I woke to blue skies with the odd ‘Simpsons Cloud’, I walked out onto the roof terrace and was in awe at the beauty of the snow topped mountains around me. There was music in the distance playing that I assume was Tibetan, how wonderful.
Heiko and I set off to ride the highest road in the world which peaks at Khardung La, all references state it’s 5,600 metres high.
The ride wasn’t far, only 40 km but we had to climb about 2,000 metres. The journey was amazing with beautiful views and initially good road, the last few kilometres were dust and stone tracks where repairs are on going to remove the landslide rocks. I had extra clothing on which was needed as 1 km from the peak a waterfall had frozen.
I was concerned about my bike and myself at altitude but everything was ok.
When we reached the top it was a great feeling, I’ve ridden my bike from England to the top if the highest road in the world in Ladakh, India.
My GPS had the altitude at 5380 metres so who knows exactly how high I was?
Heiko and I had a crazy plan. Heiko has been a tattooist for 25 years and his adventure around the world on his motorbike is about following ‘The Ink Trail’. His bike has all the tools of his trade and he powers from his bike. So, we decided Heiko would tattoo me up here, we believe it is highest tattoo ever done – a world record?
The sign at the top said ‘don’t stay at this height for more than 20 – 25 minutes as it’s dangerous to your health’, opp’s, we stayed for 45 minutes as Heiko had to set up the tattoo workplace (his bike seat with kitchen roll) and get everything ready, then tattoo me and after we did the obligatory photos proving we really got there.
The tattoo went well and I wasn’t affected by the altitude even though I was 4 weeks ago when I was at the Pakistan / China border at 4,700 metres. The ride down wasn’t as easy as I was very tired and had to stop to rest, when I was back at the hotel mid afternoon I had to sleep.
Another amazing experience.