Tag: Indian Himalayas

Day 4: The descent to Chamba

The next morning, we headed down a seemingly never-ending 113km to the more tropical climes of Chamba. Despite a rainy start we enjoyed having gravity on our side and whizzed through at least 5 vegetation zones: high altitude, flower meadows, alpine, deciduous forest and sub-tropical. Although downhill (mostly) it took a good 7hrs30 of surprisingly hard work. I have always found cycling at lower altitudes much tougher as  besides the…

Day 2 – to the Sach Pass (Udaipur to Kilar)

For sure this must be one of the most beautiful routes that I have ever cycled.  It took us almost 8hrs to ride the 80km to Kilar for a number of reasons: really tough terrain of unmetaled, stony roads and scenery that we simply had to stop for, every couple of kilometres. The road slithered and climbed along the ever narrowing and harrowing Chandrabhagga river valley. [caption id="attachment_1965" align="aligncenter" width="448"]…

On the way to the Sach (Saach) Pass

The Sach (Saach) pass, one of the lesser known passes in Himachal Pradesh has always had a certain allure since friends Cass and Cara had cycled it 6 years before. They had rated it as the most beautiful and challenging they had ever cycled (and they really know the Himalayas). With a bit of back tracking from Leh, we set-off from Keylong and followed the confluence of the Chandra (moon) and…

Meeting old and new friends on the Manali Leh Highway

There is always something to look forward to when returning. It may be small changes, like roadside flowers that you had never noticed before. There is also something comforting  in that nothing has changed either, in this case, no mountains have been moved! Then there is the anticipation of meeting old friends again and meeting new ones too. Last year we visited the remote village of Chumikgiarsa at 4000m,  https://www.spanafrican-adventures.co.za/himalayan-villages-chumikgiarsa-at-4000m/ this…

Roaming Rumi: A Himalayan Dogumentary

'Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond' ~ Rumi [caption id="attachment_1813" align="alignleft" width="370"] Rumi our special boy[/caption] This is our 4th year of running bike tours in the Indian Himalayas and I have to say that my enthusiasm and passion for this region has not waned, if anything I love it more every time. We are always so fortunate to have fantastic…

Some reasons why I like the Himalayas

Its back to Ladakh and these are some of my reasons... [caption id="attachment_1774" align="aligncenter" width="438"] the landscapes[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1756" align="aligncenter" width="438"] the prayer flags[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1758" align="aligncenter" width="438"] the people: Ladakhis, Lahualis, Spitians, Tibetans[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1757" align="aligncenter" width="400"] the sublime cycling opportunities[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1765" align="aligncenter" width="438"] the sustainable livelihood practices[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1766" align="aligncenter" width="438"] the dogs[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1773" align="aligncenter" width="438"] the villages[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1767" align="aligncenter" width="438"] the high altitude flowers[/caption]…

Cycling with Himalayan Hounds – fundraiser for Funda Nenja, township dog-training initiative

[caption id="attachment_1730" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Funda Nenja roughly translates from isiZulu to “learning with the dog” and that about sums up what an enthusiastic group of people are doing in Mpophomeni just outside Howick. Every Friday afternoon sees a gathering of about 10 volunteers and 65 dogs with their handler -children coming together to share interspecies and multicultural communication.The idea is to develop respect and compassion for all living things by…

The Baltistan village of Turtuk, Ladakh

Turtuk is about as close as you can get to Pakistan in India, physically and literally. This delightful village is crunched into the narrowing Shyok River valley in the furthest corner of India, right at the tippy-top of the map. Only when the Indo-Pakistan war ended in 1971, Turtuk (together with 5 other Balti villages) was then included within the Indian line of border control. It remained off limits until…