The highest, most inaccessible and less inhabited region of India. Ladakh, also known as “Little Tibet”, is a fascinating destination, located in the west end of the Tibetan Plateau, that holds untouched many wonders of the ancient kingdoms of this region.
This remote frontier in the north of India, mysterious place of sacred mountains, forgotten valleys and ancestral monasteries, reveals us the millenial richness of Tibetan Buddhism.
In the epic route of Manali–Leh Highway, one of the highest roads in the world, we will ride together through breathtaking passes, magnificent views, snowed peaks and desert plateaus.
Discover Leh, the capital of Ladakh, explore the monastery of Lamayuru, one of the most ancient of all India. Ride, along Nubra valley, to the remote village of Turtuk, close to Pakistan.
Take a dive into the practice of yoga and meditation, whether you are a beginner or an experienced practitioner. Inspire and be inspired by bonding and sharing with other men.
Set off on this mystical journey, and meet the dragon and the hero within.
Diskit Monastery - Nubra Valley
Day 1 - August 12, 2020
Welcome and arrival. Gonçalo, or someone in his team, will welcome you on your arrival to Delhi International Airport, and will take you to the hotel. The whole group will gather on this day and men will get acquainted with the travel leader, and one another.
Day 2 - August 13
We fly to Chandigarh, early the morning, and we meet our support team (mechanics and backup vehicle driver). We will also get aquainted with our motorcycles. A riding in India presentation will be made. We will ride around Chandigarh’s peculiar city design.
The city derives its name from a temple, Chandi Mandir (devoted to the Hindu deity Chandi), and the nearby fort, or “garh”. It is the state capital to both Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh has a unique blend of Punjabi and Jat culture. The city’s modern design, organized in square Sectors, or neighborhood units, is a result of the planification work by French architect Le Corbusier.
Day 3 - August 14
Chandigarh - Manali
We leave early on our first day on the road with motorcycles. This will be our longest riding day of all. An estimate of 11 hours riding, on mostly flat national roads, will get us warmed up and ready for more enduring days ahead, as we ride out of Punjab, and into Himachal Pradesh, on the way to Kullu Valley, in the foothils of the Himalayan range. The most challenging part of this day, besides the ammount of hours we will spend on our motorcycles, will be the intense traffic we will find on the way to Manali. A great opportunity to challenge our focus, presence and equanimity, in every single moment.
Day 4 - August 15
As we wake up to our first and well deserved rest day, we will open the doors of our rooms, to the quietness of Old Manali, and the lush landscape of Kullu valley, which extends all the way up to the Himalayan range of Pir Panjal, in the North.
Kullu Valley is one of the most fertile regions of Himachal Pradesh, and was. in remote times, passage to one of the most important trade routes between India and Central Asia.
We will ride to Vashist, on the other side of the valley, and will explore it’s surrounding forrest.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Day 5 - August 16
Manali - Sissu
Today we start to ride up the Himalayas. In one of the most spectacular legs of our journey, we will leave Manali, and begin our ascent of Pir Panjal. The serpenting road will take us up to Rothang-La (3980m), the first high pass of our trip. We then descend into the sacred region of Lahaul and Spiti. According to Tibetan Buddhism, this region is inhabited by enchanted beings, and the landscape shaped by deities, which manifested in the form of mountains, valleys and beautiful waterfalls.
We follow the road along Lahaul valley, towards Sissu, where we will spend the night.
Day 6 - August 17
Sissu - Sarchu
Back on the road, we keep riding up. The landscape starts to change now, gradually becoming dry and arid. We ride across Zanskar mountain range, through Baralacha-La (4900m), and then down towards the mountain desert of Ladakh. The road will change between asphalted stretches and dirt patches, eventually riding through mountain streams that flow strong down the mountain, across the road, due to ice melting in the ridges above us.
We will spend the night in Sarchu, sheltered by comfortable tents. It is important that we ascend slowly and gradually, so to adapt the body to the altitude.
Sarchu - Manali-Leh Highway
Day 7 - August 18
Sarchu - Leh
The most spectacular day on this road, gets better and better as we ride along. After breakfast, we ride towards Pang Valley, through the most impressive canyon in the region. We cross the western edge of Changtang’s Plateau, a region of nomadic tribes, who travel the region for pastures, throughout the year. Tanglang La pass (5328m) makes this the second highest road in the world. For the first time, we experience the first sensations of less oxigen in the air. We approach Leh later in the afternoon, riding through Ladakhi villages and by the first monasteries along the Indus river.
Day 8 - August 19
Rest and acclimatization. It is really important to keep physical effort to the lowest during this day, so that the body adapts to the altitude (3500m) as best as possible, as there is oxygen available in high altitudes. In any case, we just need to look around us, to absorb the majestic beauty of the whole surrounding – the houses, the valley, the Himalayas all around us. You will be free to walk around, as long as you don’t get tired. Leh was an important market town in the Silk Route days, and it stayed like that until the borders with China were closed, in 1950. In the ancient labirinth of streets and alleys of Main Bazaar, one still finds descendants of the old Muslim merchants, who run commercial trading here for centuries.
Day 9 - August 20
Leh - Alchi - Lamayuru
Today we ride West, along the road that connects Ladakh to Kashmir. We will cross a bridge over the Indus river to visit Alchi, one of the oldest monasteries in all India. We will then head towards Lamayuru. The legend says that this valley was once a big lake, and Naropa, a well known Tibetan Yogi once lived here, in a cave, around which a monastery was built. The Budhist monastery was built at the top of a hill, surrounded by a very peculiar landscape of wrinkled slopes. And one of the most mystical sunsets of all our journey.
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
khardung-la - highest road in the world (5603m)
Day 10 - August 21
Silent day. A day for contemplating silence, inspired by the monastic presence of Lamayuru monastery’s sangha (community). Today we stay within. We will visit the monastery during morning prayers. We will go on a mini-trek and do solent practice in a very special setting near by.
Meals: - Breakfast and Dinner
Day 11 - August 22
LAMAYURU - Leh
After morning practice and breakfast, we ride back to Leh and have a relaxed evening. Activities will be set, according to the group.
Day 12 - August 23
LEH - Indus Monasteries
We set off to explore the Indus monasteries of Hemis and Tiksey. We start with Hemis, a Buddhist monastery of the Drukpa Lineage, re-established in 1672 by the Ladakhi king Sengge Namgyal. We then discover the wonders of Thikse Budhist monastery, of the Gelug lineage, considered by many the most impressive among all the monasteries of Ladakh, it’s construction organized in different levels, from the base of the hill, to it’s very top, where the gompas were built. Thiksey has an impressive library and a Matreya Budha temple. We admire the impressive views from the very top, over the Indus Valley.
Back in Leh, we will visit Namgyal Tsemo, the old town monastery, with an amazing view of the city.
Lamayuru - Ladakh
Day 13 - August 24
Leh - Diskit (Nubra Valley)
Today is the day we ride up to the highest motorable road in the world. We will celebrate in Khardung La (5603m) with a tea, before we start riding all the way down towards Nubra Valley. In the ancient times of the Silk Route, caravans crossed these roads, carrying pashmina shawls, spices, opium, saffron and other exotic goods from India. They would head towards Central Asia, to the cities of Yarkand and Kashgar. On their return, they would bring precious gems, tobacco and silk.
We spend the night in the small village of Diskit and we contemplate sunset over the valley, from the site of Buddha Matreya’s statue.
Day 14 - August 25
DISKIT - TurtuK
As the valley extends, between the ranges of Karakorum and Ladakh, we keep riding West, in the direction of Turtuk, the most remote village of this journey. Turtuk is a Balti village. Balti people originate from Tibet and they are mixed with Dardic blood (from the regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan). They settled in Baltistan, the region that we now reach, and extends even more towards the West, although most of it now in Pakistan. Baltis are sufis, a form of Islamic mysticism that emphasizes introspection and spiritual closeness with God. We will have balti food for lunch, which was specially cooked for us by a local family. We visit the barley fields and then ride back again to Diskit where we will spend the night.
Day 15 - August 26
Diskit - Leh
We visit Diskit monastery, and explore the ancient buildings as we walk our way up. From there we contemplate the majestic views over the valley. After lunch, we ride back to Leh.
Diskit - Nubra Valley
Day 16 - August 27
Rest day. We finally get to rest and walk around Leh at our own leisure. Our Journey has reached it’s end. We will get together for one last Ladakhi dinner.
Day 17 - August 28
Time for goodbye. Gonçalo and his team will take you to the airport from where you will fly to Delhi. It’s an epic flight over the Pir Panjal range, and a last goodbye, at least for now, to the Himalayas. From Delhi, you will fly back home.
LEH - LADAKH
Terms and conditions
All participants are required to have a valid Driving Licence for motorcycles, a valid International Driving Licence, and at least one year riding experience. Although 90% of the roads on this journey are paved, driving in India is challenging by itself. Besides that, the road conditions might change quickly along the way, and some bits of the road can easily become even more challenging for someone without any riding experience. Such challenges might include strong rain, light snow and ice (very rare), crossing strong water streams (to be expected), and mud (usual in some stretches).
All participants are required to have a valid travel insurance that covers riding accidents on a rented motorcycle.
Without an International Driving License and the proper travel insurance, the participant will not be allowed to join this program.
Yoga and meditation practices are fit for all practitioners, regardless of their experience or physical condition. They are advanced practices, for perfect beginners.
All participants are responsible for bringing their own riding gear. This includes helmet, boots, gloves, sun glasses, padded motorcycle jacket, pants, and hydration pack. Buying such equipment in India is not advised and can even be dangerous.
Participants are advised not to book any international flights until the minimum number of participants is reached, and the trip is confirmed
Minimum number of participants – 5
Maximum number of participants - 11
Registration is open until the maximum number of participants is reached.
If the minimum number of participants is not reached, the retreat will be canceled and the paid amounts will be fully refunded.
Motorcycle (Royal Enfield Classic 500cc)
Accommodation throughout the journey (16 nights in double room or tent)
Backup vehicle and mechanics
Spare parts (simple mechanics)
Internal flight (Delhi-Chandigarh)
Airport transfers (within the journey dates)
Internal return flight (Leh-Delhi)
Food (around 25€ day)
Personal extras (drinks, sim cards, etc)
Travel Insurance (compulsory)
Riding equipment (compulsory – helmet, boots, gloves, motorcycle jacket and pants)
Motorcycle damage due to reckless riding (off road, exceeding speed limit)
ARE YOU READY FOR THE JOURNEY OF A LIFE-TIME?