Saturday, July 14, 2012

PNG flag flies high in the Himalayas

Is this the highest place on earth that the Papua New Guinea flag has flown? 
On June 18, 2012 Granger Narara, a PNG pilot based in Abu Dhabi, UAE with Etihad Airways, carried the PNG flag on a motorbike to the highest motorable road in the world.  
Narara flies the PNG flag high in the Himalayas

At 18,380 feet, the Khardung La or Khardung Pass in the Ladakh region of northern India and part of the great Himalayan mountain range sits over 3, 500 feet above Mt. Wilhelm.  
The team of nine bike riders and two guides with a support vehicle, driver and two mechanics, rode 1,550km in nine days from New Delhi to Khardung La over some of the most scenic and inhospitable terrain in the world. 
These roads are only open for civilian use for four months of the year from June to September due to the heavy snow. 
They are,  however,  used most of the year by the military to supply their forward bases in Sachun Glacier, which is the scene of an ongoing conflict between Pakistan and India.
"We slept most nights between 10,000ft and 12,000ft and we rode during the day over passes ranging from 14,000ft to 18,000ft, this helped in keeping our bodies acclimatised and prevented high altitude sickness," Narara says.
"Temperatures were +10  to + 15 during the day and went well below freezing at night. 
"The motorbikes used were Indian manufactured Royal Enfield 500’s, with fuel injected single cylinder engines.
" These rugged built motorcycles handled the altitude and off road conditions with ease, much better than the riders did. 
This team is planning more motorbike rides to other parts of the world in the near future with hopefully more Papua New Guinean riders on board and we should see the PNG flag flying in some more exotic places on the planet.

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