Nepal-2009-093

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Nepal-2009-238

women in the fields, Kathmandu Valley...

Nepal: Forbidden Mustang & Lo Manthang by mountain bike Enquire Now

Duration
16 days

Start & End
Western Nepal

Starting Price
$ 2,985.00

Skill Level
Intermediate

Fitness Level
Good

Avg Daily Distance
25km - 40km

Max Altitude
4325m

Group Size
12

Best Time
April, May, June, Sept, Oct

Tsarang(Credit Robin Boustea

Overview

Pass Above Dhakmar, Looking
MTB hidden Upper Mustang, Western Nepal

This is the newest and most incredible of biking adventures. Challenge yourself with this breathtaking journey through the timeless Kingdom of Lo, a remote Tibetan Buddhist enclave inside Nepal that was, until recently, forbidden to foreigners.

This region is characterised by incredible sculpted canyons with ancient cave monasteries dug into the wild rock formations; fortified, medieval villages offering oases of green fields in the arid landscape of the 'Tibetan' Plateau; and wild trails over high passes and along stark ridge-lines, all set against the backdrop of the soaring snow-peaks of the Himalayas.

Lo, in the Upper Mustang region, is an ancient kingdom tucked away in northern Nepal at the headwaters of the 'deepest river gorge in the world', the Kali Gandaki. It is a remote and starkly beautiful section of the Tibetan Plateau, the high altitude desert bordered to the south by some of the Himalaya’s highest mountains. The fact that it now lies in Nepal rather than Tibet has enabled the people of the region to preserve their unique and fascinating Tibetan Buddhist culture and lifestyle; which now enables intrepid visitors to learn and experience this ancient way of life.

Our exploration of Upper Mustang takes us on some of the less travelled routes through this sun-drenched region; sometimes following the Kali Gandaki river-bed, other times biking on spectacular trails to passes high above it, and descending on awesome trails through incredibly sculpted gorges, wondering at the ancient cave dwellings and monasteries we see carved into the rugged mountainsides.

Now is the time to visit Mustang while it is still pristine, intriguing and with a sense of the forbidden. These newly opened up trails have to be biked to be believed!

Mustang

Formerly the Kingdom of Lo and a part of the Western Tibetan Kingdom of Ngari, ‘forbidden’ Mustang has lured intrepid travellers to its remote realm for centuries, but only the most adventurous actually made it to this mountainous and inaccessible bastion of Tibetan Buddhism.

People have inhabited this harsh region for thousands of years, some of the early dwellers living or meditating in ancient caves, rich in unique Buddhist art, which pepper the bizarre rock formations. This area was part of the Yarlung Dynasty of central Tibet, later falling under the jurisdiction of the Malla Kingdom of Nepal (based in Jumla, Western Nepal) and in the fifteenth century, the independent Kingdom of Lo was founded, also ruling other remote regions such as Dolpo. This area was only incorporated into the Kingdom of Nepal in 1951. Soon afterwards, Khampa freedom fighters battling the Chinese used Mustang as a base of operations, and it was closed to all Westerners until 1992, slowly opening up since then.

This mythical land north of the 8000 metre peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri still requires a special restricted area permit to enter, and numbers are limited, thus helping to preserve its unique heritage. The ancient, walled city of Lo Manthang is described by UNESCO as having no place of comparison

Prices

Price per person 2015:
Based on a group 2-3 people: US$6000
Based on a group 4-6 people: US$4350
Based on a group 7-10 people: US$3500
Based on a group 11-12 people: US$3050

Mustang permit: US$600 per person included

Single supplement: US$120

April, May, and early June. September and October

Itinerary

Detailed Itinerary
Note that although we try to follow the itinerary below, at times local trail or weather conditions may make slight changes necessary. The itinerary may also vary slightly depending on our acclimatisation rates.


Day 1 - Welcome to Kathmandu!
Our local host will meet you at the airport and guide you through the initial culture shock of Kathmandu’s narrow, winding streets and take you to your hotel. Tonight we’ll treat you to a traditional Newari dinner (Newars are the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu valley) at one of the capital’s tastiest restaurants and prepare you for the adventure ahead.

Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: D

Monkey Temple8 Bowls

Day 2 - Fly to Pokhara (800m)
After a hearty breakfast this morning we head out for a spectacular half hour flight along the mighty Himalayan Range to Pokhara. This is a stunning half hour flight along the Himalayan Range, seeing four of the world’s fourteen highest mountains over 8000m; Daulagiri, Annapurna I, Manaslu and Shishapangma, before landing in Pokhara. An experience not to be missed!

The rest of the day is free to relax or to explore this charming lakeside town, with its abundance of things to do, regardless of whether you are in an adventurous or relaxed frame of mind: you can go for a leisurely boat ride on the lake; take a 2 hour return walk up to the World Peace Pagoda with its incredible views to the Himalayas; visit one of the Tibetan refugee villages that dot the area, where Tibetan carpets and other handicrafts are available; hire a bike and cycle along the lakeside; you can try your hand at tandem paraglide with a professional pilot, an ultralight flight, or even take a ride on the new zipline! Of course it is also lovely to just relax and take in the surroundings in one of the many lakeside cafes.

Lunch and dinner are free to choose the food of your choice - we will give some good recommendations for great restaurants/cafes on Lakeside.

Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: B

NB you can also go by bus to Pokhara, please ask if you would like to see this option, which is a bit less expensive, but does take all day.

Market Himalayas


Day 3 - Fly Jomsom (2720m), bike to Kagbeni (2900m)
We are up early this morning for our spectacular mountain flight to the district headquarters of Mustang, Jomsom. Once on the ground we can look forward to being greeted by the sound of jingling horse bells as the Mustangi people pass by with their pony caravans. We have even seen a herd of yaks in the main street!

After sorting out gear and loading up, we trek up the windy Kali Gandaki valley to Kagbeni. Our stony jeep trail along a sandy, saligram-filled riverbed provides views of the surrounding peaks of Dhaulagiri, Tukuche and Nilgiri, and to the south the entire Annapurna Massif.

Kagbeni, spectacularly situated atop a cliff overlooking the confluence of the Kali Gandaki and the Jhong Khola rivers, is the last village in Lower Mustang and guards the entrance into Upper Mustang, visible across the Kali Gandaki riverbed. It is an oasis of green fields in the midst of rocky, arid mountains, with Nilgiri looming grandly behind it.

This ancient, partially ruined citadel town provides us with a taste of scenes to come in upper Mustang, with its narrow alleyways and tunnels, irrigation canals, green fields of barley and its massive, newly-restored brick-red Sakya Gompa, 800 years old. We’ll explore around the town, including the ancient 100-room King’s Palace before coming back through town accompanied by sheep and goat herds coming back home at dusk.

Accommodation: Local Tea House
Meals: B, L, D


Day 4 - Drive to Muktinath (3800m) and ride to Kagbeni (multiple trail options)
This morning get up bright and early to catch the sunrise over the stunning Himalayan peaks, best viewed with a steaming hot cup of Nepali tea!

After a hearty breakfast we will load up into jeeps to cover the distance up to Muktinath, a very important Hindu pilgrimage site, located high above us at 3800m.

From here we have a couple of trail options, depending on how we feel. We can blast back down the jeep trail, or we can do a more technical single trail down through the Lupra Valley (visiting a unique Bonpo Monastery on the way) and hit the main trail from Jomsom, finishing off on the jeep trail to Kagbeni.

Accommodation: Local Tea House
Meals: B, L, D

Note: this is important as an acclimatisation day.

Dsc9693 Above Dhakmar See Tasrang


Day 5 - Drive to Muktinath; ride across the Gyu La to Tsaile (3060m)
After breakfast, we load up in the jeeps again for the ride up to holy Muktinath, from where we commence our ride into the restricted area of Upper Mustang. We have a long but gradual climb up to the Gyu La (La means Pass) at an impressive 4030m, on single trail with a couple of sections we have to push through and from here, high above Muktinath, we have incredible views far down to the patchwork fields at Kagbeni and other settlements along the river below, as well as amazing views to towering Dhaulagiri, Tukuche and Nilgiri, and to the south the entire Annapurna Massif. It’s an incredible place to be with your bike!

From here we have an exciting downhill, plunging almost 1000m back down to the Kali Gandaki river! This time we are in the restricted area of Upper Mustang and we pass through remote villages on the way down to Chuksang on the riverbed at 2950m, dominated by a crumbling Dzong or fortress. From here, across the Kali Gandaki river, we see clusters of ancient caves high up on the dramatic rock face. We cross a small river and continue on up the dusty valley, crossing the river on a narrow bridge just below a naturally-formed tunnel through which the Kali Gandaki flows. We push or carry our bikes a short distance up into Tsaile, a lively village with several guest houses and extensive wheat and barley fields and orchards.

The culture from Tsaile north becomes more Tibetan; sheep horns adorn the houses, and there are protective amulets ‘Zor’ in the shape of a cross on the walls of the houses. These Zor capture evil spirits in their web and protect the inhabitants of the household.

Accommodation: Local Tea House
Meals: B, L, D

Muktinath Monks Pony Threshing Sml


Day 6 – Bike to Ghemi (3570m)
After a hearty breakfast we hit the trail, ascending steeply to a ridge above the town. Although we initially have a fair bit of carrying, due to steps on the trail, the scenery is simply awesome as we make our way up a spectacular, steep canyon-side trail leading towards the Dajori La at 3600m.

Having 'conquered' our second pass of the trip, we contour on a lovely flowy trail down into Samar with its lovely poplar grove, formerly a staging post for Khampa raids into Tibet. Passing through the village’s charming entrance and exit chortens we plunge down on a steep, switch-back trail to the Samarkyung Khola (river). From here we have some serious carrying as we ascend steeply on a rough trail until it widens our and we hit the contour, climbing up to the chorten-topped Bhena La (3840m). We have a great sweeping trail past the seasonal Bhena village before dropping into a rocky stream and then climbing sharply up to the Beg La past the deserted village of Yamda. Eventually reaching the Yamda La, at 3985 metres, we are rewarded with a pass topped by a large cairn and a tangle of multi-coloured Tibetan prayer flags. The views from the top are spectacular, so we stop for a break to enjoy them!

Somewhere around here we will meet up with the road that is being pushed through from Lo – which we will no doubt consider a crazy endeavour when we see the terrain! From here we will be cycling on amazing jeep trails and our carrying days are behind us. We head down into the small hamlet of Shyangmochen (3765m) and have a short climb to the Shyangmochen La, where the trail intersects a wide east-west valley, and it’s a fast descent and short climb to the picturesque village of Geling. There is an old gompa above the village, ancient meditation caves in the eroded cliffs visible above and traditional Mustangi houses surrounded by barley fields.

After Geling we have a good climb on a steady trail to reach the Nyi La (4000m) from which we descend and contour around to the Ghemi La and then descend steeply down to the large village of Ghemi (3570m), marvelling at the red oxide and silver hues of the towering cliffs across the valley. This is yet another stunning village, with tiny streets and high walled houses creating the 'fortified' feeling so characteristic of this region.

Accommodation: Local Tea House
Meals: B, L, D

Tsarang Lo Manthang, Looking Tange


Day 7 - Bike into Lo Manthang, via Tsarang
From Ghemi this morning we have only a few hours to reach the fortified village of Tsarang where we stop for lunch and a look around. Tsarang is a large village built on top of the Tsarang Khola canyon, stone walls separating the houses and forming tunnel-like paths, with willow trees and an irrigation ditch, many shops, its own hydro-electric plant and quite a few guest houses!

The village is dominated by the huge, five-story Tsarang Dzong, a Tibetan-styled fortified palace built in 1378, and the large, ochre-hued Tsarang Gompa, of the Gelugpa school, with the greatest library in Lo. The dzong has a wonderful, old prayer room with a gold-printed prayer book and a fascinating array of statues, thankas and large Buddha paintings – if you’re lucky the resident lama will show you the withered 500 year old hand of the master architect of the palace!

Leaving Tsarang on a trail leading down and across a small river, we climb steeply up a rocky trail to a cairn on the opposite ridge and then follow the Thuling Khola on the new, dirt road towards Lo. The multi-hued canyons spread themselves impressively around us, and in the distance we see the huge Sungda Khola. Once past that landmark, we reach the tiny, green doksa of Sungdala, where we’ll stop for tea and maybe lunch at the one small tea-house. Continuing along the same trail, the landscape becomes very Tibetan in character, the high desert plains of the Himalaya. We start to see snow peaks ahead of us as we near the Lo La at 3960 meters. The pass leads through a partial tunnel of rock, and to the right of this are strung Tibetan prayer flags. Climb to the ridge to the right for wonderful views down to Lo Manthang and the aptly named ‘Plain of Aspiration’, below us.

We blast down the trail and head across the plain into the famed city of Lo Manthang, where we’ll set up ‘camp’ in a tea house and start exploring the city and its many gompas. There are now some tourist shops in the city, so it’s not as pristine in this sense as it used to be, but it is still just as mystical in the golden, yellow light as the local people bring their sheep and horses inside the city gates for the night.

Accommodation: Local Tea House
Meals: B, L, D

Mala Tsarang(Credit Robin Boustea


Day 8 – Explore Lo Manthang and bike the Chosar Valley
The fabled walled city of Lo Manthang, with a single entrance through which only the King, Queen and Kempo (Abbot) are allowed to ride - all others must walk, to pay their respects to Chenrezig - is a mythical city. King Jigme Palbar Bista, called ‘Lo Gyelbu’ by the local people, still resides at his four-storied palace inside the city walls; that is, when he’s not in Kathmandu. He is an avid horseman, and keeps his own stable of horses, some of the best in Mustang which is renowned for its horse culture. These days, the king plays a somewhat ceremonial role although he is well loved and respected throughout Mustang.

There are four major temples within the medieval walls of Lo Manthang, the 14th century, brick-red Jampa Lhakhang (the oldest gompa, built in 1387, with the striking 50 foot ‘Jamba’ or Future Buddha, the largest clay statue in Nepal until a few years ago), 15th century Thubchen Gompa (great Assembly hall, pillars 30 feet high, the second oldest gompa with fantastic murals in the Dukhang), Chhoede Gompa (where the Khempo lives, with a monastic school) and Choprang Gompa. There is also the Raja’s Palace, home to the present King Raja Jigme and Queen ‘Rani Sahib’ (who is from an aristocratic Lhasa family) and an interesting maze of a village to explore. There are 180 houses within the walls of the city which is inhabited by the Lo-ba (people of Lo), although many lower caste Lo-bas live outside the walls. Many of the Lo-ba still practice polyandry.

With the time depending on how we’re feeling about the bikes and how far we’ve gotten with exploring the old city, we mount up (sometime after lunch) and leave Lo Manthang heading north along a wide, canyon trail, past dry gullies and an ancient, ruined fortress. We reach the village of Chosar, with its stunning deep-red Gharphu Gompa built into the rock face. Past the gompa is an incredible cave-dwelling site called Jhong Cave, which you negotiate by ladders and through small tunnels. This fascinating site is reputed to be 2500 years old.

When we’re ready we head back into Lo Manthang with amazing views. In front of us to the south we can see the spectacular snow-peaks of the Himalayas and to the north the smaller peaks that mark the border with Tibet, and around us gurgling streams and green meadows line our trail.

Accommodation: Local Tea House
Meals: B, L, D

Tsarang (6) Samar Bena La


Day 9 - Day trip riding to Lo Gekar and Dhakmar – jeep back to Lo
We head out the gates of Lo and make our way southwest, off the main trading trails and into an area crisscrossed with herders' trails. The trail climbs steadily to a cairn on a pass at 4000m, where we can stop to have a rest and enjoy the amazing view out to the south, back to Lo Manthang and all the way up to the border with Tibet.

Our trail continues to climb to a ridge and a large cairn marking a pass into a side valley, which we continue past to climb up to and cross the Chogo La, at 4325m, our highest point on our ride. From here we have a great flowy trail that traverses above a big grassy valley, before we cross a ridge and have a long rough descent in a gully to a large chorten in a grassy valley – we can look down from here to Tsarang, where we had lunch on our way up.

We cross the Tsarang Khola and approach Lo Gekar (which means 'pure virtue of Lo') and the Ghar Gompa, built by the Guru Rinpoche, who took Buddhism to Tibet. The first Monastery was to have been Samye in modern day Tibet, however the building was disturbed by demons, so the Guru came here to subdue them. Ghar Gompa was built to pin down the demon and clear the path for what we now know as Tibetan Buddhism. It's truly humbling to visit this Gompa, knowing it was THE first Tibetan Buddhist monastery!

Our trail now climbs up to our next pass, the Mui La at 4170m before we descend gently through a wide, open landscape to the edge of the Dhakmar valley. Here we drop down steeply through an eerie but stunningly eroded landscape to the beautiful village of Dhakmar, set against cliffs said to be so red because it is the blood of an ogress conquered by Guru Rinpoche before he could build the Ghar Gompa.

From here we pile into the jeep for the ride back into Lo Manthang and a well deserved drink!

Accommodation: Local Tea House
Meals: B, L, D

Pass Above Dhakmar, LookingTange Tsetang (8) 


Day 10 – Bike to Bike to Yara 3610m
Sadly, we must leave magical Lo Manthang, but new adventures await us on our route south as we take the higher, less travelled route on the eastern side of the Kali Gandaki and down to Jomsom.

We head out from the gates of Lo and up to the Lo La pass where we have one last glimpse back down to this myth-like, walled city. We bike back down the main trail for a while until we reach the intersection to Dhi & Yara, and then we veer left (east) off the trail and head to Dhi along the eastern, winter route. We follow the trail along the western side of the Mustang Khola, contouring around tiers of high, arid slopes, a spectacular ride high up in the expansive, colourful canyons and gorges.

Once over the Dhi La (4090m), the really interesting trail begins; heading straight down a narrow, sandy trail, we reach the intersection to Tsarang, but continue straight down a steep, dramatic trail towards Dhi, eventually visible as a green swath far below us, with Yara and Ghara in the distance. This is one of the best preserved villages in Lo Kingdom and, as it is rarely visited by outsiders, so, if we are going well for time, then it is well worth going for a walk to stretch your legs and get a taste of old Mustangi life.

From Dhi, we cross a bridge over the Kali Gandaki and take the trail leading to Surkhang. Crossing a small, wooden bridge we drop down to the rocky, saligram-filled riverbed. We follow small trails along the riverbed for about an hour, and then climb a bit to reach the lovely, shady village of Yara, with a small gompa and a few campsites. This is a great day through the dramatic gorges and canyons of the Puyang Khola, stopping at Yara to camp for the night.

Accommodation: Local Tea House
Meals: B, L, D

Tsaile Samar Tsetang


Day 11 – Ride to Tange 3370m
After a hearty breakfast we head well and truly off the beaten path towards Tange. From Yara the trail follows the river for about 2 hours and then crosses a river that flows from Damodar Kunda, a sacred lake high above us to the east. There is no bridge across this river so we will need to get our feet wet and carry our bikes across!

After filling all of our water bottles we continue on the trail as it climbs up to a pass at 3850m where we find ourselves in a desolate grassless, treeless and waterless hillside. After the pass the trail again drops to Tange village at an elevation of 3370m, entering through the distinctive tri-colour chortens that are such a classic part of the Mustang landscape. Tange is a small village of around 30 houses; most those being attached to each other. On the rooftops one can see piles of dry wood and branches; this is juniper and is an auspicious sign of prosperity in this society. There is a beautiful view point in the village where you can look across a mass of chortens to the high mountains in Dolpo in the wild west.

Accommodation: Local Tea House
Meals: B, L, D

Lo Gyakar Dhakmar2 Gyu La Looking Down At Mukti


Day 12 – Ride to Chuksang 2950m

This morning we again get a hearty breakfast as we have a long day ahead of us. Fill our water bottles, put a few energy bars in the pack and we hit the trail. We have a fine trail for about an hour and then stop to put our tevas on again for a river crossing- should be nice and chilly! After crossing the river our trail climbs high up to reach the Cha Cho La (4200m) from where we can revel in an incredible view to many towering peaks including Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tukche Peak, Tilicho Peak and Thorang Peak.

Strangely enough, this area is one where we can see many varieties of flowers and if we are lucky we will see blue sheep. From the pass we plunge down to the Narshying Khola and down this river to Tetang, cleverly built between 2 hills to avoid the strong wind that hits the entire Kali Gandaki Valley on most days. Tetang is the upper village of the Chuksang, which we visited on the first day entering to Mustang from Kagbeni and where we will stay the night and meet up with our bags again for a welcome change of clothes!

Accommodation: Local Tea House
Meals: B, L, D

Lo Manthang From The Northwe Kagbeni (2)


Day 13 – Bike to Marpha

Today we will bid farewell to Upper Mustang after an incredible journey into this remote Kingdom. After breakfast we are back on jeep trails again as we bike downriver for a while before climbing up to the village of Tangbe (3030m), a labyrinth of narrow alleys and white-washed houses and irrigation canals supplying the apple orchards and fields of buckwheat, barley and wheat.

From here we continue on the jeep trail with a short drop into a gully and then a good climb onto a plateau above the river, which we make our way long until we hit the ‘Nepali flat’ then a drop down and back into Kagbeni, our familiar haunt from the early days of our journey. Here we leave Upper Mustang and enjoy the seemingly huge variety of food now that we are back on the more heavily visited trekking trails of Lower Mustang. Pasta and apple pie, or maybe lunch at YakDonalds?

After lunch we head out down the familiar trail to Jomsom, covering up against the afternoon winds which are caused by the pressure difference from the high Himalayas compared with the plains of India – the Kali Gandaki gorge is a wind tunnel which channels the warmer air from the lowlands up to the heights above us. We head down the road to the charming town of Marpha, one of the last Tibetan style towns with the flat roofed houses, all joined together with tiny laneways and alleys and the wood piled high towards the sky on the roofs. Here we can sample a bit of the famous Marpha Apple Brandy and take in some of our last views of the incredible landscape of the high altitude desert of Mustang.

Accommodation: Local Tea House
Meals: B, L, D


Day 14 – Bike to Tatopani
The name of today is diversity! We will see dramatic changes in landscape, colour, culture and architecture as we blast down the road and into the trees again. It will seem so lush and gaudily green compared with the more subtle hues of the desert we are leaving behind. As we ride the river grows larger and then disappears into deep canyons with the force of the water contained between steep cliffs, reminding us that this is the deepest gorge in the world. We will share the trail with a few jeeps and the occasional bus, but it’s mainly ‘our road’ as we pass through this dramatically changing landscape. We pass through beautiful villages which adapted themselves to the busy trekking trade by opening tea houses and restaurants, only to look for new ways of being now that the road means people pass through quickly on their way to somewhere else. Tonight we stop at the famous Tatopani, literally meaning ‘hot water’ with the village being named after the hot springs here. We will get settled in our last tea house stop for this trip and then exchange biking gear for bathers and hit the hot springs to soothe the muscles sore from the rigors of our biking adventure.

Accommodation: Local Tea House
Meals: B, L, D

Tange Tsetang Monks


Day 15 – Ride to Beni, drive to Pokhara & fly to Kathmandu

This morning we can ride the last leg down to the large town of Beni, where we pile into a van and perhaps enjoy a beer as we drive into Pokhara for lunch on “Lakeside” in one of the famous cafes overlooking Phewa lake.

In the afternoon we will head to the airport for the stunning flight back to Kathmandu where we hit the town for a final celebration of our Mustang mountainbiking adventure.

Accommodation: Hotel Manaslu
Meals: B

 Himalayas     


Day 16 – Farewell, for now...

We’ll enjoy our final breakfast in Nepal, telling one final round of tales about the trip, then we’ll transfer you to the airport, bid farewell and look forward to our paths crossing again.

Meals: B

Gallery

Essential Info

The price includes:
• Hotel nights in the hotels specified in the final itinerary; based on standard rooms on twin share, bed and breakfast plan
• Tea house accommodation while on trek. Note: local tea houses are basic but clean and they do not often have attached bathrooms or hot showers. The price is based on twin share and does not include any extra charge that lodge owners may levy for single rooms, attached bathrooms or hot showers (if these facilities are available) or for battery charging. We can’t know in advance what they may/may not charge in different lodges so we prefer to leave this cost out, rather than pass along an estimated charge to you.
• Meals as per the itinerary (all meals on trek, with boiled drinking water)
• Entrance fees and English speaking Nepali guide for sightseeing days
• Transportation as per the detailed itinerary (includes the flights Kathmandu-Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara-Kathmandu for you and your guide, including transfers and airport taxes)
• Your English and Nepali speaking Danish biking guide/mechanic, with all their transport, equipment, insurance and including their meals and accommodation
• A basic first aid kit appropriate for the group size and trek route (note this is basic and has no medicines other than the ‘usual’ for stomach troubles, pain relief, a general antibiotic, altitude and a bandage kit. In case of serious injury an evacuation will be arranged to Kathmandu with specialist equipment coming in on the helicopter.
• Trekking permits and registration fees, including the US$500 permit to enter Upper Mustang

Please note the lodges will boil water for you to drink which is preferable environmentally to buying mineral water, since the bottles are not recycled. We recommend that you take two x 1 litre water bottles which can take boiling water (one is nice to have at your toes on a cold night, while the other cools down for the morning!)

The price does not include:

• Services and activities not mentioned in the detailed itinerary
• Mountain bike rental
• Any gear or equipment that you may need to rent/buy - please ask us if you would like any advice about gear to bring/buy/rent
• International flights to and from Kathmandu
• Nepal visa fees and international airport taxes. Any excess baggage charges
• Comprehensive travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and rescue evacuation should this be required for any reason
• Rescue/evacuation costs (to be covered by your insurance)
• Additional nights, optional trips and sightseeing tours outside the detailed itineraries above
• Single supplement, please see single supplement charge
• Personal expenses (eg mineral water/soft drinks/bar bills, entrance/photography fees at monasteries, laundry, telephone calls, extra snacks etc)
• Any extra charge that tea house owners may levy for single rooms, attached bathrooms, or hot showers and charging of batteries
• Tips for your biking crew, city guide, drivers etc (please ask if you would like guidance about appropriate tips) • Costs incurred due to changes in programs and reservations due to unforeseen events (eg landslides, strikes, fuel shortages etc)

Please note:
• Rates are in US dollars
• Prices are valid for your specified time of travel only
• This is only an offer and no reservations have been confirmed
• Prices are subject to availability

Important Note:
Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary, but as this is adventure travel in the mountains, we cannot guarantee it. Weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle breakdowns and the health of fellow travellers can all contribute to changes. We will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but an easy going nature will be an asset!

NOTE: The riding on this adventure is incredible. We have some rough and ready jeep tracks and these are fun enough, but we also have some simply unbelievable single trail riding. The trails take us over high passes and on long sweeping descents, through crazy canyons and along wild ridge lines – all the while looking out to the Himalayan Range. It's amazing but there are some tough uphill and river sections where we do have to push/carry the bikes, or we can take the option to hire ponies (at extra cost) to carry the bikes on these sections. Either way, the 'pain' is well worth it for these unique trails.

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