Day 1 – New Delhi (D)
We meet at the Central Plaza hotel near the New Delhi airport and gather for a trip briefing and welcome dinner. Overnight at the Central Plaza Hotel.
Day 2 – New Delhi – Leh (BD)
We transfer to the domestic airport for an early morning flight to Leh (3,500 m/11,480 ft). We take it easy the rest of the day to acclimatize to the sudden change in altitude. If you are feeling up to it, go for a slow walk around Leh, visit the ruined Leh Palace - which bears a similarity to Potala Palace in Tibet - for a great view from the roof, or head to the market where Tibetan antiques, Chinese silk, Buddhist ornaments, turquoise stones and silver jewellery is for sale. Overnight at the Hotel Kanglachen.
Day 3 – Leh – Stok – Thiksey – Leh (BLD) 55kms
We take it nice and slow while we try out our bikes and lungs for the first time. We transfer for 30 minutes past the Tibetan settlement of Choglamsar and cross the milky waters of the Indus by bridge. We visit the Stok Palace Museum belonging to the erstwhile royal family of Ladakh, who still reside at the premise. We then bike down to the junction and take a back road for 10 km to Stakna monastery, then cross back over the Indus River to meet the main road to Thiksey monastery. Built across a hillside, the monastery also resembles the Potala Palace of Tibet and houses a large three-story high statue of the Maitreya (future) Buddha. In the monastery complex is a Tibetan medicine shop and a residing Amchi (Tibetan doctor). We drive back to Leh from the monastery and meet up for dinner. Overnight at the Hotel Kanglachen.
Day 4 – Leh – Nemo – Likir (BLD) 45-60kms
After an early breakfast it’s a short transfer to Nemo and the start of our cycling. We follow the Zanskar River through a spectacular gorge, riding on a newly built black topped road for 20 km to Chilling. After catching our breath we raft down the Zanskar River on Grade 3 rapids back to Nemo. If you prefer bikes to boats, there is the option of biking the 15 km back to Nemo instead of rafting. We then transfer to Likir. Overnight at the Lukhil Hotel.
Day 5 – Likir – Nemo – Leh (BL) 50kms
From our hotel we transfer for about 40 minutes to the top of Tsermachenla (3,750 m/12,303 ft) then it’s a fantastic roller coaster ride back to Likir (on a dirt road for the first section and then tarmac) and up to the monastery where there is a huge Buddha statue. We continue the downhill blast for 37 km to Nemo, with great views of the Zanskar river valley. We transfer to Leh where you are free to try one of the many restaurants in town for dinner. Overnight at the Hotel Kanglachen.
Day 6 – Leh – Sakti (BLD) 55kms
We begin our trip to the Nubra valley by following the Manali highway for a short while before leaving the main road as we climb gradually 200 m to the village of Sakti. The road leads us up a valley past houses scattered amongst farmland and past a small stream lined with willow bushes as you cycle to the clean and fresh countryside. You will meet a few odd jeeps and maybe one bus; otherwise there will be no other traffic. Looking ahead you can see where we are headed, Warila pass. Overnight in a Tented Camp.
Day 7 – Warila Pass (BLD) 53kms
We get an early start as we have a long and steady climb ahead of us to the Warila pass (5,195 m/16,972 ft). It’s a challenging climb to the top but you are rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. As we roll down on the recently built tarmac road we are entering the winter habitat of the elusive snow leopard. We cycle down to the large villages of Tangyar and Khyungru (4,100 m/13,451 ft), where they have seen very few foreigners as this road has been open for only five years. The villagers remain engaged in their farming and cattle rearing during the short summer months when they must grow and gather as much as possible to survive over the long harsh winter. Overnight in a Tented Camp.
Day 8 – Shyok Valley (BLD) 65kms
We continue our downhill blitz on the new tarmac road, passing traditional Ladakhi homes, before climbing gradually to Khalsar, a small bustling village with a cluster of tea and noodle shops. Here we join the main Karakoram highway into the wide and fertile Nubra valley. We ride downhill to the Shyok valley floor where wild lavender and sea buckthorn bushes grow. We follow the Shyok River to the bridge and then it’s a gentle climb on a good tarmac road to Kyagar village (3,048 m/10,000 ft). Overnight at the Rimo Hotel.
Day 9 – Kyagar – Turtuk (BLD) 127kms
Today is our longest distance day, but we are riding through the valley, so there are no steep climbs. As we cycle to the village of Hundar we’ll pass the Deskit monastery and the landscape changes to sand dunes. As we continue bicycling on this newly opened route we come to the village of Turtuk, which belonged to Pakistan until the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War. Just 22 km from the Pakistan border, this farming village at 2,650 m/8,694 ft is inhabited by Muslims so here you’ll see a different culture. Overnight in a Tented Camp
Day 10 – Turtuk - Khardung (BLD)
We have a day off the bikes today. After a leisurely breakfast we’ll transfer 3 hours back to Khalsar and then set up our camp in pastures close to the North Pulu check post. It’s a good road all along – huge rocky spires and amazing rock formations as you drive up and see the road snaking its way around the mountainside. The only village you pass is Khardung after Khalsar and we camp in grazing grounds. Overnight in a Tented Camp.
Day 11 – Khardungla Pass – Leh (BLD) 53kms
From the North Pulu check point it is 14 km to the top of Khardungla pass (5,359 m/17,582 ft). There’ll be lots of long switch backs as you snake your way up to the highest point of the trip. Once at the top you can see the Saser Mutztagh mountain range, where the highest peak is 7,672 m/25,170 ft, and the Stok mountain range if you look towards Leh. From here it’s an exhilarating downhill for an amazing 39 km to Leh. Overnight at the Hotel Kanglachen.
Day 12 – Leh – New Delhi (B)
Today we head to the Leh airport for our flight to New Delhi and transfer to our hotel in the city centre. Overnight at the Claridges Hotel.
Day 13 – Tour of New Delhi (BLD)
Our local guide will take us on a tour of New Delhi. We’ll visit the top sites of the Red Fort, Chandni Chowk, Qutab Minar and drive through New Delhi. We meet up for a farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight at the Claridges Hotel.
Day 14 – New Dehli (B)
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