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The Trans Himalayan Motorcycle Adventure of A Lifetime
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When you think of the Himalayas a vision is conjured of epic mountain ranges, unforgettable vistas and the King of all mountains, Mount Everest. The Himalayan mountain range arcs 2,400km and covers a region of the world spread across five countries Bhutan, Nepal, India, China and Pakistan. East to West this vast mountain range is home to 52 million people and is a rich mix of assimilated cultures and heritage. There are many dangers in life, however, the biggest danger of all is not to experience these undiscovered lands.

And if you have a spare few days or possibly weeks then a bike trip across the “roof of the world” is one of the must do trips on many a motorcyclists bucket list. Whichever roads you choose, this Trans-Himalayan odyssey is sure to captivate you as it has for countless other travelers, writers and artists over the years.

Throw in an element of motorcycles, the open air, not beholden to the 24/7 rush that defines modern life (along with an exquisite Royal Enfield) and, what you end up with, is the journey of a lifetime.

Vintage Rides is a company specializing in motorcycle trips across India, Nepal, and Bhutan among other destinations. The company uses expert guides with knowledge and experience of the region, its peoples, local cultures and customs and perhaps most importantly… potholes. Vintage Rides offers a motorcycle tour to experience the Himalayas in full Technicolor.

The Trans-Himalayan Tour is divided into 15 stages and encompasses a 981 mile. The starting point is Dharamsala located in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is a municipal city is nestled in Kangra Valley and guarded by the Dhauladhar mountain range. Here a network of natural, perennial streams feeds lush green forests and makes the valley glow and breath as nature intended. The name Dharamsala is derived from Sanskrit and means “spiritual dwelling”. In Hindi it is often translated into “pilgrims rest house”. It is also home to the Dalai Lama.

At 2,000 feet above sea level Dharamsala requires a day of acclimatizing to the region and also a Royal Enfield 500, supplied by Vintage Rides as part of the tour package.

A small 19-mile route will feed your enthusiasm as you to familiarise yourself with the motorbike and the city. Then follows the journey proper, 13 days taking in a variety of ancient cultures and religions, mountainous roads and highways. The route follows rivers that snake through yet more lush forests with the ever-present Himalayan mountain range watching from afar.

And when the journey nears the endpoint the roads get higher, the vistas become less cluttered, minimalistic, more epic. At this point, the civilization you knew is replaced by ethereal structures woven into the landscape and towering majestically and pointing to the stars above.

Landscape shaped by rock and stone, weathered by millions of years of rain and wind, defined over time. Just you and the trusty Royal Enfield 500 are reminders of the civilization left behind.

Journeys end is Manali. It’s best described as a high altitude resort town. It’s bustling with life and local commerce. It is a popular tourist destination where you will also find honeymooners and the odd extreme sports enthusiast. And of course in the background is the guard of honor, flanked by forests in the foreground, it is final reminder of the journey gone. The Himalayas.

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