India / Himilaya Tour

Discussion in 'Asia' started by alkirk89, May 23, 2012.

  1. alkirk89

    alkirk89 n00b

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    Hey All,

    First post on adv, have been reading alot over the last few days though! Some of the trips look truly amazing.

    An Irish mate of mine & I (sounds like a bad joke...and australian and an irishman get on their motorbikes...)are planning on doing a trip up in NW India, starting from delhi and finishing in Leh, aiming for a JULY 2013 depature. We've both got a fair amount of experience back here in Australia, cant imagine the roads will be similar though!

    We've decided to go with a 'guided' tour group, purely for the fact this is our first proper bike trip, and we'd rather just sit back and enjoy the ride, instead of worrying about accom etc. I understand that this probably isnt what a lot of people on this forum will do, but it seems to be the best way for us to do this now. Once this trip is done, we both plan on doing bigger and more indpendant trips.

    What would be really helpful is your comments on the route provided by this company/ the company itself/comments on weather & any general tips - anything!! I'm really enjoying reading all the current threads about this region, and will continue to do so.

    This is the tour:
    http://indianmotorcycletours.com/itinerary1-spiti-ladakh-motorcycle-tours-india.html

    The route:
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. jumbee

    jumbee Adventurer

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    just for you'r information,
    do you know what is 1600 pound (or euro?) for an Indian 20 day tour?
    a complete rip off!

    india is so cheap, people get there some 800 rupees per month of work (and even less) for 1600 euro (or around 112,000 rupees) you can basically buy a new royal enfield (the casual indian bike) and travel around 20 days with it including fuel, sleep and food!

    so this is india on the other hand, tourists which are unfamiliar with the prices there are paying tons of it to greedy local tourist organizers, it is always recommended not to go to these agencies as you can do a lot on you'r own with much less money.

    that's one thing,

    the other is that the road to leh is not a road which a beginner rider should ride at (at least that how it was ~10 years ago), and especially not to the side valleys (as to 10 years ago again),
    2nd, i wouldn't go with anyone on that road as a passenger (though the one to leh is far better than the one to Srinagar (from leh))
    3rd, if you still want to do it, i'd argue the price, though if you don't mind paying so much, then just go for it and you'd have a great trip.

    4th, why don't you and you'r friend, buy a motorcycle at home, ride it for a year or so (you have a lot of time till you go),
    experience the ride, then after such a long period you could definitely do this trip (a friend did it on an Enfield he bought few month's earlier - first bike ever),
    there are places to sleep and eat on the way, it's no issue, many stops for the trucks which goes there and tourists, no need to worry about that, also in the valleys around there should be no issue with sleeping/eating, you are not the first tourists in that region...

    good luck!
    #2
  3. arn

    arn Been here awhile

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    The EFI RE500 costs close to 150,000, not 115000
    The trip includes airfare, which in July cannot be less than 6-7000 INR, and may go up to as much as 15000.
    It also includes fuel, attendant mechanics and spares, and back up vehicle (do check out the rental for vehicles in that area for 2 weeks!), as well as the cost of transporting all the vehicles back after a one way journey.

    Considering all that + obviously accommodation and 2 meals a day + services of a "babysitter" (tour guide :p), it may not be dirt cheap, but is far from exorbitant.

    PS: I've nothing to do with this tour group, don't know about their services and have not met the operators online or offline.
    #3
  4. jumbee

    jumbee Adventurer

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    the bullet 350 (fairly enough for a single driver) costs between 90k-100k rupees http://www.infibeam.com/bikes/make/royalenfield.html
    for an example, a friend trip to Italy with girlfiriend, including 2 way flights, week on a car - 2K km, hotels, fuel and food,
    for ~2000$ and this is Italy, for one, 2 weeks would be ~2000$ (including flights) and this is Europe, not India...
    they charge here 2000$ per passenger, seems way too high,

    not here to argue alkirk's money of course that is his own issue, just trying to show him other perspective if might,
    yet for India it seems terribly high,
    115K INR or 108K after flights for a 3 week bike trip is tons of money for India,

    lets say just for the example:

    3 meals a day, 150INR for a meal * 21 days ~9500 lets say 10000 rupees,
    1 day hire enfield - exaggerated 1000 rupees - 21000 rupees,
    guide 1 day 150 rupees (high salary) - 3150 - " -
    flight back - 13000 - " -
    car with spares, mechanic, food etc. exaggerated 10000 rupees
    hotels 500INR per night (nice hotel in India) - 11000
    lets not forget this is for 1 person, if another comes then they earn much more...

    we get ~65000 rupees exaggerated price, maybe there are more issues but it seems that the basic is here),
    if they earn so much per one passenger, for the second one they will earn much more.


    maybe i'm wrong but from my pov, they can do it easily in half the price.
    #4
  5. arn

    arn Been here awhile

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    You and I can easily do the trip at less than what you have estimated because we can eat very nutritious, tasty and safe Rs100 meals at roadside eateries, do not need guides (mostly, except while sightseeing) or backup vehicles, mechanics and assorted servants, but when one wants to do a no headache, no planning required trip with everything being taken care of, it's not unreasonable to expect to pay a premium in lieu of all the hard work and time saved.
    #5
  6. jumbee

    jumbee Adventurer

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    o.k, the earlier info and estimation comes from a tour in India (north too) ~10 years ago, maybe the prices went up, but what you'r saying, such as 20k for an ~100km? tow seems totally out of proportion, or either India has become much more expensive in the last years or rather people got terribly greedy!
    food at dhaba's back then was ~50 rupees per meal with a drink (or even less 20-25 rupees for food and another 5-10 for the juice),
    out of curiosity where do you get these prices?
    #6
  7. Chanderjeet

    Chanderjeet IndiYeah !! Super Moderator

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  8. arn

    arn Been here awhile

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    I get these prices because I ride :). 25K km last calendar year, of which no more than 7K km would be my commute.

    As regards the tow, the truck is in Manali, and the charge is for the round trip (AFAIK, it was 26K, not 20, to do the 260 odd km round trip). For almost 120km of hill offroading included in that, I'm not sure it's unreasonable as wear and tear is much higher than normal. How much does a 250km tow (over hills having 120km of poor or marginal road) cost where you stay?

    I don't know where you got your Rs 5 juice even back then, unless it was roadside lime water. Today a meal at a dhaba (just rice, lentils and vegetables) including soft drinks will set you back around 100. A half litre soft drink (actually, 600ml) - anywhere between 25 and 30, depending on how far you are form the nearest town. Non veg -, be prepared to add Rs 50 to that budget. And this is not "hotel" fare.

    Due to some remarkably incompetent "governance" there has been galloping inflation over the last few years.
    #8
  9. jumbee

    jumbee Adventurer

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    the 5 (or 10) rupees per drink was the price of maaza bottle or other drinks back then.
    chai was 1-2 rupees, at workers restaurants you could get a dal plate for 10 rupees or so, it was very cheap,
    over here such a tow would cost probably around 100000-200000 rupees,
    the fuel back then was 25~ rupees per liter and enfield in the 2nd hand tourist market was around 500$.
    #9
  10. arn

    arn Been here awhile

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    That explains it.

    Fuel is now @80/ litre.

    Chai - cutting (1/2 cup) = 4-5, full glass = 8-10

    dal = workers footpath stall, maybe 20 (rice plate), dal fry at a dhaba 25 -30, hotel = 30 up

    Old enfield = still $500, new EFI = 160000 ($1500)


    Prices HAVE gone up. Better up your budget if you come here again :)
    #10
  11. lovish

    lovish Adventurer

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    Enfield for 500$$ ?? 500$= 25000 rs.

    Are you kidding... I don't think any one can get a working bullet for less then 50000 rs which equals to 1000 $$

    For lesser then that you will get a peice of junk that may leave you on the highest roads of the world with a 180 kg paperweight

    And 160000 rs means 3200 $$ not 1500 $... recheck your maths bro ;) :)




    PS : I rounded the rupee doller exchange price at 50 rs = 1 $ though at present its 56 rs = 1 $ but that would change come down soon enough


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    #11
  12. jumbee

    jumbee Adventurer

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    no kidding at all,
    500$ for an Enfiled at Goa flee market, went 7000Km with 1 clutch switch and rear work (outside of the rear bearings cover got ruined a bit, a road mechanic placed a piece of a soda can to fit in where it was shaking - 20 rupees) the bike went 5000 Km approximately afterwards before it was sold at 450$ to a guy in Delhi... :).

    still arn, hotels at the north (a cabin was around 50-100 rupees or so at the small villages, you could find 150 in Manali)
    never heard of 30 rupees, Enfield at the earlier link was ~87,900 - 97,800, the 500 version goes there for ~116,000...
    there is no need apart from that for a 500 on the north ways, maybe on the hi ways,
    2 can go on a 350 as well, the recommendation for the 350 was for a single person trip anyhow if the guys would consider it.

    must say, India was a instant connection, felt like a home, really liked it from almost every aspect, or maybe even from every aspect, even though the trip wasn't always cheerful,
    people there simply understand things differently, either you connect or either you don't,
    very special place, sad it got expensive.
    #12
  13. arn

    arn Been here awhile

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    Yes, it's got "expensive" if that's the word for a $10 hotel room. Most cost more.

    Rs 150 and 200 rooms are still let out by villagers and my personal experience at one such place was extremely good (300 for all 3 meals + stay 3 years back), it's not a good idea to plan as such. And no tour guide operator would plan for such a place, either.


    @lovish: you da math whiz dude! $3000 it is.
    #13
  14. jumbee

    jumbee Adventurer

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    yes, 10$ can get expensive when you have some 5000$ for an entire year trip,
    no need to get arrogant, some of us do not live in india and can jump on a bike for a month or few weeks tour in the north then come back :p.
    #14
  15. alkirk89

    alkirk89 n00b

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    Thanks for your responses, just to clarify though:

    Price: Yep, we are aware of it, in AUD its about 2400. For a 3 week trip, by our standards, this is dirt cheap. You can spend nearly half this on a long weekend in syd/melb by the time you factor in flights/food/accom/activities.

    Passenger: We are definitley NOT doing this as rider+pillion. 1 bike each.

    Experience: We currently have bikes & our motorbike licenses, with a couple years experience each.

    Overall, i think you guys have confirmed what we already knew - it would be cheaper to do it ourselves, without a babysitter :p . That said, we are happy to pay extra so we can enjoy the adventure.

    Really appreciate all your feedback, imagine we will be booking it soon!

    Also, whats everyones opinion on the weather at this time of year? Ive done some reseearch and it seems its just coming into monsoon in the north around when we want to go (early July)?
    #15
  16. arn

    arn Been here awhile

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    By July the monsoon will have reached north India too. However, it's not the unending sheets of rain that you can experience in the South, and the high mountains have an independent weather system anyways. It will rain/snow occasionally, but unless excessive, the roads will be cleared within a few hours.

    Unless you are unlucky, you should not have a problem due to the rain in the plains anyways.
    #16
  17. GurgaonTrails

    GurgaonTrails Adventurer

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    Hey AlKirk.

    You seem to have sparked off a major debate on costing. Hopefully you've got all that info down. So I'll concentrate on your original question. I'll assume the tour is fixed and doesnt allow you variations. Having said that, the only major thing you are missing out is Tso Moriri lake.

    But it's a great route. I am doing the EXACT same route next month. I've been up in the region a few times, so I made this year's plan based on all past expereinces and that is THE route to do. Ofcourse, I live here, so it's self guided.

    The only difference in my ride is that we start riding from Delhi straightaway, but this is just for self-torture in the heat of the plains. And we're doing a few additional section after Leh, some of which you would not be permitted to go to, being foreigners.

    The other thing is the ride plan they have for you is incredibly leisurely. You will have tons of down time, so bring a good book or two. I personally think that's the right way to do it anyway. Wish I could get more time off from work.

    So yeah, good route. Cant be better. And you'll enjoy a magnificient ride, with enough easy riding and enough challenging rides too.

    Check back with me later if you like, I'll be back home at the end of July. Hopefully will put in a ride report too.
    #17
  18. Mattsplat

    Mattsplat n00b

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    Planning on doing the same trip with a friend in 2013 but we will be doing it ourselves.

    Spending a month in India with 3 week bike hire and flights, we are thinking about 2000 euro all in.
    #18
  19. Ridgey

    Ridgey Adventurer

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    We did 3 weeks in August last year. It is relatively straight forward. Easy enough with a lonely planet guide, map and a hire bike. A few tour groups went past (they generally have support vehicle, and precook the better accom available.... And to be fair, they did save my ass when i went down with altitude sickness.

    Everyone does it on Royal Enfields, so we did the same. The trip would be easy on a dirt bike like an xr250 but royal enfields are part of the challenge.... Actually enfields are most of the challenge!

    Just remain flexible and tolerant. The mountain pass from kaza to keylong 'dissapeared' just before we got there in an unseasonal snow storm. Got stuck in a great little town for a few days before turning back and just exploring out towards the manali area. Everyday for a week we asked when will the road be clear... Lots of head nodding and 'yes tomorrow'


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN9B96IA2PI&sns=em
    #19
  20. alkirk89

    alkirk89 n00b

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    been a while - but thanks for the info and opinions.

    All booked & sorted now, 100 days till we fly out.
    #20