attached some;

    Route map. Well the hours shown are theoritical but we had to do about 48 hours on sealed road and 50 off road.
    Name:  RouteMap.jpg
Views: 325
Size:  24.2 KB

    Starting the climb after entering Nepal.
    Name:  1.jpg
Views: 325
Size:  107.6 KB

    Name:  2.jpg
Views: 324
Size:  107.4 KB

    Name:  3.jpg
Views: 333
Size:  106.6 KB

    Had to wait for a while for a path to be built. Mudslides and rock fall are very common here.
    Name:  4.jpg
Views: 331
Size:  105.3 KB

    Dal bhat with chicken.
    Name:  5.jpg
Views: 319
Size:  113.9 KB

    Name:  6.jpg
Views: 331
Size:  114.7 KB

    Name:  7.jpg
Views: 333
Size:  105.6 KB

    Had to ride across this bridge to reach a village for lunch.
    Name:  9.jpg
Views: 324
Size:  105.5 KB

    Riding across.
    Name:  10.jpg
Views: 321
Size:  104.1 KB

    Name:  11.jpg
Views: 331
Size:  109.0 KB

    Machapuchare, “Fish Tail Mountain,” where no human has ever set foot.
    Name:  12.jpg
Views: 325
Size:  99.9 KB

    Paragliding over Annapurna ranges.
    Name:  13.jpg
Views: 318
Size:  69.8 KB

    Hotel rooms are free when you eat at their restaurant but we had to pay for this one during this off-season but it was cheap - 200 Nepal Rupees [1.5 USD].
    Name:  14.jpg
Views: 330
Size:  104.0 KB

    Dal Bhat with buffalo curry.
    Name:  15.jpg
Views: 333
Size:  113.1 KB

    Icy streams like this were common and we fell off bikes quite a few times due to slippery surface.
    Name:  16.jpg
Views: 321
Size:  108.8 KB

    This one is pretty visible even at night but black ice [a transparent coating of ice, especially on a road surface] was too risky and slowed down our pace below 5KMPH.
    Name:  17.jpg
Views: 317
Size:  107.9 KB

    We've spent about 48 hours riding on such surface, back-breaking in deed.
    Name:  18.jpg
Views: 319
Size:  112.6 KB


    TBC..

    ----consecutive posts auto-merged-----

    Few more pics..

    Name:  31784157937_8ff2271fca_o.jpg
Views: 314
Size:  105.6 KB

    Sunset
    Name:  20.jpg
Views: 315
Size:  97.6 KB

    Name:  21.jpg
Views: 318
Size:  107.7 KB

    Frozen waterfall. Temperature was at -18 at night here.
    Name:  22.jpg
Views: 346
Size:  109.0 KB

    A little frozen pond on the way.
    Name:  23.jpg
Views: 315
Size:  104.1 KB

    Through an Alpine forest.
    Name:  24.jpg
Views: 326
Size:  102.6 KB

    Name:  25.jpg
Views: 321
Size:  100.0 KB

    Name:  26.jpg
Views: 312
Size:  101.1 KB

    Name:  27.jpg
Views: 321
Size:  114.5 KB

    Name:  28.jpg
Views: 309
Size:  105.8 KB

    Manang
    Name:  29.jpg
Views: 312
Size:  103.9 KB

    Annapurna II
    Name:  30.jpg
Views: 319
Size:  101.0 KB

    Order-to-cook restaurants [just a house] are the only option for food.
    Name:  32.jpg
Views: 311
Size:  113.2 KB

    Fried potato and Yak curry.
    Name:  33.jpg
Views: 324
Size:  106.8 KB

    Name:  34.jpg
Views: 295
Size:  104.5 KB

    Name:  35.jpg
Views: 310
Size:  98.8 KB


    TBC..

    ----consecutive posts auto-merged-----

    Last set of photos..

    Gangapurna Lake - A beautiful frozen lake at 12,000 feet. Breathtaking views, worth the pain.
    Name:  36.jpg
Views: 324
Size:  100.7 KB

    Name:  37.jpg
Views: 312
Size:  105.2 KB

    Manang Village
    Name:  38.jpg
Views: 307
Size:  101.6 KB

    Forest fire engulfing our path.
    Name:  39.jpg
Views: 306
Size:  103.2 KB

    Name:  43.jpg
Views: 312
Size:  91.1 KB

    No room heaters anywhere, just this fireplace at the dining area. So sleeping at -18 was challenging.
    Name:  44.jpg
Views: 303
Size:  109.6 KB


    And finally, here is the video clip:





    Cheers!

  6. #6
    Addicted
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Delhi
    Posts
    102
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Nepal Off-road adventure.

    An Achievement Indeed ...



    A Biker who .. race the rain, ride the wind & chases the sunset ...

  7. #7
    Still Learning© sajalsheth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    CUTTACK
    Posts
    648
    Mentioned
    17 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Nepal Off-road adventure.

    Name:  c36.jpg
Views: 203
Size:  12.7 KB

    Great Ride, nice Pictures @sudhaeci ji

  8. #8
    Cruise Machine experimentalhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Bangalore
    Posts
    1,154
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Nepal Off-road adventure.

    Came across this beautiful travelogue, just when I was thinking that tradition of travelogues have ended. Many thanks to @sudhaeci

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-14-2018, 11:09 PM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-03-2017, 08:28 PM
  3. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-23-2017, 12:11 AM
  4. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-20-2015, 03:10 PM
  5. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-22-2014, 11:19 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •