Lake Tso Kar (elevation 4,530 meters), Manali-Leh Highway, Ladakh, Indian Himalayas.
The night before we crossed the highest mountain pass on our bicycle ride through the Himalayas, we stayed close the the shore of Lake Tso Kar (elevation 4,530 meters). We rode unsupported and our panniers were full of necessary equipment, everything from a tent to spare parts to detergent to wash our clothes.
As we made some tea with our fellow bicyclist Steve, a number of jeeps suddenly appeared. A guided tour group of mountain bikers had also chosen this location as night camp. As the bikers rested, a large number of staff made their camp ready. The group even had a chef with some helpers that immediately started to prepare dinner.
While the mountain bikers only had to focus on bicycling, we felt that they missed a lot by their choice of travel. They had to do nothing of the planning; they didn’t have to scrounge for supplies; they had to follow a rigid schedule; they didn’t get to experience how it felt to bike at 5000 meters with 25 kg of supplies; they were dependent on others; they didn’t get chance to feel free. In short, they paid a lot of money to miss some of the best parts of the adventure. We never approached them and they never approached us.
Anyway, after preparing dinner for the mountain bikers, some of the workers played a bit of football on the plain.