12 days trekking
Ilka, a friend of mine came to visit me to do some trekkings in the Nepali Himalayas. We pack all our gear on my motorcycle and off we go to the mountains. Arriving in a narrow valley high up, we start our 12-day hike deep into the Himalayas.
We are trekking in the mountains of the lesser known Ganesh Himal region. Why? Because we don’t like the crowded “commercial” Anapurna circuit or Everest region. Also, because we want to explore the true Nepal: unspoiled mountain villages, people and their culture.
No guide, no porter, no tourists, no coca cola, no burgers, no pizza. Only dal Bath 24 hours! (The national dish).
After a very cloudy day of hiking, the sun finally came through and we got greeted with a natural masterpiece of the sun shining on Langtang Lirung (7227m). Sunsets in the mountains are just unreal!
During our trekking we went past countless colorful Buddhist or Tibetan prayer flags. They are often found strung along trails and peaks high in the Himalayas. They have mantras written on them, which the wind will carry them away. They are used to bless the surrounding countryside and further.
Life high up in the mountains is tough! We meet a little girl (4 – 5 years old) who was living with her parents, who had a guesthouse on a 4000m alt. mountain pass. She had a home-made wooden tennis racket and a ball. For the rest nothing … but she looked happy and was absolutely enjoying her game!
Even during the summer, temperatures can drop below 0 at night and there is often a strong or cold wind present. That night was a cold and long one. For us this is only one day, for them it’s every day, every week, every year… Respect!
In the same guesthouse high up, we learn how to make fresh MoMo’s, traditional “dumplings”. What a great experience! It wasn’t easy actually and requires some “fingerspitzengefühl” but after a few, we were able to make some OK looking ones! At the end they taste all the same…
“The sun is settling down, day fading away. Last beams color the valley in a gilding way. We watch the sun go down, while night is emerging from town to town. “
When the sun went down, a new world arises! So many stars high up this mountain pass, only us, the guesthouse and the owners…
In order to cross steep valleys or rivers high in the mountains, we often walked on enormous steel suspension bridges. They connect each village with another and are super vital since those villages are only accessible by foot or donkey. This saves hours of walking down difficult valleys or crossing wild rivers. All the material is brought up by donkeys since cars can’t reach these places. It is truly spectacular. Unfortunately, those bridges often get destroyed by earthquakes or landslides.
Eventually we said goodbye to the high Himalayan mountains and started wandering downstream through the rice paddies and millet fields. the scenery changed drastically and it was getting hotter and more humid with every step we went down. Looking back over our shoulders we saw the snow topped mountains and were already missing the cold and fresh high mountain climate!
A few days later we said goodbye to the giants of the world, took a bus back to our starting point and gently rode back to Kathmandu with a great feeling of satisfaction and sore feet that need resting.
Is this the end?
My initial trip plan was to ride from Belgium to the Himalayas, which is completed by now. It was an amazing journey full of great experiences and memories. Now comes the hard part: shipping the bike back to Belgium… an expensive joke, and attractive logistical contraption…. Or is it?
During the China crossing in met a couple of Australian riders who were planning to ship their bikes from India back to Australia.
This around December, leaving from Chandigarh. Not necessarily “around the corner” but way cheaper then shipping the bike to Belgium + 80% of the logistics was done by the amazing Daylen!
An offer I can’t refuse? Hell yeah!
Off I go, back to India, all the way back to Chandigarh! I deep-clean the bike (twice, because Australia doesn’t like potential contamination or biohazard) and lock her up in the container with 6 other bikes, all bound to Brisbane, Australia!
Boats don’t go fast, especially container ships. With an expected time of arrival by mid-February, I book a flight to Thailand and head down to Tonsai to focus all my energy on some rad rock climbing to be done there! The second month of “waiting” I travelled to Laos and did exactly the same, explore the Thakek region and climb unreal limestone walls.
Givi has a factory in Malaysia and since I was so close by, I figured it would be a great opportunity to visit the factory and join their local motorcycle riding event. They lend me a bike and off we went to the Cameron highlands. There, we arrive in a green oasis full of tea plantations and lush rain forest surroundings. I give a presentation about my trip and experiences, we share some riders stories and have a great barbeque to end the day. What a fantastic ride and event!