I have some free time in Kathmandu?
My personal favourite is the Pashupatinath temple, to the north east of Kathmandu city centre. You know those photos you’ve seen of the sadhus or holy men, with the long dreadlocks and ash covered bodies? Well this is where most of them hang out!
Regarded as one of the holiest temples of Lord Shiva, it’s so old that nobody is certain when it was founded. Like Varanasi in India, cremation pyres line the banks of the Bagmati river and it’s one of the most fascinating places in the Kathmandu valley to people watch.
Joanna Zubr - Customer Operations
Can you always guarantee a bike available to hire locally?
‘In-country’ bike hire should be arranged at the time of booking, and the cost will be added to your invoice. Please note that there are a limited number of bikes available locally. We always have to match a person's height to the bike frame size and, as there are a limited amount of each size, we cannot always guarantee availability of the correct frame. Therefore it is recommended you add the local bike hire as early as possible.
Andy Ross - Product Manager
Is the cycling difficult in Nepal?
The distances are manageable, the terrain can be rough and some of climbs are pretty steep. That said, anyone with a fair amount of fitness will be ok.
There are only a few ‘technical’ bits, all of which are pretty short – if you are not comfortable with it then just walk for a short while. If all you are used to is a gentle Sunday ride around the park then you will find this trip pretty challenging, but very rewarding should you take it on.
Day 2 is ok in terms of hills (though there are a few short, steep climbs), it is pretty rough terrain though – dirt tracks, sometimes pretty narrow (no support vehicle for a few miles but you are warned of this in advance). Scenery is fantastic, just take it slow, make use of all the gears (the bikes are good quality front suspension mountain bikes) and its certainly manageable.
Day 3 has some long climbs – the whole day is mainly uphill, also of course some really fun descents too – one of which is fairly technical, again some of the “roads” are pretty rough going. However, the majority is on tarmac, just don’t expect UK standards! You have all day to cover 20kms so there is no rush and plenty of stops to rest and refuel if needed.
Day 4 is the toughest day! The trip notes state that the distance ridden is 65km. However this is completely dependent on the group – for ours, we were in the bus for the first and last sections (about 22km). The last section is really hard going if attempted (15km ish of steep climb) – I remember the leader saying that only one group had attempted it previously. Even if some of the group want to give it a go (presuming the pace of the group during the day allows time for it), the rest can get on the support bus. By missing that final climb, we had a very nice 5/6kms of downhill to finish the day before getting on the bus for the final 15km.
Day 5 is all downhill, from here on out its definitely B grade. Though it is Nepal, don’t expect any days without a few climbs!
Andy Gibbins - Costings manager
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