Other trips in Nepal:
This is it…the most awesome mountain biking, trekking and rafting adventure that the Himalayas has to offer!
We are excited to have developed this amazing trip that we have been talking about for so long now – it’s a great combination of stunning scenery, amazing biking, a bit of hiking to get up to more brilliant riding and a huge downhill ride to the legendary Sun Kosi river for some wild rafting.
All this action takes you from the mountains of the Everest region to the southern plains of the Terai, experiencing all the landscapes and cultures in between.
Day 1 Fly to Phaplu
This morning we have an early start from our hotel for our short flight to the Everest Region. As we approach the airstrip we see the iconic style of the solid Sherpa houses, giving us a taste of the days ahead. On arrival in the little bazaar of Phaplu we will make ourselves at home in one of the local tea houses. We then put our bikes together and try them out down the main street of the bazaar, to much amusement of kids and adults alike. Time permitting, we head out to explore the bazaar and the old town of Salleri, admiring the two storey Sherpa houses and maybe sampling some local butter tea.
Meals: L, D
Accommodation: Local tea house
Day 2 Trek/Ride to Salung
This morning we get a hearty tea house breakfast before we hit the trails on our way north to Ringmo. We have a combination of jeep, mule and walking trails but most of the way we can ride our bikes. Don’t forget to stop to take in the scenery once in a while. In Ringmo we stop to have lunch and try out the fabulous Shakpa (Sherpa stew)! After lunch we hand over the bikes to our porters who will take them up to Salung, where we will spend the night. Most of the hike up to Salung is steep but through beautiful forest and once we come out of the forest, we get our first big views of the mountains. Closer to Salung we even get our first views of Mount Everest (8848m), Chamlang (7319m) and Makalu (8481m), weather permitting. We stop in Salung and enjoy the sunset before settling in for the night.
Meals: B, L, D
Accommodation: Local tea house
Day 3 – Ride to Junbesi , excursion to Thubtencholing
This morning we have some great trails to ride! We start out with some quite technical, narrow trails and amazing views all the way to Phurteng. Stopping is a must if you want to enjoy the view!!!
From Phurteng we have an awesome downhill into the charming town of Junbesi, set in a lovely valley on the main Jiri to Everest trekking and trade route. Junbesi is a large village for this area and it is home to one of the famous ‘Hillary schools’, a hydropower plant and a large monastery, built in 1635 and claimed to be the oldest monastery in the Solukhumbu region (although a few other monasteries lay claim to title this as well).
In the afternoon we head up the lovely valley northwards to Thubtencholing, one of the largest Tibetan resettlements in Nepal. The large monastery here was established by the highly esteemed Trulsik Rinpoche, who fled from the Rongbuk Monastery in Tibet in the 1950s. As one of the few remaining high lamas who were born and educated in Tibet, Trulsik Rinpoche is of immense importance to Buddhism, in particular to the Nyingma sect to which he and the Thuptencholing Monastery belong. The monastery was built in the 1960s as a ‘temporary’ monastery until the Rinpoche could return to Tibet, however it has now been reconstructed as the permanent home of this Nyingma legacy and the Rinpoche’s reincarnate will be on this site, not in Tibet. In addition to the monastery there is a Tibetan Medical school and hospital, so this is a great chance to learn about this ancient healing art. In the afternoon we will return to Junbesi for a hearty dinner in our cosy tea house.
Meals: B, L, D
Accommodation: Local tea house
Day 4 – Trek to Pike Peak BC
Today we have a big day ahead of us and one that is also breathtakingly beautiful! So we get up early and have a huge breakfast before setting out on an epic walk. We leave Junbesi and trek towards Lamjura La passing through the little town of Thaktor. Half an hour above Thaktor we take a short break at a little tea house before leaving the main trail. Once off the main trail we get into some amazing old growth forest, which helps to take our mind off the climb up to Salun Danda (ridge). At the Danda we then traverse around the hill to reach the main Lamjura Danda. Here you might want to be somewhere near your porter as you could bike some of the ridge down to lunch at Jase Bhanjyang. This is very technical riding, so if you are not into that kind of trail, just leave your bike with your porter.
After lunch we have a stunning walk on a spectacular trail which contours around the north side of Pike Peak. Eventually we make the final climb up to Pike peak BC, where we will be staying in a very simple tea house with some wonderfully eccentric hosts! Be prepared to share rooms and sleep on hard beds, this is the night you have brought that nice Therma rest for…
Day 5 – Trek to the top of Pike Peak for Sunrise! Ride to Jhapre
We get out of bed really early today because if the weather permits, from the top of Pike Peak we will have the best view in all of Nepal at sunrise. On a clear morning it is possible to see all the way from Mt. Kanchenjunga (8586m) in the far east of Nepal to Mt Annapurna (8091m) in the west and all the mountains in between including Mt. Everest (8848m). After having taken in the view from the top we return to Pike BC for breakfast. There is nowhere between here and Jhapre to get food and we will only reach there in time for a very late lunch, so eat a lot now and carry some energy bars with you.
We set out on the bikes from Pike BC on one of the best rides in Nepal! Overall it is a super downhill ride along Lamje Danda down to Jhapre at 2800m, but do be prepared to carry the bike over short sections of rocky trails and up some steep climbs. At Jhapre we will have a late lunch and if time permits go down and have a look around the big Sherpa village of Tapting below. Once again our accommodation here in Jhapre is old school tea house trekking style, so don’t expect luxury, but nice hosts who will have time to sit and chat till late night!
Day 6 – Ride to Okhuldhunga
Today is pure mountain biking! We have a good solid breakfast before setting out on our ride to Okhuldhunga. The first 8 km is on single trails which are as good as they get. As it’s an undulating path it is not easy all the way, but it sure is fun! We reach a small jeep trail at Sigane and continue on this to Dhap, where we stop for a cup of tea before starting the climb up to the bigger road at Jhantardhap. From here it is only a few km till we stop for lunch at Thade.
From Thade it is all downhill to our guest house in Okhuldhunga. It is one of the most amazing little roads in all of Nepal, with never ending switchbacks. Stop and take in the view once in a while, it is amazing!
Once we reach Okhuldhunga we will leave our bikes at our guest house and go out exploring this little visited bazaar town of the ‘middle hills’ before returning for dinner.
Day 7 – Last day on the bike, another big down!
As we leave Okhuldhunga this morning we have two choices, both are good but very different. One is to stay up high on the ridge and ride towards the Sun Kosi on the jeep road, that eventually does a big final decent into the river valley. The other option is to do a big drop on a very technical single trail for 1 km then join a little jeep trail for 9 km down to a little river. Here there are a couple of kilometres of non-rideable trail before we get onto a super nice (but at times challenging) single trail which takes us the last 15 km down to the Sun Kosi.
Whichever way we choose to get there, there is no lunch till we reach the river. We can stop for a tea break in one of the little villages along the way but there is nowhere to eat, so carry snacks for this ride.
We’ve now completed our mountain bike leg and come down to the mighty Sun Kosi! We wash off the dust from our ride and set up camp above the roar of the first, some-what daunting rapid, called Haktapur 1. We will get all our gear sorted and put away in drybags and water proof barrels and pack our bikes for the truck ride back to Kathmandu.
This evening we will get a safety briefing and overview of the next part of our epic adventure. Then we just relax and hang round the camp fire while the guides prepare the first of our great river side feasts.
Day 8 – First day on the big river
We get up early for a hearty breakfast and get ready for a ride of a different kind! Our guides will divide us up into teams, remind us of the safety procedures and then run us through a paddle talk. This aims to get all the teams working together so we can start negotiating first of the many rapids on the mighty Sun Kosi.
So, now we set off on one of Nepal’s greatest ‘liquid highways’, taking on everything it has to offer. Tonight we camp on one of the many huge, white, sandy beaches and have another great campfire dinner!
Day 9 to 11 – Rafting as good as it gets…
Most of the rapids on the Sun Kosi are formed by monsoon debris brought in by side streams and loose rockfall. These rapids change from year to year, depending on the severity of the monsoon rains. We have already negotiated some big rapids on the first day, Haktapur 1 and 2, but now we head on down through the jungle corridor where some big rapids lie in wait for us. With names like Rhino Rock, Big Dipper and Jaws, today’s rapids ensure we have one hell of a white knuckle ride!
On the way downstream we meet the famous Dudh Kosi river with its emerald waters that come from the glaciers below Mt Everest. It joins the Sun Kosi giving it more volume and changing the colour of the waters. Our camp for tonight is pitched at the confluence of the Tamur River, another Himalayan classic. This will be our last riverside camp, so we will take the time to reflect on the incredible journey we have just done over a few beers and another great campfire..
Day 12 – Finish up rafting and back to the Du…
Today is pretty relaxed and we just strap the gear on loosely and float towards Chatra, our take out point.
On the way, we stop at one of Nepal’s oldest Hindu temples. We stop to explore the temple grounds and maybe get to meet a holy man or chat with some of the local ladies, beautifully clad in their colourful saris. We load up again and float through one more wave train and see the mountains and the hills just disappear as we enter the plains of Nepal’s Terai.
After stripping down the rafts and loading the bus we venture into the town of Chatra to visit our favourite Dahl Bhat shop, tuck into a great meal and a few cold beers and drinks before we either head to the airport for our 40 min flight back to Kathmandu or take the bus overland, arriving mid-morning the next day.
Day 13 – Washing, shopping and bragging!
After we have washed the sand out of our hair, we can relax and enjoy a massage, do some last minute shopping or simply chill out and take it all in from a streetside cafe. We meet up for dinner at one of the many great restaurants in town. We tell some tales and thank our Nepali guides, who have looked after us and made the trip memorable, before heading out for ght drinks at Sams bar!