Die ses mans kan nie hul borrelende geesdrif in toom hou nie.
Hulle maak grappe en lag uitbundig oor wat vir hulle wag, maar daar is ’n gelaaide atmosfeer wat net onder die oppervlakte broei.
Dié kleurvolle karakters vlieg Vrydag na Delhi, en vandaar gaan hulle noord – op en oor die Himalayas!
Met hul Royal Enfield-motorfietse gaan hulle oor een van die hoogste passe in die wêreld ry.
Vreemde plekke soos Jammu, Kashmir en Ladakh is deel van hul avontuur, ook minder vreemde konsepte soos bibberasies, “Delhi belly” en rotsstortings. Uiteindelik sal elkeen hopelik ’n rit beleef wat hul lewe sal verryk.
Dit was Fanie Swanepoel se idee. “Ek wou al lankal so ’n trip doen. Noudat my kinders groot genoeg is, het ek begin kyk na ’n paar moontlikhede. Die gebied tussen Indië, Pakistan en Nepal en China is een van die hoogste in die wêreld, so toe soek ek mense wat sal belangstel om saam te gaan.”
’n Paar mense het ingestem en vinnig weer onttrek, maar op die ou einde het vyf ander avontuurlustiges hulle laat ompraat deur Fanie se sales pitch.
Hy borduur voort: “Ons land in Delhi en dan gaan ons tien ure in ’n beknopte taxi sit tot in Shimla. Ons huur die motorfietse en kry dit daar. Dan sal ons om die groter Himalaya Nasionale Park ry – dis die rofste area – elke twee ure is daar ’n rotsstorting! Dan kom ons terug en sluit aan by die bekende Leh-Manali-hoofweg. Dis waar al daai karre afval van die pad af! Dan doen ons Leh en dan Khardung La. Dit is 17 582 voet hoog!”
As dít Swanepoel se sales pitch was, dan is dit ’n unieke groep mans wat hierdie gevaarlike taak gaan aanpak.
Daar is ’n paar ander passe wat Fanie noem, maar die Indiese name is te moeilik om te spel.
Fanie moes ’n jaar beplan het om dié droom van hom te bewaarheid.
“Dit sal gevaarlik wees, maar ons dink nie eintlik daaraan nie,” probeer hy oortuigend sê.
“As ons aankom in Delhi sal dit omtrent 42 grade wees… en dan sal die temperatuur teen ’n enorme spoed val. Dit sal dan yskoud word. Ons sal by die plaaslike mense slaap in herbergies en so aan. Twee plaaslike ouens gaan ons toergidse wees. Ons is so senuweeagtig, die ouens is bang hoor!” lag hy.
. Hou TygerBurger dop vir nuus oor hul avontuur wanneer hulle oor twee weke terugkeer.

***DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE AND PHOTO WERE PUBLISHED IN TYGERBURGER, A CAPE TOWN BASED MEDIA24 COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER. NEITHER MAY BE DUPLICATED WITHOUT ACCREDITING THE SOURCE – TYGERBURGER, MEDIA24.***

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Bikers conquer the mighty Himalayas

After a wild two-wheeled expedition at the top of the world, the six adventurers have returned.
Their newfound respect for flat terrain knows no bounds, yet the peaks of the Himalayas still call out to them.
“Hey you!” it seems to shout. “You never thought it would be this difficult, eh?”
The six (comparatively) tiny, yet courageous men thought it might be a good idea to traverse one of the highest mountain passes in the world on Royal Enfield motorbikes.
They arrived back in South Africa a couple of weeks ago with enough dramatic material for a nine-hour documentary.
Since they came back, all of them have done some serious reflection on what they have accomplished and one would wager that none of them has eaten any curry.
Fanie Swanepoel from Welgemoed, Adrian Holmes from Bothasig, Dale Lewis and Manuel Maragellis from Melkbosstrand as well as Peter Boardman and Gavin Jones from the southern suburbs all “came, saw and conquered”.
They survived the stifling heat of New Delhi, the mad bus trip to the north, rockslides and avalanches, altitude sickness and Delhi-belly.
The trip will undoubtedly live long in their memories (partly thanks to hundreds of gigs worth of digital media) and snaking through the snow-covered mountains on disconcertingly narrow gravel roads won’t be hard to remember any way.
Fanie tries to explain the ineffable: “On many occasions I would round yet another blind turn on the road and see the others just staring at something with mouths agape. When I stop and look then my jaw would drop as well. You are in a brochure the whole time! The sights are simply indescribable.”
On the one side of the road there would be a straight drop for thousands of feet and on the other side the rest of the mountain would dwarf them entirely.
After a few minutes of trying to come to terms with the overwhelming sight they would get back onto their trusty motorcycles (much to the protestation of their backsides) and brave the road yet again. Imagine spending a minimum of five hours a day on terrible roads! They drove 2 000 kilometres in 14 days!
At night the Old Brown Sherry and curry kept them warm and in the day their copious amounts of weather-defying clothing (and curry) did the trick. Suffice to say they ate lots of curry. Well, everyone apart from Adrian.
He survived on Lays chips after a “hectic bout of Delhi-belly”.
Mishaps aside, the trip was blessed. No one was involved in a noteworthy accident, no avalanche buried them in snow or rocks and no truck squeezed any off the road (plenty of close calls, of course).
Even the mechanical failures were few and far between.
The highlight in a trip of highlights was when the group was at the Buddhist temple in Leh – a town very high up in the mountains.
Fanie concludes: “We were standing there, surrounded by the Leh valley, and saw the sun go down on the one side and the full moon rising on the other. It was magical! Spiritual! Unforgettable…”
. Visit http://www.tygerburger.co.za to see some of the spectacular photos and amazing videos of their trip.

***DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE AND PHOTO WERE PUBLISHED IN TYGERBURGER, A CAPE TOWN BASED MEDIA24 COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER. NEITHER MAY BE DUPLICATED WITHOUT ACCREDITING THE SOURCE – TYGERBURGER, MEDIA24.***

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