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Spring 2013 Newsletter

CLASSIC BIKE ADVENTURES ® - Spring 2013



Namaste, Tashi Delek, Julley, Sawatdee

Ayubovan...


Welcome to our current newsletter!

But first, as always, a personal message from Road Captain Peter:

It’s hard to believe, but there are no Classic Bike tours for me to organize for the next two months.

What happened? We successfully completed the winter season – our Thailand, Laos, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka tours are now history.

And thanks to the Chinese and their extremely unpredictable and restrictive policies on Tibet, we were forced to call off our two grand tours of Tibet in April and May.
That was already in January, and since then I was able to accommodate all of the Tibet riders on our Mustang and Bhutan tours this fall, so everyone’s happy.

Woman on Classic Bike

So we have a long break until our Ladakh season kicks off on 20 June. We’ve once again scheduled five tours, limiting them to 15 bikes each this year.

Four tours are sold out, but there’s still room on the tour from 10 August to 25 August. Quite a few of our fall tours are already fully booked or nearly so.

The rates and dates:
http://www.classic-bike-india.com/rates-dates/dates-compact.html

Our Mustang Pilot Tour in November 2014 is going to be a real breathtaker, and three bikes are still available. Another three bikes are still up for grabs on our regular Magic Nepal Tour in October. The November Bhutan tour is sold out, and Bhutan in October and Thailand in November are almost fully booked.

Next winter, we have another five Goa & South India Classic Bike Adventure cruises on the slate – possibly the last ones. It’s no secret that I’m planning on selling the Casa Tres Amigos in Goa in the foreseeable future (April 2015 at the latest). It remains to be seen whether we’re going to continue our South India tours, or focus on our winter tours in Northern Thailand and Sri Lanka instead. At any rate, I’m going to be moving the company headquarters to Casa Kath Kuni near Manali in the Indian Himalayas in the near future. I’ve been living up here for two years now, and I’ve never felt so relaxed and in the zone in all of my 24 years in India.

We’ve also organized all of our tours from here since last summer.
A lot of friends have already dropped by for a visit, and I want to make sure things stay that way, so I just bought another 3-bedroom cottage nearby.

My freedom of movement was a bit restricted lately on account of a certain tree that I didn’t cut down, and whose wood I didn’t steal.

Here’s my blog post with all the gory details:
http://classicbikeindia.blogspot.in/2012/10/how-tree-that-i-did-not-cut-brought-me.html

They already gave me my passport back in early December, and the court will be hearing the case on 17 May...

We still have quite a few exciting tours ahead this year, and I’m going to be guiding the last Ladakh tour with 14 friends personally. Most likely I’ll also be leading the Bhutan tours in October and Mustang tour in November, if the court has no objections... All of the other tours in South India, Sri Lanka and Thailand will be guided by our seasoned Road Captains, so there’s a lot of good stuff to look forward to!

RC Peter & friends, March 2013

RC Peter & friends, March 2013

RC Peter in Goa, in January 2013

Peter at the Casa Tres Amigos, Goa, in Jan 2013

 

The first India Bike Week was staged in Goa. We were there!

RC Peter & friends, March 2013

 

More pix:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151329123809003.479196.742564002&type=1&l=b4878315cc

There’s also a nice eight-page spread in the current CUSTOM BIKE (the text is in German, but the photos speak for themselves).

Here's the scanned article:
http://picasaweb.google.com/100938041268876897428/IndiaBikeWeek?authuser=0&feat=directlink

We’ve also had a lot of inquiries about our next Sauerland Classic Bike Adventure Party in Germany.
While one would have been due in 2013, we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary next year, so we’re going to put the party off until the summer of 2014.

The date is set and the hall is rented, so put the weekend on your calendar now:

 

30 May - 1 June 2014

25 Years of Classic Bike Adventure Tours in India - reason enough to party harder!

 

The 5th big Sauerland Biker Party at the Muffrika hall in the forest near Arnsberg, Germany

 

Biker games and movies, campfire and BBQ. handmade music, free camping, and good fun with good people.

 

All the best from the Kullu Valley in the Himalayas – here’s to an exciting, adventurous and accident-free 2013 season.


Your Road Captain Peter

In this issue:


Our very special tour tip for 2013 – the second Mustang pilot tour in November



The dates: 3 – 17 November 2013

Last year we were extremely lucky:

Despite terrible road – or actually, track – conditions, the first Mustang pilot tour reached its destination as planned: the remote Kalakandakhi Valley between the soaring 8,000-meter Daulagiri and Annapurna peaks.

This tour is a spectacular new Himalayan biking highlight, but before we add it to our regular program in 2014, we want to try out a new, improved route in 2013.

This tour is only for experienced off-road Himalayan and Bullet bikers, and several days are not very suitable for riding two-up.

That said, there’s always our support jeep.

Three bikes are are still available on my new favorite Himalayan tour in November!
Here’s a link to the best shots of the tour.

For more info on the route, drop me a line at
Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!

The tour price:
€2,690 for bikers, €2,090 for pillion riders, and €550 surcharge for single rooms.

 

 

Mustang Pilot TourMustang Pilot TourMustang Pilot Tour

Mustang Pilot Tour



The story of the Laos Adventures Road Tour

The second pilot tour with with the new route is now history. The riders were satisfied, but not as enthusiastic as they are about our other tours.

After long talks with the group members, I’ve now decided that we won’t be offering the tour any more in the future. While there are a number of reasons, there’s the fact that the tour is quite a bit more expensive than Northern Thailand (costing almost as much as Bhutan!), yet it doesn’t really have more and better things to offer.

If we’re going to do something new, then it has to be at least as good as our existing tours, and in the case of Laos, I have my doubts. After all, I was on the first Laos tour – it was a great experience, but I simply like Northern Thailand better!

So I can’t really recommend and sell this tour as long as we have much better ones in our program that also deliver a lot more bang for your buck.

There are limits to the number of tours we can add to the program, and Laos would be competing with our new Mustang-Nepal tour and our enduro/road tours in Sri Lanka.

One tour must die so that others can survive and thrive, and so it’s thumbs-down for Laos. I’m sure you’ll understand.

Laos Pictures by Berti KampsLaos Pictures by Berti Kamps

Laos Pictures by Berti Kamps

The magical experience of Hinduism: Varanasi – Our new extension program.

Starting in summer 2014, we'll have a new and exclusive extension package for all Ladakh and Nepal tours – an individual stay in Varanasi, the holiest Hindu city on the Ganges. After more than 20 years, Peter visited Varanasi for the first time, an experience that moved him deeply.

He now wants our tour participants have the opportunity to savor this unique city, and do so on their own terms. Following any Himalaya tour, we can organize your flights to Varanasi and back, a stay at the best little palace hotel directly on the Ganges, and optionally a local guide who can show you the city from its magical side. Stay tuned for more info in the next newsletter and on our website.

Here’s a link to Peter’s Varanasi photo album on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151378771909003.1073741825.742564002&type=1&l=deaff60c0d

Peter’s best Varanasi shots on Facebook

Casa Tres Amigos news:

We’re really proud of the fact that www.tripadvisor.de ranked us in fourth place out of more than 500 hotels and guesthouses in Goa.

What really counts, though, is that we all shared in a fantastic season in Goa. Everything fit – from our many terrific guests who quickly became friends, to our relaxed, professional crew, who run the Casa as if they were one big family.

Then there were the seven biker groups and the old friends we welcomed back after many years. Of course, it was also noticeable that Peter spent nearly three months at the Casa.

Our crew:
Ranjita has taken over caring for the guests, and Mita and Pinky support her in the office – a dream team.

The very first genuine biker, masseur and yoga teacher that we’ve met in the past 24 years has really enriched our crew: Anand, the rising star of massage therapists. We were all really impressed with the number of friends he made in his second season at the Casa. After the season, Peter invited him to Casa Kath Kuni and made him his personal yoga trainer for two weeks.

Anand, our new yoga and massage guru at the Casa Tres Amigos

Anand, our new yoga and massage guru at the Casa Tres Amigos, is also a devoted Bullet biker.

 

Pinky and Ranjita dressing Troy for the India Bike Week

Pinky and Ranjita dressing Troy for the India Bike Week

 

Our road crew Chief Mechanic Ram Kathmandu

Many remember Chief Mechanic Ram from Kathmandu from our first six years in Nepal (1998-2005). After a break of seven years, he once again played a key role in the bike shop in Goa and on three tours. Welcome back to the family, Ram-ji!

 

We’ve completely renovated two former crew rooms in our 170-year-old farmhouse and officially converted them to guest rooms. The two new rooms are:
Main house – big room
Good as a double or single room, with a large bathroom, centrally located next to the guest terrace and kitchen.
Main house – Peter’s old room
The coolest room in the old farmhouse, ideal as a single room with a king-size bed and large bathroom – very quiet.

Two new rooms in the Casa Tres Amigos old farmhouse

Two new rooms in the Casa Tres Amigos old farmhouse

 

A spacious, high-ceilinged room with our largest bed, a nice bathroom and air conditioning. It also features a private terrace and separate entrance from the parking lot.

Two new rooms in the Casa Tres Amigos old farmhouse

Big cottage at the Casa Tres Amigos old farmhouse

 

We’ve also installed air conditioning in four stone cottages and the Casa Renata room.

Werner’s India – Germany Overland Tour is now starting in New Delhi!

Werner’s India – Germany Overland Tour is now starting in New Delhi!

Follow the tour live here:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/439517266097271/480808655301465/?ref=notif&notif_t=group_comment_reply

The Overland Tour with nine XT 600s and a 12m Mercedes tour bus is now ready to roll in Delhi.

The next tour will be departing Germany in September. We’ve thoroughly explored the individual stages and ridden the route successfully several times already. This tour is designed for adventurers who are seeking a once-in-a-lifetime experience on the classic overland route.

The next dates are:

Autumn 2013 – mid-September to early November – from Germany to Delhi in six weeks

Spring 2014 – starting April from Delhi to Germany in six weeks

You can optionally extend from Goa to Delhi.

Here’s the completely new website:
http://www.bike-and-bus-to-india.com


Werner’s India – Germany Overland Tour is now starting in New Delhi!

Northern Thailand Roadrunner’s Paradise tours

We just wrapped up our best Thailand season ever, with three regular tours in northern Thailand, two private groups and a Laos pilot tour. And we’re going to keep our pace:

This upcoming winter, we have four Northern Thailand Roadrunner’s Paradise tours lined up – in November, over New Year’s, in January, and one in February. Bikes are still available for all of the tours, and exactly one bike is still free on the November tour.

We now also have our own Kawasaki Versys 650s. We recommend this bike for very tall riders and for touring two-up. The surcharge for the Versys: €200.

This road tour is now in its fourth year and it’s getting better all the time. A tour classic that’s been enjoyed by all, And we’re going to see to it that it stays that way.

Here are the pics of our most recent Northern Thailand Roadrunner’s Paradise tour in January 2013:

Northern Thailand Group, Jan. 2013

Northern Thailand Group, Jan. 2013

 

We were back on the road in Sri Lanka in February. The next tour is scheduled for February 2014. Here’s a link to Tiziana’s best Sri Lanka shots in her Facebook album:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151328879098017.1073741825.691203016&type=1&l=3080608e52

 

Sri Lanka – Tiziana’s 2013 tour Facebook album



 

Here's a funny short film by our Polish biker group with Adrian on the Long Trail South India tour in January 2013:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4k24eV9MPs

Goa and South India with Adrian’s Polish bikers.jpg



 

This just in: the March Magic Nepal tour ended just the other day, and Tiziana’s best-of album is already online:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151360640438017.1073741829.691203016&type=1&l=795ee411be

 

Magic Nepal Tour 2013



 

The Good Karma topic in this newsletter:

Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project

Shanti Bhavan is a boarding school for 240 children from poor and disadvantaged families.

The school’s objective is to give the students a quality education to ensure their independence and prepare them to attend university.

These goals and their realization make the Shanti Bhavan project unique.

The school has 12 classes with 20 children each, and completing the 12th school year entitles them to study at university level. Shanti Bhavan is located about an hour’s drive from the Indian city of Bangalore. Its children, teachers, support staff and volunteers have made numerous friends, among them foreigners who have worked in Bangalore and since returned home. The German Schulprojekt Shanti Bhavan e.V. would like to raise awareness, gain your support and collect donations for the school. The association is led by Hubert Reillard, a longtime friend from Bangalore. I’ve had a close look at the project and really like what I see.

I personally donate €100 a month to this very special school.
http://www.sp-shantibhavan.de



Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project website
http://www.shantibhavanonline.org

 

Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project



 

So, that was the news from the Classic Bike Adventure world – we’ll be back with another newsletter in early summer.

For those of you in the northern hemisphere, we wish you a sunny and relaxed start to the new riding season. Keep the shiny side up!

See you soon, cruising in the South of India, the Himalayas, Thailand, Bhutan, Sri Lanka or just relaxing in Goa...



Peter, Martin, Tiz, Hubert, Willy, Werner and the whole Classic Bike Adventure crew



All text and photos: Copyright by Peters Classic Bike Adventure Tours (P) Ltd. India. The photographers who contributed to this newsletter: Berti Kampf, Tiziana Warmerdam, Peter Paulo Dos Santos and other friends.

...and here’s the link to our current dates and rates!

http://www.classic-bike-india.com/rates-dates/dates-compact.html

Peter’s Casa Kath Kuni Farmhouse in the Himalayas in March 2013

And finally, here are a few current pix of Peter’s Casa Kath Kuni Farmhouse in the Himalayas in March:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151416275104003.1073741832.742564002&type=1&l=e0d6e9cfd0



Life at Peter’s Casa Kath Kuni




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