Monday, 29 September 2014

Cycling through Clouds in Central Asia: Cycling above and around 4000 Meters All Day; today: 100 km; Total: 963 km

May 20, 2014

For some reason, I didn't sleep well last night. I woke up again and again wishing to see the morning light from the window. The house we stayed at was very warm because the water from the hot spring was the source of the heating system (radiator). All we could do was to open the window.

After having a coffee and some bread, which by no means was enough for the kind of activity we did everyday, we left the house.

We started gaining altitude in a very changeable weather. We were close to 4000 meter, so in a second, there was snow, and a second later, sun.

Close to 4000 meter, the road turned into gravel and very steep. To make it more challenging for us, we were struggling with a very strong head wind too. So... The altitude, the wind, the condition of the road, made it very difficult for us to ride our bikes. From 3900 to 4240 meters, we walked our bikes, which in fact, was more difficult than riding it, but at least when we got dizzy because of the altitude, we would easily stop. So we walked all the last 300 meters.

We thought we would coast down from the top, but we went down to 3800 meters in a very bumpy road with big gravels. I was not enjoying the ride down at all. There was an incredibly strong wind from behind that pushed us forward, but what a waste because I had to break harder to slow down the bike on the bumpy, stony road.

I had seen a lot of pictures of this place on the Internet, and I had been dreaming of biking in this place, but little did I know how tough it would be. No water, no vegetation... Only nothingness and beautiful scenery.

After going down to 3800, we had to climb again to 4115 meters. Then we stayed in this altitude for an hour or so until we went down again to 3800 meters. In general, we were biking at 4000 all day. The only good thing was the tale wind.

It was getting late for camping. We had to decide what to do. We were in a tough situation: either we had to camp in 4000 in an incredible wind, or we had to keep cycling to see if at some point, the road takes a dive down. The more we biked, the more we realized that the road stayed in the same altitude. Finally, at about 6:30, we saw another ugly village, like the one last night, and decided to stay there.

A man invited us to stay in his house for $20  including dinner and breakfast. 


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