The high Himalayas are in a league of their own. Spending three weeks cycling across tough terrain with massive swings in temperature, camping and cycling at altitudes up to 5,400m including Khardung La – the highest motorable mountain pass in the world – was both challenging and utterly unforgettable.
There was the astonishing challenge of the Gata Loops – 21 hairpin bends slithering up the mountainside, immediately followed by the climb to Nakeela at over 5,000m and feeling like death, before speeding into a hollow in the mountains at Whisky Nullah and camping overnight at 4,800m in minus temperatures.
The Himalayas are enormous and stunningly beautiful, the roads are insane – perfect tarmac in the middle of nowhere, suddenly turning into something resembling a rocky river bed.
The climbs are endless and relentless, the descents super fast and exciting.
Then there’s the food – unassuming concrete bunkers by the roadside serving momos and pakoras with super hot chilli sauce washed down with cups of milky, sweet chai.
Every single day brought something new, every twist and bend in the road revealed another awe-inspiring, unforgettable, breathtakingly beautiful vista.
There’s only one problem. Having been there, there’s simply nowhere else that can compete. The only option is to save your pennies and go again… who’s coming with me?
– Graham Crawford