In October we spent 3 weeks riding through the Upper Mustang Valley in Nepal, it was the most amazing trip. Here are some photos to inspire you to go visit this amazing country.
We spent a couple of days in Kathmandu, mainly pestering Jenny and the staff at Himalayan Singletrack, we went on a group ride with the locals girls + Al + Jenny + Nepal MTB President. The girls are super tough and gave everything a go with a smile on their faces, they were awesome! Check out this documentary featuring these rad girls
After a few days in Kathmandu, we boarded a plane like this to Pokhara, and then another one to Jomsom. It’s a 25 minute flight in which I close my eyes and grip the seat firmly whilst Al looks eagerly out the window and at the cockpit which you can see.
Al’s bike didnt make it on our flight but thankfully it might it on the next one!
We rolled out of Jomson with our fantastic guide Jevi. He knew Upper Mustang so well and is a very talented rider, taking us down some gnarly singletrack. The views were epic. All the photos are from a point and shoot Olympus Tough and GoPro.
We made our way up to Lo Monthang, which is very close to the Tibetan border. We met quite a few hikers, stayed in tea houses and enjoyed the local foods and hospitality. The terrain was sandy, rocky, dusty. One side of the road the view were big red cliffs and the other side we were looking up at snowy mountains. It was unbelievable.
We would start riding pretty early and arrive at our stop mid afternoon before the wind kicked in. The local kids were very curious!
this guy was a little legend, he raced out to get his bike to show us then grabbed each item of gear of ours to try on! We went passed his house twice and both times he was very keen to hang out
We went over loads of passes over 4000m which was very challenging. A fair bit of hike a bike but the view at the top was amazing.
Many of the villages we stayed in, it was like going back in time – no internet, sometimes no power. Locals making all their own food, handwashing, veggie gardening etc. Their days filled with living and doing these jobs important for survival, no machines doing everything for them. It certainly made me question the way we do things here and what is really important in life.
When we reached the most northern point of our trip – Lo Monthang we had a rest day and rode a horse to some caves. Those who know me well know there are 2 outdoor pursuits I really do not enjoy. 1. horse riding. 2. caving. it was an interesting day.
So about 5 days into our trip we were in a really small village – 4 houses, and Jevi got sick, real sick. He managed to get a jeep ride down (on crazy rocky cliff roads) and then flown to hospital to have his appendix removed. Thankfully he is ok. Al and I rode the next day on our own missing Jevi’s company and hoping he was ok ! Himalayan Singletrack were awesome and the next night we met Arun! A lovely guy, awesome bike rider and skilled mechanic! The only issue I had with my bike was the rear brake stopped working and Arun put some vegie oil from the kitchen in and it improved enough to descend safely for the rest of the trip!
As we descended back towards Jomson, we could breathe a little easier and the scenery became greener. The food was awesome – buckwheat pancakes, noddles, veggies, delicious noodle soups and mo mos!! Mustang is famous for apples so we had loads of apple dishes- apple pie, crumble, pancakes, fritters, scrolls!. SO GOOD!!
It was an amazing trip, I wont say once in a lifetime as I know we will return to Nepal again. It is not just the landscape that draws us there, it is the people.
The local people we met in each village, and in Kathmandu and the people you meet from all around the world are inspirational. A massive thank-you to Jenny from Himalayan Singletrack and all the staff, a big thanks to Jevi and Arun for being the best guides ever! Good luck to the Girl MTBers in their future training and racing and just getting out to ride, we cant wait to come back and ride with you again!
Ways to help:
visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1587517862/moksha-film to donate.
Go to Nepal and experience this wonderful country !!