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        Newsletter Winter 2014 / 2015

 Newsletter Archives


 

 

 

  
a 080310 CF SthInd II 094
a camel
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a Der Neubau der 2
a Die Wunste lebt im Nubra Valley
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a Hier hilft Manfred bei der Gerste Ernte in Alchi
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a Leher und Schuler der Alchi Schule 2006 mit Peter Volk
a Machismo Bullets on Tour in South India
a Roadcaptain Tiziana in Rajasthan
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© Photo : Tiziana Warmerdam - Model : Sonia Seth   - Location - Baracha La Pass 4.980m ,during our Spiti Tour 2014

 

"Namaste, Tashi Delek, Julley, Sawatdee, Ayubovan, Kuzuzampo,…"

A big hello to all of you, we're back with our current Winter - Newsletter.

All the news about our upcoming pilot tours plus the latest photo-shoots from our many, many motorcycle adventure road trips. 

 

Current affairs:

Summer was a bit slow for us (tourwise), but a fab autumn season turned things round for us. Only two Ladakh tours happened between May and September... but after that things started to happen... 

 

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First a fantastic grand Spiti tour, after that two Nepal tours and finally a Mustang road trip with 24 bikers. But we did not stop there... added were two Bhutan tours plus a Burma pilot tour - quite a busy season for us! 

Upcoming winter get-aways for bikers are five tropical Goa & South India tours, one Thailand tour end of January 2015, and last not least two fully booked Sri Lanka and Vietnam tours. So, actually we can't complain... 

  • On short notice we can offer free bikes for the following tours
  • 14.01. - 28. 01.2015 "South India & Goa Classic" Tour

  • 31.01. - 14.02.2015 "North Thailand" Tour 

  • 25.02. - 11.03.2015 "South India & Goa Longtrail" Tour  - only two bikes left!

  • 08.03. - 22.03. 2015  Magic Nepal - we have reservations from six ladies and two guys,
    Tiziana will be guiding this tour- three bikes left... 

 

For all of those who missed out on the Vietnam tour (2015), we have a confirmed date for the upcoming Vietnam tour:   

31.01. - 16.02.2016. we're open for reservations... 

By the way, there is a fine article posted in our "press room" on our website about a truly inspiring "Goa & South India Tour", written by photo journalist Thorsten Dentges from MOTORRAD magazine, featuring road captain Martin!


This article is available in German only!

 

 www.classic-bike-india.de/presse/presse-suedindien.html

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Infos about the new India VISA-application procedure

The official press release states, "a more easy way to visit  with the electronic visa", falsly called "Visa on Arrival":

"DELHI – Last week, India loosened its electronic visa policies for visitors from 43 nations including Australia, Brazil, Germany, and the U.S.  Although the changes are chiefly aimed at boosting international tourist visits to the country, the new e-visa can also be used for a “casual business” visit and should encourage more businesses to travel to the country.

The new visa is part of an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) Scheme which requires visitors to apply online at least four days before leaving for India.  The visitor can then print a copy of the authorization and take it directly to immigration authorities.

 

Further restrictions include:

  • It is valid for 30 days and can only be obtained twice per year;
  • The ETA will only be accepted at the following international airports: Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thiruvanathapuram, Kochi and Goa.

Additionally, persons must pay a  US $60 fee and upload a passport photo and scan of the their passport."


The online register process is very complicated, it requires some internet savviness, patience and trust in the Indian bureaucracy.

What you need to know about this ETA Visa: It is valid for 30 days and can be obtained twice a year. Your India trip has to happen within 30 days of receiving the Visa! You can only come twice in one year! 

 Link : https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html

This Visa does NOT include: Austria, Denmark, Sweden, France, Britain, Netherland and Belgium. If it will it work at all,  we are very doubtful...

Therfore our recommendation: Get your Visa well in advance and have it stamped into your passport BEFORE you come to India!

  



Ladakh with our new 500cc Bullets.

Next year we'll be going "full throttle" in Ladakh. We are planning four tours. There are still some free bikes on the Overland tour at the end of June and for the tour in August. 

MOTORRAD magazine (German) ran a story about one of our Ladakh tours last summer, written by Jörg Lohse. You can check it out in our website "press room".  "Pressezentrum" read here..

 (again, only in German)

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... plus a photo story in Dutch... :-)

   

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Our Motorcycle Fleet

We have sold the entire fleet of our somehow "aged"  motorcycles. 30 Machismo Bullets have been exchanged for 24 brand-new 500cc Classic Bullets (with carburator), they have been split up to "work the roads" in Ladakh, as well as in Goa, South India, Nepal, Uttarakhand and Bhutan.

 

In the eventuality of increased bike demand we will continue to rent additional bikes from our trusted partner Aslam in New Delhi. We have been renting his bikes for the Bhutan tours in the last two years and we were always satisfied with his services.

 

Like our own mechanics, he and his boys are having the same knack for keeping the bikes in perfect running condition. 

 

 



 The next INDIA - GERMANY OVERLAND TOUR starts in April.

 

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We are going to take the "new northern" route. IMG-20141012-WA0001

Overland tour April 2015 - Werner has all the details on his website:  

"We will do it! The grand overland tour from India, Nepal, then - Tibet - Kyrgyzstan - Uzbekistan - Kazakhstan - Turkmenistan - Russia - Poland - Czechia to Germany.

 

Tour start:  26./27.04.2015 from New Delhi.

 

Werner has been waiting to do this all along. He will guide the tour and be the mechanic as well.

 

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Mountain ridges up to 3500m, barren steppes, deserts, and forests will be encountered en route. We will have a route itinerary, of course - but on this trip one always has to expect the unexpected...

 

Starting from New Delhi we will ride to Kathmandu, after that we're heading for the "Mount Everest Base Camp."  Then "Lahsa", with its holy Buddhist mountain the "Kailash" will be next. Turkmenistan beckons with its "Gateway to Hell..."

 

 

 

Again, we will have our support vehicle with us all the time.  It will hold all necessary extra parts, the luggage basic food stuff and anything else that is too bulky for the bikes.

 

We have 6 Yamahas XT600 and 2 seats in the support vehicle.

 

IMG-20141012-WA0005Bike & Bus to India GmbH will supply  the bikes including the  "Carnet de Passage" and will be taking care of servicing the bikes. Also included are: A tour guide/mechanic, support vehicle, camp kitchen, tents and extra parts.

 

This is what we expect from our participants: Good driving skills, and team spirit. Etappes for each day will be discussed and decided by the entire group. We will also decide together on where to stay overnight. 

 

This won't be one of those "all-inclusive" travel packages... but a real adventure!

 

 

This new routing, will be a challenge and a new experience for each and everybody, guides included. All extra costs such as stamp duty for immigration, necessary paper, fees to be paid at border posts, local tour guides etc, will be paid out by a shared "kitty". 

 

Maximum number of bikes is six. Duration 8 weeks.

 

Tour price with rented bike: 7950,-€,  as passenger in the support vehicle: 6550,-€

More infos: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!

                                   

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Bhutan XXL instead of Sikkim & Bhutan

 

Having organized 25 tours through Bhutan in the last 11 years, we have decided to "pimp up" our program!

Instead of suffering the increasing traffic and permanent road works in Sikkim, which do take the fun out of riding, we'd rather spend our valuable travel time at places that are the most fascinating and the most beautiful, namely...

In the mountains and the capital of Bhutan.

 

We are calling our new tour BHUTAN XXL and it will offer 14 days of pure bliss in Bhutan.

 

Peter himself has been working out the new routing, including all the highlights and plenty of time to relax and savour Bhutan to its fullest...

The tour will start in the "Wild East" of the country, crossing all the mountain passes until reaching the far West with the legendary "Tiger's Nest Monastery" in the Paro Valley. We added three double-nights stays, first in Bhumthang, the so-called Switzerland of Bhutan, where we will be staying at Fritz's place with his Bhutani family in the "Swiss Guest House".

 

In the capital Timphu we will be staying for two nights right in the city center, at a rather stylish 3-star Boutique Hotel, and in the airport-city of Paro we will rest our heads in a renovated castle of a former member of the royal family, the very impressive "Gangtey Palace Hotel", overlooking Paro Valley. Last not least an overnight stay in the enchanted "Black Forrest" in the Pubjika Valley where the black cranes live in their natural habitat... 

 

There are two options at the end of the tour, either you fly back directly from Paro, thus shortening the tour, or add two more days riding the bikes to the western border town of Phuntzoling, from where a taxi can get you to the nearest Indian airport in Bagdora (160km). From there you fly to Delhi in 90 minutes. Once in Delhi we planned a "farewell visit" at the local Enfield flagship store, followed by our traditional Farewell Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. You will relax at the "Country Suites by Carlson"- Hotel. Return flights are at night or the next morning... 

 

Flieghts from New Delhi / India to  Guwahati / Assam and from Bagdogra to  Delhi are included in the price.

 

Now we have planned our new Bhutan XXL trip exactly according to the wishes of our tour guides - to do a "Grand Bhutan Motorcycle Tour". No compromises - India only in taxis and buses... 

 

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The next big Spiti & Sach Pass Tour is happening in September/Oct. 2016  

 

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Three full weeks & seven impressive valleys- The very BEST of all our Himalaya Tours !

 

Kullu - Kinnaur - Sangla - Spiti - Lahaul - Pangri, (including spectacular Sach Pass) - Chamba Valley and "Little Tibet" near Dharamsala, residence of the Dalai Lama. All packed into one single bike tour!

 

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Those of you, having seen Ladakh, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet, still looking for the great adventure? - this ist just the ticket! 

 

It will be a revival of our grand Himalaya Tour in autumn 2011, where we crossed the wildest of all the passes in the Himalayas (Sach Pass), and we did it again in 2014, but this time we will do it the other way round - it just got a whole lot better. 

This tour will be offered to "friends only" and can only be booked directly through us. It is our favourite tour in the Himalayas by far!

 

For the tour start we will be flying to Manali, and the return flight will be from Dharamsala to New Delhi (these flights are already included in the price)

 

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At the end of the tour: a visit to the Royal Enfield flagship store in New Delhi and Farewell Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe...

 

Dates : 18.09. - 09.10.2016 

Price: 2.990 € for bikers, 2.590 € for pillion riders and jeep passengers, 590 € for single room / tent.

Link to Peter's FB Album with 150 of the best pictures of the last Spiti Tour. 

 

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 Mongolia - pilot tours with Royal Enfields

 

Dates & prices for both tours are fixed. Planned are two 14-days tours with 10 bike-days on each tour :

 

Day 1 - Arrival in Ulan Bator:  12.06. or 04.09. 2016

 

Day 14 - Departure from Ulan Bator: 25.06. or 17.09. 2016

 

These are the prices for 2016 :

 

3.950 EUR per biker, double room/tent  

3.350 EUR per pillion, double room/tent 

 

Single rooms / tent only upon availability...

Flights to and from Ulan Bator are not included in the price.

 

A maximum of 8 Royal Enfield 500cc Machismo Bullets will be available, plus one Bullet for the guide and one Bullet as a spare bike. 

 

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No interest in doing Sri Lanka on Enfields? - suits us fine !

 

In our last newsletter we said that we wanted to do our Sri Lanka tours on Royal Enfields from 2016 onwards - and there were no takers... 

 

The regular Sri Lanka tour in Feb 2015 had been sold out rather fast, so we decided to keep things as they were...

 

2016 we will do another tour on 250cc Enduros and street bikes in Sri Lanka. 

 

 


 

Explorer Tour to Uttarakhand 

 

This October we sent our Tiziana for an exploration tour to Uttarakhand. And this turned out to have been a pretty good idea...

 

She has discovered many new routes and hotel resorts, so that we can improve on our planned pilot tour in 2015 in a big way - thanks Tiziana! 

 

Interesting Link: Uttarakhand Pics by Tiziana..  Scouting tour Oct 2014

 

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The Jeep-Road to Lo Mangtang… Mustang is open !!

 

Gruppenbild Nepal Mustanf Tour 2014 (Medium)

 

We will find out about road conditions and wether we can include certain roads in the tours on our "Explorer Tour" next year...  

2016 we most probably will drive to Lo Mangtang, the infamous mountain fortress city in the higher regions of Mustang. This will increase the price a bit, since for "proper Mustang" the "entry fee" for tourists is still 500USD, per person...

 

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We will offer our newly developped Nepal & Lower Mustang Tour to Muktinath twice,, the dates for 2015:  01.11. - 15.11. 2015 (still some bikes left), but for this one  30.10. - 13.11. 2016 all is fully booked.

 

Here the Link to the best pics of the last Mustang-Tour in November 2014, taken by our Road Captain Tiziana

 

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Tibet and Uttarakhand pilot tours 

 

Next year's Tibet and Uttarakhand pilot tours are fully booked and the countdown is running...  

Of course we will report on the success of both tours later next year... 

 

The Tibet-Tour in May offers a slim chance of an additional free bike - so please, if you're interested, let us know asap...

 

 



 

The Spiti group gave a 1.000 € donation to the Nishta Project.

 

On our Spiti tour we visited the Nishtha community centre and hospital in the Kangra valley near Dharamsala for the first time and we were warmly welcomed by "Road Captain" Shankar and his mother, and by the Austrian doctor Barbara Nath - Wiser.

 

After having been given "the grand tour" our group decided on a spontaneous collection and gave 600 €. Peter  rounded this up to 1.000 €, and everybody there was very happy about this generous donation. 

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We have been very impressed by this "down to earth" project. 

 

some impressions from their website : nishtha-hp.org/  and www.facebook.com/nishtha.ngo

 

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GOOD KARMA PROJECT

 

Dear friends, we would like to close this newsletter with a short report on our very own "Good Karma" Project in Naggar in Kullu Valley.

 

Since 30 months we have been supporting this poor family and it all started with this article in the May 2012 newsletter... 

 

 

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A lot has happened in the last two years. Thanks to our monthly contribution we enabled six of the seven children to keep attending school, three are going to a better private school in Naggar. 

We are covering the monthly school fees of 2.000 Rs, taken from the monthly contribution which we recently increased

to 8.000 Rs (100 €)

 

The eldest sister has gotten married about a year ago and is living with her husband's family ca. 50 km away, both are doing well...

 

All pupils are quite good at school, except the smallest boy, who gets private tutoring for free from a neighbor four times a week (ex teacher).

 

We helped the family to by a milk cow, at a cost of 12.000 Rs, 6.000 Rs coming from us the rest is financed by credit which will be repaid by milk deliveries. The cow is giving between 6 to 7 litres of milk per day. The family takes half of it and the rest is beeing sold. 

 

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Last not least we would like to mention our donation of clothes from our Spiti group who had visited the family at their home in September. Nadia & Vinod took some of the money from the donation and went to Manali, taking the whole family with them to buy some warm winter clothes for them. Let the pictures tell their own story!

6 Kids Cloth Shopping

 

 

More about this...  Link to the whole story 

 

Here is the financial report of the Good Karma Charity Project

 

All donations received from Oct. 2012 to Oct.2014.

 


 

peter-newsletter

Well dear friends, bikers or not, this has been the latest from our world of "Classic Bike Adventures" and the "Casa Tres Amigos Goa"...

 

we will be back in Spring bringing you the next newsletter. 

 

Have a romantic winter, the lot of you, lots of snow under your boots and chains on your wheels... 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Your Roadcaptain Peter with Andreas, Armin, Aslam, Go, Hanees, Hubert, Joe, Martin, Raju, Ramesh, Ranjita, Shekar, Sonam, Sonia, Sonu, Sunny, Tiz, Werner, Willy, Yangs , plus the whole Casa Tres Amigos Crew.

 

 

P.S. Actually it was supposed to be kept as a secret, but...

 

I am going to get married !

 

 

Sonia is the chosen one, you'll find her on this title's newsletter modelling... 

 

The marriage will take place in Goa… we will be living together in Goa and in Kullu Valley, and are going on a lot more tours together! 

Our upcoming tours together are Tibet in May and Uttaranchal in October 2015.

 

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India´s common man's wisdom ..

 

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