Airport collection and transfer to hotel. Please note that check-in is from 12 noon. Spend the afternoon wandering through Thamel before dinner and drinks in the evening with the tour group and Hearts & Tears team. Tour briefing conducted and dinner provided.
Day 1: Kathmandu Sightseeing
Kathmandu sightseeing using vintage Vespas! Kathmandu is a labyrinth of alleys and laneways which make the nimble Vespas the perfect option for scooting around town and seeing the sites. You’ll visit all the big UNESCO sites of Patan, Pashupati and Boudha. On the way stop in for a taste of the best local sweets and pastries in Kathmandu and encounter locals using the city space for their daily needs. We'll ride for about 6.5 hours covering over 30km around the city.
Day 2: Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara
Take the morning flight from Kathmandu to the lakeside city of Pokhara. It’s a short 30 minute flight which beats the 8 hour bus ride! The Hearts & Tears headquarters is located in Pokhara which is where the Royal Enfield experience begins! After checking in to your hotel, we’ll head to the clubhouse and start to get familiar with your 1955 designed bikes. If you haven’t ridden a Royal Enfield before you’re in for a treat! Right-foot inverse gear shifting, two-stage decompression kick-start, and an extra lever called a neutral finder!
See the sites around Pokhara whilst getting to know your bike including the World Peace Pagoda, mountaineering museum, and Old Town. Please note that left-shift international standard Royal Enfields are also available upon request.
Day 3: Pokhara to Bandipur via Begnas Lake
Today we ride east from Pokhara for about 5 hours or 120km, stopping in at the beautiful Begnas Lake for a cup of masala tea. We then continue and take a local road north to visit a hidden temple that very few foreigners know exists. We then push on and ride to Bandipur, climbing 800m in little over 8km. It’s a steep and twisty ride that will test your cornering skills! Bandipur is a stunning town with no vehicular access to the main boulevard thereby preserving its ancient charms. Bandipur used to serve as a trade station on the Indo-Tibetan trade route and boasts spectacular architecture. In the evening we walk to Tudikhel to watch the sunset over the Manaslu range.
Day 4: Bandipur to Daman
Rise early and take a walk through the town and watch the village come to life. After breakfast we ride east to Manakamana temple which is accessed via cable car and is the sacred place of the Hindu Goddess Bhagwati. From Manakamana we ride south east and take the road to Daman which can only be described as motorcycle nirvana. The roads are quiet with little traffic, there are corners after corner, and the views are mind-blowing. From Daman (at nearly 2600m), you have views of the Annapurna range, Manaslu range, Langtang range, and also Mt Everest! After our 6 hour/170km trek, we'll stay at a newly built ranch style hotel tucked away amongst a pine forest.
Day 5: Daman to Chitwan NP (Sauraha)
After yesterday’s vertical climb, it’s now time to descend! We ride from 2600m down to only 300m in about 40km with switchback after switchback. As we ride we leave the central hill region of Nepal and enter the southern plateau called the Terai. The temperature rises, the corners are ironed out, and we hit the main East-West highway at Hetauda. After lunch we ride west along the highway zigzagging our way through Tata trucks and buses to Chitwan NP – Nepal’s oldest national park that was once a hunting reserve for the King of Nepal. Foreign dignitaries such as Prince Charles also used to hunt in the park but those days are now long gone and conservation is the main focus. In Chitwan we stay at Sapana Village Lodge – a Dutch-Nepali hotel built in the local Tharu style of architecture. Once settled into your rooms, we take a walk to the jungle beach and enjoy a beer as the sun sets.
Day 6: Chitwan NP to Tansen
We hit the main East-West highway once again and cruise further west. We have a local lunch atop a hill climb with views over the surrounding forest and India plateau. After lunch we reach the township of Butwal before climbing north to the hillside town of Tansen. Tansen was once a city of great prosperity and importance but with the main Siddhartha Highway now bypassing the town, It is sadly often overlooked. Regardless it is still a bustling township with a labyrinth of small streets and alleys which are a buzz to ride through.
From Tansen we ride further west to our best kept hidden secret – a small organic farm nestled in a quiet valley that is just perfect. The hospitality, rustic charms, and food are absolutely superb. Everything is made onsite including various cheeses, smoked bacon, paneer, baked breads, coffee, and vegetables/fruits. We arrive hungry so to make the most of the cuisine! In the evening we sit by the fire, drink the local rice spirit called raksi, and soak up the serenity.
Day 7: Tansen to Dhampus
This is one the best riding days of the tour! An outstanding 6 hour ride along the ‘dragon’s tail’ that zig zags it’s way north into the foothills of Annapurnas. There is not one straight stretch of road with deep valleys, mountain views, and villages that follow our journey north. Dhampus is a small trekking village located 5km up a dirt road that lies on the Annapurna circuit. We stay with a local Gurung family and enjoy the mountain hospitality.
Day 8: Dhampus to Tatopani
Wake to incredible mountain views that are literally at your doorstep. After breakfast we ride west to Baglung before heading north along a dirt trail up to Tatopani. Tato means ‘hot’ and ‘pani’ is water which therefore equates to hot springs! The village of tatopani is quaint and a popular destination for trekkers for obvious reasons. After days on the road it’s great to unwind in the springs and reflect upon your experiences in Nepal.
Day 9: Tatopani to Pokhara via Kaskikot
Today is the final day of the trip. We head south-west and return triumphantly to Pokhara. We push the adventure right to the very end and take the local road west which runs through numerous beautiful villages and rice paddies nestled upon a ridge line. We stop at Kaskikot where the Shah dynasty gained its origins and sits at 1800m. From Kaskikot we continue along the local road and then drop down to Pokhara!