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Continue trip report page 2...
7 August 2003, Nyalam - Lhatse, 300 kilometers.

The next day was tough. Our bikers had to cover about 300 kilometers, crossing two passes of more than 5,000 meters.

Some of our group were suffering headache and loss of energy this morning, though all were excited to be entering the high Himalayas. On the first pass at 5150 meters, we took a short break and took pictures of the Himalayas to the south.

Our mechanic's bike had some problems so we loaded it into the truck and continued driving. The other bikes faced some minor mechanical problems which our skilled mechanic soon had fixed.

We had a lunch at Old Tingri (4400m). Annie began having symptoms of altidude sickness, so we administered some oxygen and a headache relief pill.

We continued to the second pass at 5200 meters. Henning's bike was loosing power, but he managed the rest of the ride downhill to Lhatze at 3900 meters. Annie got a very bad headache behind her left eye and said it was a typical migraine. Since the truck and the Land Cruiser were behind us, she could not get her medicine or more oxygen.

As soon as the truck and Land Cruiser arrived at Lhatse Hotel, I took the Gamow bag, which is an inflatable hyperbaric chamber, out of our truck and hurrily put Annie inside. She started feeling better soon and in two hours she was completely out of danger. We all were relieved.

We dined at the hotel's restaurant. Our long ride that day, and the concern about Annie, left everyone tired, so the team decided to skip a planned excursion to the Shakya Monastery the next morning. Instead, we headed directly 150 km to Gyantse.

8 August 2003, Lhatse - Shigatse, 150 kilometers

The gravel road was ok but extremely dusty. We crossed a 4570 meter pass, but but nobody had any altitude problems. The bikes were running well, though Ajs's and Annie's bikes needed chains tightened enroute. About that time we met a couple from Germany coming up from Lhasa on mountain bikes. we talked to them and some of our team members took photographs of them.

Annie's chain was again jumping off the sprocket. Our mechanic had to overtighten the chain to make it stay on to Shigatse.

Shigatze, at 4000 meters, is a big town with a huge monastery. We checked in to a nice hotel with private bath and TV. Our group was able to shower for the first time in 3 days.

Our Tibetan guide, Mr. Putsu, took us for a delicious dinner at Manasarovar Restaurant. Then we met Josef Pichler, a 640 KTM motor bike rider. Henning, Ajs and I had dinner with Pichler in Kathmandu and had planned this meeting with him in Shigatse.

9 August 2003, Shigatse - Gyantse, 90 kilometers

Since the ride today to Gyantse was only 90 kilometers, we started at 1 p.m. Taking advantage of the late start, our bikes were repaired and cleaned well.

Before lunch, Henning and Annie briefed our mechanic about regular maintenance checks which needed to be performed on our bikes to keep them running on a daily basis. These checks included the air filters, chain tension, and all bolts and fasteners. For example, a subframe had come unbolted from one of the bikes a few days earlier. Henning and Annie drew up a checklist for the mechanic, which I translated into Nepalese.

The hotel in Gyantse at 3950 meters was nice and included a resturant with continental menu, so we ordered varieties of food and had our lunch there.Our group then took a "tourist" tour, visiting the Kumbum Monastery built in 1418. This circular monastery is one of the most famous monasteries in Tibet and contains countless Buddha statues.We all had dinner at our hotel's restaurant that evening. Our bikers were concerned about the 280 kilometers we had to cover the next day, so the team decided to have breakfast at 7 a.m. and to pack sack lunches from the hotel kitchen. << Previous Page | Next page >>>

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