When Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay finally reached the summit of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953, they achieved what had for centuries been the impossible.
That intrepid pair of trailblazers dared to dream, and so does a motorbike fan with a penchant for going against the grain.
Scotsman Alex Pirie, a former bike mechanic, never let go of his desire to combine his passion for motorcycles with his deep-seated sense of adventure. And so Nomadic Knights was born, and now, Pirie is inviting those with the same drive to join him on a trip like no other – riding to Everest’s base camp on a 500cc Royal Enfield Bullet.
“The ride was very much about doing something different and getting out of my comfort zone,” he tells Time Out. “I thought of one of the most desirable, inhospitable and well-known places on this planet and had the idea that it would be outright challenge to ride a 1950s-style motorcycle to that place, Mount Everest Base Camp.
“I wanted to attract a bunch of like-minded individuals who wanted to get away from mobile phones, social media and the humdrum and banality of everyday life.”
There’s certainly nothing banal about this 14-day, 1,965km-long trip that drives right through the heart of the Himalayas.
With Pirie as your guide, you’ll ride across hundreds of roller coaster-like roads and hairpins, past glaciers and turquoise lakes and into mountain towns steeped in history.
While the main attraction is, of course, Everest itself, Pirie points out there are plenty of highlights besides, including the chance to immerse yourself in new cultures.
And having had an 84-year-old complete “Rode to Everest” in the past, the adventure is open to all ages and all regular bikers, whether riding solo or with a pillion pal.
“People who decide to join this ride will find out a lot about themselves and discover strengths that they never knew they had,” Pirie says. “They will also share incredible experiences and make lifelong friends.”
You bring the leathers, he’ll bring the Steppenwolf (if you know what we mean)…
Dhs20,100 per person (Dhs18,200 pillion). May 14-17 or September 10-13. Book by March 31. www.nomadicknights.com (+91 962 304 8879+91 962 304 8879).
Four trip highlights
Everest base camp
The pinnacle of the entire trip, you’ll hit 17,600ft on Day 11 and the unparalleled views will take your breath away, if the altitude hasn’t already. Riders will have the chance to climb up to the camp again the next day.
An overnight stay at this most reclusive of retreats will leave your spiritually refreshed. Destroyed and left to ruin in the ’70s, it has been lovingly restored to something like its former glory.
Built in the 17th century, this majestic hill-top construction is the former home of the Dalai Lamas. Now a museum and Unesco World Heritage Site, it contains more than a 1,000 rooms – perfect for a game of hide and seek.
As bikers will be visiting both Nepal and Tibet during their adventure, it will give them the perfect opportunity to compare and contrast the nations’ cultural differences. There’ll be plenty of chance to meet the locals, too.