The first leg of the Kirkbys' 13,000-mile journey — from their home in British Columbia to India — involves paddling canoes, riding a train and taking a container ship to South Korea. Storms, life vests and a run-in with Russians create challenges.
The second leg of the Kirkbys' 13,000-mile journey — from their home in British Columbia to India — begins in Busan, South Korea, and involves taking a bullet train, sailing the Yellow Sea and sprinting to Beijing. Moth larvae and bubbles add to the fun.
The third leg of the Kirkbys' 13,000-mile journey — from their home in British Columbia to India — starts in Beijing, where they dine on Peking duck and walk along the Great Wall. Tibetan permits and Taj's health are up in the air.
The fourth leg of the Kirkbys' 13,000-mile journey from British Columbia to India continues in China and includes a 27-hour train ride, Mount Everest and meditation. They must race to reach the Tibetan border before their visas expire.
The fifth leg of the Kirkbys' 13,000-mile journey from British Columbia to India takes them to Nepal. They get to touch a Hindi goddess, bargain for presents and ride elephants. Chocolate cake and tigers create a birthday surprise.
The sixth leg of the Kirkbys' 13,000-mile journey from British Columbia to India involves scorching heat on the Ganges River, sweet treats, snake charmers and the burning ghats. They race to make a train to the Taj Mahal.
The seventh leg of the Kirkbys' 13,000-mile journey from British Columbia to India begins at the Taj Mahal and takes them to a 5-star hotel, a Bollywood dance class, a spice market and a rock- and water-filled adventure park.
Adventurer, guide and photojournalist Bruce Kirkby is taking his entire family on a 13,000 mile journey from their home in British Colombia to a remote monastery in the Himalaya, all without taking a single plane. They face 600 challenging miles as they move into the India Himalaya. Departing Chandigarh, India, the family boards a narrow gauge train, also known as a 'toy' train, making its way up the foothills of the Himalaya towards the picturesque mountain town of Shimla. In Shimla, the family visits the Jakhu Temple, affectionately known as the Monkey Temple. The town holds a special place in Kirkby family history-Bruce's grandfather was stationed there during World War 2. Bruce schedules a meeting with the remaining members of India's Royal Family, in hopes that they can share some insight into his grandfather's time here more than 60 years ago. While in Shimla, Taj (3) becomes sick and Bruce and Christine have no choice but to call a local doctor. With only days until their trek to Ladakh, Taj's health is their number one priority. A dose of antibiotics and he's back and raring to go. From Shimla, the family drives 8 hours to Manali, the last sizable town they will visit on their journey. The drive takes them along twisting and turning Himalayan roads, susceptible to rock and landslides, whose aftermath they witness firsthand. In Manali, the Kirkby's meet their guide and pick up supplies for the final leg of their journey. They camp at Palamo, a remote basecamp in the Himalayas, and the trailhead for their 10-day trek. Bodi enjoys a spicy paneer for the first time. They're 12,900 miles from home. 100 miles to go.
Adventurer, guide and photojournalist Bruce Kirkby is taking his entire family on a 13,000 mile journey from their home in British Colombia to a remote monastery in the Himalaya, all without taking a single plane. After 88 days, 15 modes of transportation and 12,900 miles, the Kirkby family is just 100 miles from their final destination-Karsha Gompa, a cliff-side monastery in Ladakh. They will trek the last 100 miles through a rugged and wild Himalayan landscape, in a part of the world that has hardly been touched. The trail takes them on an ancient trading route that is slowly being turned into a road by the Indian government. Once complete, it will connect Ladakh with the modern world. The family hikes to the Shingo La Pass, at an elevation of 16,700 feet. After a little convincing, Bodi decides to ride on a pony for the remainder of the trek, something very outside of his comfort zone. They ford the Kargyak River, wading through frigid waters, while also making their way down narrow paths with hundred feet drop-offs. They stop at a small village where Bodi and Taj play with the local children and offer them notebooks and pens. Fully expecting to trek all the way to the monastery, the family is surprised to learn that road has already been built for the last 20 miles. The change that they have been rushing to beat has already arrived. A short taxi ride takes them to the monastery where they will live for the next three months. They are greeted by Lama Wangyal, where the boys each take his hand, something neither would have done at the beginning of the journey. The Lama welcomes the family into his self-built home and the happy and exhausted family settle into one room of his small low-ceilinged abode. They're 13,000 miles from home. 0 miles to go.