In October 2019 a group of 12 intrepid Sideburn readers went on the inaugural Sideburn Nepal trip. Before we were even halfway through I knew we'd return for another trip and I'm happy to announce October 2020 is the date for Sideburn's return to Kathmandu and the Manang valley.
Sideburn has co-promoted a number of unforgettable sold out trips in the Himalayas and we were itching to do another in the region with our Indian-owned partners at Helmet Stories.
After a few reconnaissance journeys over the two years they have designed and researched this is trip for us that is the ideal mix of challenge, duration, culture, natural beauty and value for money. We're going to Nepal and a maximum of 12 of you can come with us (and four places are already reserved).
You'll be riding tough and capable Royal Enfield Himalayans in the mountains the bike was named after.
Read the report from one of our paying punters in Sideburn 39.
The Sideburn rep for this trip in the imitable Travis Newbold - poet, racer, bike builder, husband, hero, veteran of previous Sideburn adventures to India and Morocco.
SIDEBURN NEPAL - 10-19 October 2020
Day 1 - Arrive in Kathmandu
10th October 2020. Check-in to hotel and relax after the long flight and get into the groove of Nepal.
Day 2 - In and around Kathmandu
While the permits get issued the riders can rest up a bit because the fun starts the next day. We take in a few of the incredible sights of Kathmandu, including the Boudha Stupa Buddhist temple and the ancient Durbar Square UNESCO heritage site. The hotel is a great place to hang-out, with a secluded terrace bar and pool.
Day 3 - Kathmandu - Besisahar
We ride out of Kathmandu in the morning as the city wakes up and escape all the chaos and craziness of the capital. We ride towards Pokhara on the Prithvi highway before turning off into back country roads to Besisahar.
Day 4 - Besisahar - Timang
This is where the tarmac ends. We ride out after a hearty breakfast and enjoy everything the trails have to offer.
Day 5 - Timang - Braga
More fantastic vistas and more challenging trails ahead towards the brilliant village of Braga. It's not a long ride but the ever-changing vistas make it hard not to stop and stare.
Day 6 - Braga
The bustling village of Manang is one of the main stopover point for trekkers and cyclists on the Annapurna circuit. However, we prefer the charms of Braga, close on the banks of the Marsyangadi river. This is a relaxed day that you can use to explore further on the bikes and on foot.
Day 7 - Braga - Tal
We start our ride back down the way we came. This seemed less than ideal when I first read it, but the view is completely different and it's like you are riding a whole different road as you descend. Tal is pictured above.
Day 8 - Tal - Kurintar
We ride back towards civilization to Kurinter and a smart hotel.
Day 9 - Kurinter - Kathmandu
It's a intense ride back to Kathmandu from here. As the crow flies it's not far, but the road and traffic make it unforgettable, especially after the open spaces of the previous week's adventure. This is where the ride comes to an end. We have one final grand evening.
Day 10 Kathmandu
Leave for home. 19 October 2020
• Transfers to and from Kathmandu Airport
• Twin sharing rooms with breakfast on all days
• A traditional Nepali welcome dinner on the first day
• Fuel for the trip
• Back-up vehicle for luggage and mechanic
• Anapurna Conservation Area Project fee
• TIMS Permits
• Local English-speaking road captain and back-up guides
• Helmet Stories Team
• Medical Kit
• Flight to Kathmandu
• Visa to Nepal
• Lunch and dinner (even staying in tourist accommodation, it is inexpensive to eat and drink in Nepal)
• Riding kit
• Personal Insurance and evacuation charges
• Personal expenses
• Insurance against or for accidents/ loss of life etc
• Tips to staff
• Costs incurred due to natural calamities, strikes and things beyond the control of Helmet Stories Adventures and its associates.
• All repairs and damage to the bikes will be on cost basis.
RS 200,000 (Inclusive of all taxes). At time of publishing £2150, $2800, €2585
We can accommodate a maximum 12 people for this ride as all the home stays and spots we like to stay in are small and can take just about that many people.
A 30% deposit is to be paid at the time of booking and is accepted as part of the total cost of the tour and will not be refunded unless the applicant cannot be offered a place. The balance of the total cost for the tour must reach Helmet Stories no later than EIGHT weeks before the tour date.
10-19 October 2020
If you have any questions or to secure your place, email us for details on how to pay your deposit. Remember, there are only 12 places.
As with all the Sideburn trips, we partner with experienced and trusted local tour companies and we send a Sideburn representative - as previously mentioned, it's Travis Newbold. The benefit of a Sideburn tour is you are (almost) guaranteed to be on the same wavelength with a great group.
These tour companies take all the payments and run the trips. Sideburn is a co-promoter, not the tour leader or organiser.
Photos: Andrew Neri, Helmet Stories