The Himalayas by less conventional means
The Himalayas are on many traveller’s bucket lists, but if you’ve only got a week or two off work it’s not easy to ‘squeeze them in’… until now that is.
You can fly-ride with an Enfield, but The Adventurists have chosen the less conventional means of getting over 5,000-metre mountain passes; rickshaws. The Rickshaw Run Himalaya is now in its second year and looks to offer a week-long Himalayan experience like no other.
Starting in Leh, a high-desert city in northern India, the Run follows the famous Leh-Manali Highway and Spiti Valley route to finish around 650 miles later in the foothills of Shimla. ‘Highway’ is a very loose term for the route they follow, which is only open for four months of the year and winds its way up and over three huge passes including the Tanglang La pass, at a dizzying height of 5,328 meters.
What the route lacks in tarmac it more than makes up for in culture and incredible vistas. Thousand-year-old Buddhist monasteries sit among some of the world’s tallest peaks and the remote and beautiful Spiti Valley is one of the last haunts of the snow leopard.
The area is inhabited by semi-nomadic people who live in yurt-style tented communities and, once they’ve stopped laughing at the fact you’re in a rickshaw, are incredibly welcoming and hospitable.
Whilst there are sporadic small guesthouses along the route it’s more than likely that, after a warming cup of chai and a bowl of noodle soup, you’ll be invited to spend the night hunkered under a sheepskin for a truly authentic Himalayan experience.
With so much to take in, you won’t want to rush the journey, not least because you’ll need time to acclimatize before heading up to 5,000 meters (safety advice is given before you set off), but you’ll not need to argue with your boss about getting a month of work either.
The Rickshaw Run Himalaya happens from June 21st – 29th, starting in Leh and finishing in Shimla, and then again in September 6th – 14th in reverse. It’s £2,095 per Rickshaw, which is split between teams of either two or three. So per person it could as little as £699 per person for a team of three or £1,048 for a team of two.
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