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CYCLING IN TIBET

Kagbeni, the gateway to the Upper Dolpo - 2 900 metres above sea level. LDD

CROSSING THE HIMALAYAS

FROM EAST TO WEST ON A MOUNTAIN BIKE

Text°°° SYLVAIN BAZIN Jean-Michel Jorda has been mountain biking in Nepal since 2006. His journey from Kathmandu to the Everest base camp gave rise to an initial documentary entitled Cycling Himalaya. The film was about the sport, but that wasn’t all. To Jean-Michel, the physical challenge of cycling in places that are not designed for bicycles is really a pretext to meet people and discover different cultures along the way. ”People are intrigued by the bicycle and it often sparks off conversation. Cycling is the basic theme of the film but it isn’t the main point of it.”, he says. Following the first expedition, the adventurer with a camera took on a new challenge this year: he left from Kathmandu aiming for the slopes of the Kailash, a sacred mountain in the Buddhist and Hindu religions, on Chinese territory, in Tibet. This ambitious project involved crossing several passes at over 5,000 metres and crossing very poor, isolated regions, especially beyond the Upper Dolpo. Jean-Michel endured several physically and psychologically difficult periods, but had a

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memorable experience: “This trip gave me a really deep feeling of living, existing.” he says. “As the difficulties presented themselves, the trip turned into a pilgrimage. I really felt the inner quest that draws you to a sacred place.” The legendary mountain became to symbolise the point of liberation and a goal to be reached. But it wasn’t difficult all the way: Jean-Michel met plenty of interesting people, full of the humanity that he seeks above all. “I had a problem with my bicycle in Charka, a village in Upper Dolpo. I was about to cross the pass, carrying my bike, when a villager came to meet me. We crossed the pass together, with my bike on his horse’s back”. This emotional encounter and more impressive shots can be found in Jean-Michel’s new documentary, Cycling Tibet, which conveys his feelings during this extraordinary journey. The Cycling Tibet DVD is available on www.imajprod.com

A young girl welcomes Jean-Michel Jorda with a smile.

LDD

Last May, the documentary maker Jean-Michel Jorda left Kathmandu on his mountain bike and headed for Mount Kailash in Tibet, over 1250 km away across the summits of the Himalayas. This revealing journey soon began to look like a pilgrimage.

N° 32 – Autumn 2010  

30 ° degrees, the Swiss magazine of sports and recreation, 10 years of reporting, news, interviews, in 3 languages ​​F / D / E, also avaliab...

N° 32 – Autumn 2010  

30 ° degrees, the Swiss magazine of sports and recreation, 10 years of reporting, news, interviews, in 3 languages ​​F / D / E, also avaliab...

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