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We have shown the itinerary on the basis of a complete holiday purely for illustrative purposes. Naturally as tailor-made Nepal holiday specialists we would be happy to discuss additional options, whether it be other activities, more/less sightseeing, alternative/upgraded accommodation etc dependent upon your interests, preferences and time available. We even tailor-make a suggested 'what to pack' list for you based upon your ultimately chosen Nepal tailor-made holiday too.
Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu
Arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you'll be met and receive a private transfer for the short distance into central Kathmandu and to the "KGH" Hotel in the heart of the Thamel district. You'll be given a briefing on your forthcoming adventure, and in the evening can take dinner at your leisure in one of the many choices of cafes & restaurants in Kathmandu, although the open air courtyard cafe of the KGH Hotel is as good as anywhere,
Day 2 - Fly to Pokhara
A private transfer to the airport for the 25min flight to Pokhara. A private transfer then takes to your lake side hotel. Here you can relax and enjoy the sub-tropical climate, take a dip in the hotel pool, chill out in one of the many cafe bars or take a boat out on the lake.
The excitement begins for real as you take the 18 minute, truly spectacular flight between Dhaulagiri and Annapurna from Pokhara up to Jomsom. Arriving in Jomsom and at an altitude of 2736m, you take it easy at first and get the bikes ready. Your main baggage will travel ahead via a locally chartered jeep. All eyes will be on the impressive peak of Nilgiri towering above you, and the arid landscapes of Mustang become noticeable too. You shall then commence your ride into the upper reaches of the now broad Kali Gandaki Valley to the Mustang village of Kagbeni. The riding is on a bumpy 4WD track, that at times undulates above the valley floor, whilst at other times you'll be riding across the flat, but stony valley floor itself. The Kali Gandaki River itself is now mostly underground, although there’ll be the odd small stretch of relatively shallow water to pedal through and add to the fun. Looking back, you should see the mighty Dhaulagiri, whilst in front the ochre, brown, red, yellow multi-coloured, wind eroded dry landscapes of upper Mustang for contrast. The actual riding time to Kagbeni is only around 2-3 hours, and just 10-12km, although it is wise to ride at a much slower pace than usual to allow your body to get used to the higher altitude. If you’re anything like us when we rode it, you’ll be stopping every 5 minutes or so to take photographs anyway. You re-join the 4WD track and finally the village of Kagbeni (2810m) comes into sight. A slight descent, then a slight ascent and you're in this ancient village, where the people and the architecture are noticeably of a Tibetan influence. From the start of your ride in Jomsom you've only gained approx. 100m in height. After settling in you can take a walk around Kagbeni. Although small, it’s a quaint and fascinating place where the old ways still exist, cattle and other animals walk the narrow, cobbled streets and yet there’s a modern coffee shop, and wifi! Riding time 2-3 hours with around 200m ascent and the odd bit of descent.
The bikes will be loaded onto a locally chartered jeep and you'll ride with the jeep on the 1000m ascent up a 4WD track that hugs the mountainsides and leads to Muktinath. For trekkers on the Annapurna Circuit, Muktinath has always been a welcome sight after the arduous crossing of the Thorung La. It is also a place of sacred pilgrimage for Hindus and Buddhists alike. At around 3900m the views up at Muktinath are pretty spectacular, and after exploring there’s the prospect and thrill of a blistering descent, freewheeling virtually all the way on the bikes back down to Kagbeni on a recently metalled road, with the odd single track option. Downhilling at speed (if you’re capable) for a couple of hours and with a wonderful almost 1000m of descent certainly gets the adrenalin pumping.
Your main baggage will be transported by Jeep ahead of you. You can rightfully claim Muktinath at 3900m from yesterday as the highest point of your biking descent, and now you'll continue within the Kali Gandaki for the next few days, to ultimately reach Galeshowr, which is at around 1000m, so in all you'll have been descending a whopping 2800m by bike! Leaving Kagbeni you first cycle back to Jomsom, and then from there it’s new territory as far as you’re concerned and technically will have just crossed through the Himalaya from the arid Tibetan plateau and into the rain shadow side of Nepal and the Indian sub-continent. The snow-covered Himalayan peaks now show signs of forestation on their flanks, although as you reach the delightful village of Marpha and stop for a lunch break, the influence still remains Tibetan. But, this will soon change as you descend more. Once again, at times you'll ride across the Kali Gandaki river bed, with Dhaulagiri in your sight on one side of the valley and the Nilgiris for company on the other. Although you are descending, most of today’s riding involves little ups and moderate downs, but there’s a final sting in the tail as you must climb 350m over the course of 1.8km to your hill-top accommodation at Thasang. The effort is worth it, as your lodge is spectacularly located beneath Dhaulagiri and has tremendous views across the Kali Gandaki too. Today’s riding is 4-5hrs, around 30km and approx. 350m ascent, and 500m descent.
Back on the bikes, today begins with a fast and furious descent down to the valley floor and then for a while becomes innocent enough once more as you descend gently on the 4WD track. Then before you know it you’re riding down, down, down and the valley begins to narrow considerably. It’s a right boneshaker of a descent, and you pass through small villages and perhaps may notice everything is starting to look a little different…..people, vegetation, agriculture and temperature. You must remember to stop at the Mustang checkpost in Ghasa! Eventually after 4-5 hours riding you reach Tatopani and will have descended a whopping 1400m (with around 200m ascent) over 35km. Now at around a mere 1200m in Tatopani it can certainly be nice to feel warm, although in this narrow sided part of the Kali Gandaki Valley you lose the sun quickly, so a visit to the hot springs here before supper isn’t a bad idea. Your arms after today’s bumpy and furious descent may need some soothing, and it’s a good way of getting the Kali Gandaki dust off too.
The final day of biking. The 4WD track is fast turning from rocky to sandy/dusty and now lower down you pass through villages where you’ll see banana trees growing. A far cry from the high and barren landscapes of Mustang just a few days ago. Again, your ride is primarily one of descent, but the 4WD track undulates as you now remain close to the rivers course. After around 2-3 hours riding and 22km you'll reach the small town of Galeshowr. From here you'll transfer by private vehicle to Pokhara.
A private transfer to Pokhara Airport for the short flight back to Kathmandu. A private transfer will take you from the airport back to the KGH Hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. You could of course add extra days to this holiday and include various other activities, or if you're after some more biking there are some awesome day rides in the Kathmandu Valley area that could be incorporated.
Detailed Example Itinerary