Francis is a biker always venturing out on the road to uncover new routes with as much passion as he has telling stories. He is an enthusiast and knows our itineraries like the back of his hand.
An exceptional, action-packed motorbike tour in the land of Buddha and Everest. Survey a string of very different landscapes, as you discover the rich diversity of Nepalese culture. It’s hot to begin with: you steer close to the Terai jungle, visit superb Newar temples, and ride between rice fields and terraced crops. Then you begin to sense nearby Tibet: Annapurna and Dhaulagiri display their purity. And now you’re on the rough trails of Mustang, in Buddhist lands. Royal Enfields are easy-to-drive machines that can go everywhere. Look after them and they’ll carry you to great heights. A motorcycle expedition for seasoned riders out to test their limits and experience the ultimate.
You’re met at the airport according to your flight schedules and transferred to Patan. Your room is available from midday. This "city of beauty", as the Nepalese call it, is authentic and full of life, the perfect place to spend your first day acclimatising.
We head southwest from Kathmandu, where we truly begin to appreciate rural Nepal. The landscape changes from one valley to another as we navigate roads that wind through traditional villages and terraced fields until we reach the Terai.. In the afternoon, we take a walk through Chitwan National Park’s jungle, where the abundant flora and fauna contrast nicely with the mountainous Himalayan landscapes.
We start the day with an elephant ride in the depths of lush nature. A guided safari will provide sightings of one-horned rhinos, monkeys, crocodiles, and if we’re lucky, an unforgettable encounter with a Royal Bengal tiger, leopard or bear. In the afternoon, we venture into the dense jungle and take a boat ride along the Narayani river to watch Asian crocodiles in their natural habitat.
We head northwest, making our way out of the jungle up winding mountain roads to Tansen. These roads are a real playground for our Royal Enfields! We visit a remote village, off the beaten track, perched on the mountainside where the quaint streets and locals’ nonchalance make for a relaxing setting for a stroll around after a long day’s ride.
The leg to Pokhara is beautiful. The road is good and climbs up through the lush Aadhikhola river’s valley. We arrive near Phewa Lake in the afternoon and can enjoy some free time.
The ride to Mustang begins! After around 50 miles, we pass through Beni, where we leave the tarmacked roads behind us and the real fun begins! The track follows the Kali Gandaki river, where the valley gradually narrows and we finally catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Annapurnas, towering at more than 8,000 m altitude!
This short 30-mile leg proves that Mustang is worth it! The first stretch to Ghasa (11 miles) is the most difficult, for both man and machine: the track is rock-strewn and very steep in places and we have to cross many fords! The landscape is truly spectacular, giving us the energy we need to push on and move forward! We arrive at Marpha, a typical Mustang Buddhist village, in the early afternoon.
Today we explore the ancient kingdom of Mustang, an imposing territory of rocks and deep canyons, dominated by the highest peaks in the world! We cross Jomsom, the valley’s largest village, and gain altitude, passing the 3,500 m mark. We push on through this amazing mineral landscape and reach Jharkot, a medieval Buddhist village perched on a rocky outcrop. In the afternoon, we climb higher still to Muktinath (3,700 m).
After an early breakfast, we descend into the Kali Gandaki valley on a deserted track, carved into the mountainside. The view of Dhaulagiri’s summit, at over 8,000 m, is an incredible sight that almost seems too good to be true. We get back on the same road as the day before but head in the opposite direction to reach the first conifers we’ve seen for a while and Tukuche village.
What goes up must come down! The descent will prove a real challenge. It’s hard to believe that we’ve already been on this track – everything looks so different when we’re facing south! Once again, man and machine are put to the test to reach Tatopani, where we can finally enjoy a chilled beer whilst relaxing in the hot springs.
We enjoy the first 16 miles of dirt tracks, before getting back on comfortable smooth roads! A tasty traditional meal awaits us at Sarangkot, a popular spot among paragliders that affords an exceptional view over Pokhara and Phewa Lake. We ride another 12-mile stint to reach Begnas Lake, a quiet, beautiful oasis where we end the day relaxing with a swim or a massage.
A beautiful long day's ride takes us back towards Kathmandu. Along the Trishuli river, we come into contact with locals on our path, which passes abundant rice paddies, pine forest and imposing gorges. We stop for lunch in the delightful village Bandipur, before continuing on to Nuwakot. We spend the night in a charming traditional house with a wonderful view of the valley.
After a hearty breakfast served on our guesthouse’s roof garden, we hit the road for our last day of biking. We follow a narrow, beautiful road towards Shivapuri National Park, before returning to the capital for lunch, where we bid farewell to our trusty steel steeds. In the afternoon, you can visit Boudhanath stupa or Pashupatinath temple. We spend our last evening in Kathmandu, in the lively Thamel neighbourhood.
You will be transferred to the airport according to your flight schedule. This is where our services end.
You take off in a Jetstream 41 airplane. You fly over Mount Everest, the roof of the world, standing proud at 8,848 metres! You’ll also be able to take in other legendary peaks: Annapurna (8,091 metres), Lhotse (8,516 metres), Nuptse (7,861 metres), etc.
“We were a bunch of mates from Norwich in the UK looking for something different on bikes. We decided to email 2 company's, Vintage rides and another Aussie outfit based in Nepal. Both company's provided a detailed route in the Mustang Valley in Nepal. The Aussie company was slightly cheaper but the bikes looked older and most importantly sending 20,000 euro's abroad to either company did not appeal to me! However Vintage rides payments are covered via our version of ABTA. The Aussie company payments were not. Easy choice for us. We arrived in Nepal to be greated by the coolest dude at the airport in leather jacket, ciggy in one hand , his name Francois. I can go on and bang on about what an experience the ride was which it was but if you are looking for a company to to have the ride of your life then Vintage rides is at the top of the game. All hotels were fantastic, we bumped into another British company half way up the Mustang valley and I have to say I was glad I had booked Vintage rides. The bike the Britsh had were all sorts of old Royal Enfields and the hotel they were in looked terrible, even the Britsh tour t-shirts they were wearing looked like they were from pound land ! Francois our gide put up with 8 middle aged blokes on a 12 day bender! One hotel we drunk dry !! Brexit was mentioned once or twice but we all decided the French are not so bad after all they can drink as well !! Francois new exactly where to take us ,he has done these trips most of his life. The support crew were 10 mins behind us all the time to fix puncures and fix bikes. Vintage rides is a company that know's what it is doiing and I would have no hesitation in booking another trip (Mongolia) again. A big thankyou to Francois and Denise for organising such a great trip. Roll on next year we are booking again. Doddy.”
“This is my second trip with Vintage Rides and it was just as good as the first. ( I have even booked a third, so that's three within the year!). If your a rider that likes adventure and off-road riding, then Mustang is the journey for you. Be prepared to be pushed to the limits and also meet a good bunch of fellow adventure riders.”
“i did the nepal mustang trip in november with my son, a small amount of offroading skills is required. He had only passed his test 3months earlier and had gone a couple of off roading sessions and coped well. The weather was good that time of year, no rain and warm. the tour was better than i'd ever expected with a number of surprises along route. most accommodation was of good standard with some of very good 'the wife could spend a week here' standard. the bikes worked better than i'd expected, not ktm standard but you wouldnt want to be on a ktm allday, and half the appeal was the enfield. i would recommend this trip, so much so i am looking presently to book another trip with vintages rides.”
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