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Departure: New Delhi
Duration: 14 Days
Trip Grade: Demanding
 
A tour that covers two countries but three different worlds! From the fertile plains of Nepal's Terai region, to the quaintness of colonial Darjeeling to the remote and untouched beauty of Sikkim, this tour offers an amazing variety of experiences. Big cities, tiny villages and massive mountains await, all seen from the saddle of a Royal Enfield. Most of this tour is on well-surfaced roads, although there are some stretches where tarmac is patchy to say the least! Some challenging riding in the hills makes this inadvisable for less-experienced motorcyclists.

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu
You'll be met at the airport and taken to a comfortable hotel, and then be free to either relax or to take in some of Kathmandu's many sights.

Day 02: Bike training, ride to Nagarkot
This morning you'll be introduced to your 500cc Royal Enfields, and then have the rest of the day to get acquainted! After a briefing and a short excursion within the vicinity of the hotel, our first “real” ride will take us the 30km to Nagarkot, and perhaps the best view of the Himalayas in the entire Kathmandu valley. We'll then head back to our hotel and spend the evening in Kathmandu.

Day 03: Kathmandu to Kosi Tappu (320km)
We'll make an early start and then stop at Daman, the only place on earth from which you can see 8 of the world's 10 highest peaks. From there the road is quite rough for the next 20 km, be warned! Once we turn on to the Mahendra Highway, however, the going gets a lot easier, meaning the last 200km should fly by. Tonight we'll stay in the heart of Kosi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, a fascinating world of serene waterways and rare wildlife.

Day 04: Kosi Tappu to Darjeeling (260km)
It's smooth tarmac all the way to the border with India at Kakarbhitta; with the formalities finished we'll head north from there for the twisty climb up to Darjeeling, stopping off at beautiful Mirik Lake along the way.

Day 05: Day in Darjeeling
Famous for it's tea, Darjeeling is also a great place to experience Tibetan culture and offers great views of the Himalayas, and Kanchenjunga in particular. For early risers there'll be the chance to go up to Tiger Hill at dawn today – the sight of the sun rising over the Eastern Himalayas is truly amazing. Later on you'll be able to visit a tea plantation or just wander around this intriguing town.

Day 06: Darjeeling to Pilling (150km)
A beautiful day's ride sees us enter Sikkim for the first time; after crossing the border at Malli the scenery becomes picture perfect; terraced landscapes dotted with friendly villages welcome us in to this enchanted world. The last 16km sees us climb a series of unending hairpins all the way up to Pelling, where we'll spend the night in the shadow of the mighty Mt Kanchenjunga.

Day 07: Pilling to Rumthek (70km)
In the morning we'll visit spectacular Pemayangtse monastery, the most prestigious in Sikkim and famed for it's intricately carved pagoda. After that it's a short but scenic ride to Rumthek, where another stunning example of Buddhist monastic art awaits us.

Day 08: Rumthek to Lachung (100km)
Today we head north and in to the less explored region of Sikkim, where the scenery and the welcome become even more spectacular. The road follows a river valley abundant with wildlife; Himalayan Yak graze in fertile meadows amidst lush vegetation, quite another world! In Lachung we'll stay in a secluded forest guesthouse, the epitome of calm.

Day 09: Lachung to Lachen via Yumthang (120km)
Another exceptional day's ride takes us north to Yumthang and then back past Lachung to Lachen, with occasional glimpses of glaciers along the way; undoubtedly one of the more exotic rides in the world!

Day 10: Lachen to Gangtok (120km)
Heading south once more we reach Gangtok, capital of Sikkim. Set high on a ridge above the Ranipul River, the city offers yet more amazing scenery, with the entire Kanchenjunga range on view, and a marked increase in population after the remoteness of the last two days.

Day 11: Gangtok to Kalimpong (60km)
A short but pleasant ride along the Teesta Valley sees us leave Sikkim and enter West Bengal. Few places have had quite the same range of influences as Kalimpong, having been subject to Bhutanese, British and Tibetan control during its rich history. This makes for a fascinating mix, and a unique opportunity to see Hindus, monks and missionaries existing so peacefully side by side.

Day 12: Day trip to Samthar and Lava (140km)
A chance to ride through unspoilt forest, and to visit the amazing hill communities of Lava and Samthar. Cut off from the rest of the world until recently, this is an area of exquisite natural beauty and untouched lifestyles, a real treat to explore.

Day 13: Kalimpong to Bagdogra (80km)
Flight to Calcutta Saying goodbye to our bikes at Bagdogra, an early afternoon flight means we'll be in Calcutta with time to spare to have a look around, and to experience the unique eccentricity of the Fairlawn Hotel!

Day 14: Flights home
You'll be taken to the airport for your flights home, bon voyage!

 

 

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