Nepal Mountain Bike ride:
While trekking the Annapurna Circuit the lure of a mountain bike ride in the beautiful Himalayas was to be too much to resist.With my wife Mandy and good friends Jim and Gill we headed off from Kathmandu for a long four wheel drive to the start of the trek and a two week adventure.
We had an eventful trek up the mountains to the high point Thorong La, stopping at tea houses at night and taking in the immense vista by day. A three day stop at Manang provided a chance to acclimatize to the altitude and explore some of the surrounding peaks.
High Point 5416 metes!
After hiking across the Thorong La pass at 5416 meters through snow and ice but on a clear still day it was all down hill from there on.Next stop Muktinath.
Mukinath a small town nestled 3899 m in the Annapurna mountain range.It is one of the worlds holy sites.Buddist and Hindu pilgrims from around the world visit .Although desolate and exposed to the elements its worth a visit to the temple.
There are several places you can hire mountain bikes from.We wanted to ride to Tatopani a ride of 69 km in one day.A twelve hour ride we were told,along a rough road with some of the most magnificent vistas.If you want to turn it into a two or three day trip you could stop at Marpha.
Our great wives Mandy and Gill boarded the bus with our gear at Muktinath for the journey to Tatopani Little did we know then ,they would arrive 5 minutes before us some twelve hours later with tales of hair raising encounters with shear drop-offs and almost impassable tracks.On reflection we had the safer option travelling by bike.
The mountain-bike operators will arrange transport of your gear and collection of the bikes at Tatopani.
We Depart Muktinah.
Leaving Muktinah at day break,with the sound of jackals keeping us company, we were greeted by a glorious sunrise.The wind can be a problem so the earlier you leave the better.The road while not a technical ride has some seriously steep and rocky sections..
After 23 km we reached.the reasonably large town of Jomson. Here you can get money from the ATM , have a good meal at a restaurant and stamp your tourist pass.
A further 7 km down a rocky,windy road with incredible scenery we reached the lovely little village of Marpha.The section from Marpha to Tatopani is dusty,arid but extremely interesting,eventually passing through a pine forest before reaching Tatopani 1160m , a pretty little semi-tropical looking village with hot thermal pools.
After riding some 69 km, 2640 m downhill and twelve hours later I had my only fall from the bike, an ignominious slide right outside our accommodation at Tatopani.
This is some ride for one day but quiet do-able.We had one in-experienced biker with us who completed without problems although he was fit.Plenty of water is a must and make sure you have a bandanna or mask as the dust can be a real problem.The locals are friendly with not much in the way of traffic on the road.
Contacts.We arranged our trip with CHARMING GUIDE ADVENTURE (P) LTD .I can thoroughly recommend them. Hari,with over 15 years experience in the business will go out of his way to arrange an adventure to suit your requirements.If you don’t want to do it alone guides like Nabin and his porters will make it a memorable adventure.You can e mail them firstname.lastname@example.org
Road biking gave me the fitness to make this ride a pleasure.