Top 10 Memorable Moments From Ryan Pyle Tough Rides

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Timothy Thomasson
Script written by Timothy Thomasson.

Ryan Pyle is a Canadian adventurer who has taken his motorcycle around China, India, and Brazil. In the show Tough Rides he documents these crazy journeys, and for this list, we are counting down their Top 10 memorable moments. If you haven't seen the show be sure to check it out on Mojo Travels:

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Top 10 Memorable Moments From Ryan Pyle’s Tough Rides

If you have a craving for adventure, this show’s perfect for you. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our Top 10 Crazy Moments from Ryan Pyle’s Tough Rides.

If you haven't seen the show yet, be sure to get your adventure fix by heading to Mojo Travels to watch all three seasons!

For this list, we’re ranking the craziest, strangest, most fascinating, and most beautiful moments in Tough Rides, which sees Canadian adventurer Ryan Pyle motorcycle across China, India, and Brazil.

#10: Surviving the Rohtang Pass

The Rohtang Pass translates to ‘field of corpses’, and it’s safe to say this isn't the most well designed trail to take a motorcycle on. On the fourth day of the India trip, just outside of the resort town Manali, Ryan and brother Colin arrive at this infamous pass, a narrow, one-way road that straddles mountainous cliffs 13,000 ft above sea level. To make things worse, the brothers attempt the trail in rainy and foggy weather conditions - which creates slippery mud and reduces their visibility. Luckily, when they emerge on the other side, the scenery shifts to a stunning green landscape with blue skies … and most importantly, straight, clear roads!

#9: The Pantanal Lookout

On the last legs of the Brazil adventure, Ryan makes his way to the Pantanal, a wetland region of western Brazil. He gets out of bed before sunrise and heads out to meet with his guide. The two travel along a narrow wetland path towards a lookout. The area boasts an incredibly diverse ecosystem, and we see Ryan and his guide encounter bizarre birds, caiman, and the sounds of howler monkeys. From the lookout, they watch the sunrise over the beautiful, sprawling wetlands. According to Ryan’s guide, in this area alone, there are over 625 species of birds and over 100 species of mammals here.

#8: Tasting Darjeeling Tea

On day 44, our intrepid travellers make their way to West Bengal, after an arduous ride up the east coast of India. Once there, Ryan and Colin head to the Makaibari tea estate - which has been producing the famous Darjeeling Tea since 1859. The tour begins with a beautiful scenic overview of the estate as the brothers watch workers go about the harvesting process. The cream of the crop is their Silver Tips Imperial tea SB[ explaining full moon] It’s India’s most expensive tea, sold for a whopping $939 USD a kilo.

#7: Arriving at the Mt. Everest Base Camp

When both bikes need repairs, the brothers are stranded in Lhasa while they wait for new parts to arrive—creating a big setback in their journey. Finally, however, once they get their bikes back up and running, they’re finally able to make their way to the Mount Everest Base camp. Upon arrival, the brothers are greeted with a picturesque view of the beautiful mountain and the rocky barren terrain that surrounds it. Although they spend only a short time here, this moment marks a major milestone in the trip, coming almost 7,800 miles from Shanghai and overcoming many tribulations along the way.

#6: The Favela Tour

To kick off his Brazil adventure, Ryan soaks up the sun in Rio De Janeiro, before deciding to see the other side of the city. His tour of Rio’s infamous favelas starts on a cable car, where he and his guide witness a gun fight on the streets below - not the most promising welcome before the tour begins. However, once on foot, we see the favela’s incredible makeshift architectural structures up close, as the pair weaves through the narrow, densely populated streets and alleyways. Although the favelas have a dangerous reputation, Ryan receives a warm welcome from the people there as the tour is concluded with a cold beer at a local bar.

#5: Karni Mata Temple

This temple is nicknamed the ‘Rat Temple’ … and for good reason.. On the 10th day into the India trip Ryan and Colin visit this odd place of worship in Rajasthan - the home of over 25,000 rats. The strangest part is the fact that the rats aren't thought of as pests, but instead are revered. It’s believed that the rats are the reincarnations of Karni Mata’s male descendants and followers, and as a result, visitors tend to get very, very ‘close’. This is definitely one of the more bizarre and unsettling experiences in Tough Rides, and it doesn't take long for both to call it quits, and get the hell out of there.

#4: Touring Xinjiang

The landscape that the brothers ride through in the western Xinjiang province of China might be stark and barren, but the towns they visit are anything but. The first stop is a night market in Kuqa, where the town’s ethnic and cultural diversity is on full display. They continue along the ancient Silk Road to the city of Kashgar, where the bikes are fixed by an extremely welcoming group of locals. The city is ancient, having been founded in 76 BCE, and has maintained many of its original structures and homes throughout its lifespan - making the experience the closest thing to time travel by motorbike.

#3: Spending a Night in the Amazon

After leaving the port city of Manaus, Ryan heads deep into the Amazon where he’s signed up for an overnight stay in the jungle. He’s quick to meet his guide and then it’s off for another crazy adventure. The trip begins with the duo using a special type of ant as an insect repellent, squishing them all over their hands and bodies. As they move through the forest they encounter a jaguar claw mark. Their hike culminates in a climb through the treetops for a spectacular view of the over the canopy of the amazon jungle, before heading down to build camp and sip on a homemade preventive measure against malaria.

#2: Guilin and the Li River

After a few major setbacks, including Colin’s slip off the side of the road, the brothers find themselves in one of the most beautiful places of their China trip. Arriving in the city of Guilin, they embark on a three hour boat trip down the Li river. The river bends between foggy karst mountains and lush green terrain. The brothers encounter wildlife, as well as people fishing, swimming, and going about their daily lives. We can really see China’s geographical diversity here, especially after witnessing the contrasting terrain of the Gobi Desert and the snowy peaks of Tibet. This is easily one of the most beautiful moments in ‘Tough Rides’.

#1: Visiting the Vivekananda Mission Ashram Hospital & School

After a long journey through the chaotic and disorganized streets of West Bengal, Ryan and Colin arrive at the Vivekananda Mission Asram. Run by doctors, nurses, and teachers, this sanctuary of order and cleanliness takes in thousands of patients and students yearly, performing cataract surgeries for those in need and teaching useful skills to the blind. Donations and revenue from wealthy patients allow the less fortunate to get their operations done free of charge. There’s a remarkable level of organization and efficiency on display as we see head surgeon Dr. Mazumder quickly move from patient to patient. It’s an affecting experience in a trip full of moving moments.