Video: Annapurna Base Camp... On a Bike

Jan 10, 2014 at 16:35
by Joachim Skj√¶vestad  

Riding in the Himalayas

Late November I suddenly had three weeks off work, with no plans, so I span my globe and ended up booking a plane ticket from Norway to Nepal to go riding my bike in the Himalayas. I had never actually been outside Europe (Once I was crossing the border between Europe and Asia in Turkey, but I don't think that counts). One week later I sat on the plane, alone, and was pretty excited and a little bit nervous. I then arrived in Kathmandu where there was no good spots for trials riding, therefore I got on the first bus available and strapped my bike on the roof rack. Eight hours later I arrived in Pokhara where there was much better to ride my bike. However, it wasn't good enough. So the next day I stopped a taxi and told him to drive me as close to the mountains possible.

I got out of the taxi and put my bike together, and after saying goodbye to the driver I started walking up this super steep stair case. Walking up the stairs was really exhausting and really, really hot. I had a 25 kg backpack full of warm woolen clothes, unfortunately the temperature was above 20 degrees. I ate breakfast that day on the top of the first staircase whom had gotten me about 500 meters further away from the center of the earth. I was now ready to continue walking towards the Annapurna Base Camp, which was my final goal, before going back to civilization again.

The two following days I was walking through a hot jungle and through small villages where the people was surviving on what the forest would give them and of the tourist trekking by. After talking to a local guy who ran a small kiosk and a guest house, I was aware that in the woods around here there was living wild tigers, bears, monkeys and other strange animals. Later the same day I was luckily enough to see a small group of monkeys jumping around in the tree tops.

After three days of walking I finally got the base camp, some people I had met further down the mountain had gotten altitude sickness and had to stay for some days for acclimatization. I had only felt a little headace and had heard that on any signs of altitude sickness you should stop walking, or go down again, but I was certain that it would go away as soon as I got to the base camp. Luckily I was right.

My tent and sleeping bag protected me against the cold temperatures in the base camp during the night. And the next day I met up with a German guy named Oskar, who joined me to do some filming and photography with me riding my bike. We spent some days walking around in the mountains filming, riding and taking pictures. I was quite happy with that, because I was already out of money and only had a small pack of porrage and one pack of noodles left.

He lend me some money and we were traveling together for the next week.

Some days later we got back to civilization and did some riding around the streets of Pokhara. The locals had never seen a trials bike before, and was really amused. We spent the evenings walking around in the city, buying cheap books, cheap (but great) food and drinks. We even got invited to a local girls wedding, she was getting an arranged marriage and had only met her coming husband once before. However she was quite happy with it and told us that most Nepali girls like it that way.

Unfortunately I had no time to go to the wedding, when it was on the same day as my plane back to Norway, and we were a day long bus ride away from the airport.

I got back to Norway without any big troubles, only some minor things stolen from my backpack after I had checked them in on the airport. That sucked.

Here is the video:

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