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The Tso Moriri Lake Trail - 11Nts / 12 Days

Mountain Biking

Day 1: Arrival at Leh at 7:00 a.m. by the morning flight from Delhi. We take you to your pre-reserved hotel. Check in. The morning is free for you to rest. Having arrived at the 3505m / 11,496ft high altitude cold desert town of Leh from the plains of Delhi it is essential to acclimatize before undertaking any physical activity. After lunch we take you on a short stroll around the main bazaar with its easy going environment and numerous cafes and curio and handicraft shops. Return to the hotel by late evening for dinner and the night.

Day 2: Today we check out our bikes and take a short ride to the Shanti Stupa at 3800m / 12,464ft on a hill overlooking the sprawling town of Leh. This brilliant white structure with an ornate dome stands out clearly amidst a background of barren brown hills. Relax and after exploring this beautiful monastery we ride down to the town and visit the interesting the Ladakh Ecological Centre creating exemplary works with environment friendly technology. We return to the hotel for lunch and a brief rest. In the afternoon we leisurely walk down to the main bazaar and the 'Chang Gali' with its fascinating small shops selling jewellery and curios. A bit further is the delightful Tibetan Market where you can pick up great bargains in pearl, turquoise, coral, lapis lazuli and other semi-precious stones and jewellery. Take a look at the unusual carved yak-horn boxes, curious brass locks, china and metal bowls and other curios. We return to the hotel by late evening after having savoured some of the delectable cuisine offered by numerous cafes in town.

Day 3: After an early breakfast we ride 47 Kms south east towards the small post at Upshi on the Manali Leh Highway. From here leaving the highway we continue due east towards the small village of Hyamnya about 35 Kms where we camp for the night.

Day 4: After an early breakfast we start our almost 60 Kms level ride to the village of Chumathang at 3965m / 13,005ft. Chumathang is famous all over Ladakh and Zanskar for its medicinal hot springs that are reputed to heal all kinds of body pain. We set up camp near this village for the night.

Day 5: The ride today goes through a spectacular landscape so typical Ladakh till we reach the Mahe Bridge 23 Kms away. From here we cross over and ride 14 Km through a narrow green gorge to the village of Sumdo. We camp near the village. In the evening we explore the small Gompa that houses several well preserved paintings and images.

Day 6 : After breakfast we leave for the village of Karzok at the northern end of the spectacular Tso Moriri Lake. The 43 Km ride goes through vast shrub land surrounded by rolling hills that acquire fantastic hues and colours ranging from deep purple to crimson and desert brown with the traverse of the sun. We also pass a small turquoise lake - the Tazang Tso . From here riding through shrub land populated with colonies of Marmots (Phya in Ladakhi) we reach the village of Karzok at 4572m / 14,996ft on the northern lakeshore. We set up camp near the village on the shores of this fascinating lake.

Day 7: A relaxed day at the lake where we get to walk around this beautiful lake 24 Km long lake at an altitude of 4242m / 13,786ft. During this season we get to see thousands of migratory birds gliding on the lake which include geese, duck while around the lake you can spot the resident species of white-winged redstart, robin accentor, Asian martin, white-throated dipper and finches.

Day 8: After an early breakfast we head towards another breathtaking lake at 4485m / 14,711ft, the Tsokar or salt lake. We head back to the small village of Puga where we turn west to cross the Pologongka la at 4940m / 16,203ft emerging into a vast plateau of stunted grass and shrubs. This vast plain sustains an amazing variety of wild life including the Kyang (Tibetan Wild Ass), the Woolly Hare, Tibetan Wolf, Red Fox, colonies of Marmots and Pica and the rarely spotted subtle Snow leopard. The bird life includes a number of resident species like the Himalayan Snow Cock, Common and Fork Tailed Swift, Sand and Eurasian Crag Martin and a host of others. The other very visible birds are the large lammergeyer and the Himalayan Griffon circling in the thermal currents high above.

Day 9: From Tsokar we ride through the vast pasture lands of the More Plains to reach Debring 4800m / 15,744ft on the main Manali-Leh highway. The More plains is also the summer home of the nomadic Changpa shepherds whom you can spot with their large herds of sheep and goats in this plateau living out of their black yak skin tents. Debring lies below the Tanglang la and we camp here for the night.

Day 10: We begin our ascent to the Tanglang La at 5303m / 17,393ft the world's third highest motorable pass. From here the switchback road winds far down into the Indus Valley and 56 Kms later we reach the small village of Upshi. We camp in the oases like Gya campsite set amidst a yawning canyon.

Day 11: Today after breakfast we begin our 60 Km ride through the spread out Indus Valley along the Indus River till we reach Leh by lunchtime. On arrival we check into a hotel. The rest of the day is free to rest up and relax after our 10 day adventure in one of the remotest areas in the Indian Western Himalayas.

Day 12: We drive you to the airport to board the Delhi flight leaving at 8:40 a.m. and reaching Delhi by 9:50 a.m.

Other Mountain Biking Tours
S. No. Tour Region Days
1. The Pangong Lake Circuit Ladakh & Zanskar 11
2. The Nubra Valley Tour Ladakh & Zanskar 9
3. The Himachal Pradesh Exploratory Bike Journey Himachal 23
4. The Great Himalayan Cultural Bike Passage Himachal 30
5. The Comprehensive Manali Leh Cycle Tour Himachal 21
6. The Garhwal Hills and Forests Biking Tour Uttaranchal 10
7. Biking the Corbett Trail in Kumaon Uttaranchal 12


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