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Himalayas trip with Royal Enfield

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by vicstraveling, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. vicstraveling

    vicstraveling Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    United States
    Hey adv guys and gals -

    My name is Victor and I’ll be driving up to the Himalayas in India... with my Royal Enfield Continental GT 535.

    CEC59B42-1859-430F-AC55-4C24696EBCB4.jpeg

    I started in Delhi a few days ago, and am currently sitting in Chandigarh (day 3) while a storm passes by. Tomorrow I’ll drive northeast to Shimla. On my bucket list is Spiti Valley, Manali, and of course Leh. This will be a trip lasting a bit less than 3 weeks.

    Background on me: Last year, I quit the corporate life to take a break and go traveling. In a few weeks it’ll be my one year anniversary. I started in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia (no bike), followed by the balkans and Eastern Europe in summer/fall 2018 with a bike I bought in Slovenia - a 1999 CB500 <3.

    And after traveling Thailand and Myanmar by train and bus the last few months, I made sure I got a bike here in India to travel around. So pumped to start this adventure and share it with you guys. Talk soon.
    #1
  2. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique aka El Gato Loco

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,460
    Location:
    Niagara, Canada
    Vic. Best wishes brother! You have an amazing experience ahead of you. I rode 9 months around India on a 500 Bullet a couple years back. Ummm......with all due respect....why a Continental? I cannot think of an Indian made bike that is less suited for the roads you will encounter. Could you enlighten us why you chose this bike?

    Ps. For those who are not familiar with this bike the Continental is Enfields version of a cafe racer
    #2
  3. JoeBiker25

    JoeBiker25 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    201
    Location:
    Gilroy, CA
    Good luck with your adventure!!!
    #3
    vicstraveling likes this.
  4. grelcar

    grelcar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    521
    Location:
    SE VA headed to SE PA
    Living a dream!
    #4
    vicstraveling likes this.
  5. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,167
    Location:
    Central Minn.
    Welcome, Vic.

    Ride what ya brung, bro.
    Give it hell, have a good time and bring back pictures :clap
    #5
    vicstraveling likes this.
  6. Balanda

    Balanda Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    347
    Location:
    Katherine, Australia
    I’m in. Looking forward to hearing how your trip goes. Nice looking bike btw.
    #6
    vicstraveling likes this.
  7. vicstraveling

    vicstraveling Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    United States
    9 months! Wow must’ve been an amazing experience. I only have two months and it’s wayyy too short.

    Why the continental? Have you looked at the sex appeal on this thing?

    Apart from the looks, I found it easier to maneuver than the bullet or classic 350, they’re like driving tanks. Plus, the GT was more affordable. I couldn’t find a good second hand Himalayan at the time. Now, would I get the continental again? Probably not. Am I having a BLAST with it? Hell yea.
    #7
    Balanda likes this.
  8. vicstraveling

    vicstraveling Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    United States
    Day 4 started with a stop in Decathlon to buy a warm sleeping bag. I can’t wait to camp in Leh and it’s revered lake nearby.

    2D3ED036-4BBF-47E8-BDFF-56E6C9D88DD3.jpeg

    The 4 hour ride from Chandigarh to Shimla became 7 hours, as I started hearing funny noises on the bike. Mechanic #1 tighten the chain, noise gone. 20 mins later I hear an uglier noise. Mechanic #2 tells me it’s a sound coming from inside the engine and suggests I take it to the Royal Enfield shop 3 kms away. Could my journey up to the Himalayas be in jeopardy so soon? I couldn’t believe it.

    All anxieties were put to rest at the RE shop. They worked their magic, and after 45 mins they fixed my left clutch and chain (which was too tight). Boom. Sound gone. They assured me the engine was A ok.

    With a bike ready to go, two chai (tea), and only paying 118 rupees for the work (~ $1.75) - I felt like a lucky man! Back on the road to Shimla.

    B47D78B8-A2F2-4CB9-937A-32B14B4768BC.jpeg

    The turns and views driving up these hills and mountains are exhilarating, especially when factoring the local driving style. But once it started pouring I had to pull over and have a cup of chai complimentary of the friendly locals who let me park my bike under their roof. The sunset was an added bonus.

    E7ABC7C1-B192-42EE-B57D-98E80C0AFB81.jpeg

    AA09757A-3100-4E12-A8BA-82C8CC963E7B.jpeg

    2 hours later riding through some very dark, dense, and wet roads highways... I made it to Shimla!

    AA6171AE-D4A3-447C-9EDE-C6C6CA3DFC33.jpeg

    The serenity of this place is unreal. After unpacking and checking into the guesthouse I took a moment to appreciate the silence and the views of this place at night. Stunning.

    And after a day of ups and downs (get it?), the perfect ending to the night was a great tasting paneer dish :) Day 4 is a wrap.

    9ED38040-CC88-46B0-AD49-6D870EA9480A.jpeg

    Attached Files:

    #8
  9. sledrydr

    sledrydr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    217
    Location:
    Iowa
    Keep up the good work! Its appreciated. Pics are always good. Are you enjoying the food?
    #9
  10. Suqsuda

    Suqsuda Secret Sharer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    171
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Best of luck on your trip. I did a similar route a couple years ago: Ambala-Shimla-Sarahan-Kalpa-Nako-Spiti Valley-Tandi-Sarchu-Leh, approx. 2 weeks, although a supported trip, not solo. I had a similar ride up to Shimla as you did, caught in monsoon rains and ran out of daylight. Looking forward to your pics and adventure.
    #10
    vicstraveling likes this.
  11. Dan Alexander

    Dan Alexander still alive and well

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    9,129
    Location:
    Montreal
    :thumb take lots of pics
    #11
    vicstraveling likes this.
  12. vicstraveling

    vicstraveling Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    United States
    Day 4 started with a stop in Decathlon to buy a warm sleeping bag. I can’t wait to camp in Leh and it’s revered lake nearby.

    View attachment 1639055

    The 4 hour ride from Chandigarh to Shimla became 7 hours, as I started hearing funny noises on the bike. Mechanic #1 tighten the chain, noise gone. 20 mins later I hear an uglier noise. Mechanic #2 tells me it’s a sound coming from inside the engine and suggests I take it to the Royal Enfield shop 3 kms away. Could my journey up to the Himalayas be in jeopardy so soon? I couldn’t believe it.

    All anxieties were put to rest at the RE shop. They worked their magic, and after 45 mins they fixed my left clutch and chain (which was too tight). Boom. Sound gone. They assured me the engine was A ok.

    With a bike ready to go, two chai (tea), and only paying 118 rupees for the work (~ $1.75) - I felt like a lucky man! Back on the road to Shimla.

    View attachment 1639056

    The turns and views driving up these hills and mountains are exhilarating, especially when factoring the local driving style. But once it started pouring I had to pull over and have a cup of chai complimentary of the friendly locals who let me park my bike under their roof. The sunset was an added bonus.

    View attachment 1639063

    View attachment 1639058

    2 hours later riding through some very dark, dense, and wet roads highways... I made it to Shimla!

    View attachment 1639077


    The serenity of this place is unreal. After unpacking and checking into the guesthouse I took a moment to appreciate the silence and the views of this place at night. Stunning.

    And after a day of ups and downs (get it?), the perfect ending to the night was a great tasting paneer dish :) Day 4 is a wrap.


    Street food is the best
    #12
  13. vicstraveling

    vicstraveling Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    United States
    Heading to Spiti in the next day or so :) and hoping Leh opens up before my visa expires. Sounds like you did a lot in only 2 weeks!
    #13
  14. vicstraveling

    vicstraveling Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    United States
    Today is day 7 and I’m currently waiting out a storm on the side of a dairy shop in Rattanpur. I’m having myself the 4 magic Cs:

    Chai
    Cheese
    Crackers
    Coke

    Earlier today I made it to Hatu Peak, the 2nd highest peak in HP India at 3,400 meters high. The ride up was not for the faint of heart as it’s very narrow and steep roads covered in rocks, snow, mud, and oncoming traffic I think I peed my pants twice. None the less, it was really fun and the views at the top were good. 36C6EEB2-E035-4AC6-A328-3513754B3799.jpeg 2ADCF245-16ED-47F5-BD28-110997531225.jpeg

    After leaving Narkanda this morning, my plan was to reach Kalpa by sunset as I heard it’s worth checking out. It’ll have to wait for next time.

    As for the last few days... I spent my time in Shimla and Kufri, before arriving in Narkanda (Hatu) last night.

    Here are pics of my ride from Shimla to Kufri, which one do you like better - the Continental or the Yak?

    AFDAFE17-134B-47EF-9079-0F504E2F5E21.jpeg
    B5C64E4E-7F3F-4BBC-911D-241A02080E36.jpeg

    Ooo and if you’re in Shimla go to Jakhu Hill at sunrise, it’s a magical place with A LOT of monkeys. Plus the Hanuman statue is said to be standing on the highest elevation in the world.

    B554C507-79B7-4285-99AE-D987CE3972F5.jpeg
    D0906A1B-A663-48D3-BBF1-B009108D8798.jpeg


    Looks like the skies are clearing up. Kalpa is waiting, until next time

    Attached Files:

    #14
    dave6253 likes this.