Friday, 26 December 2014

Cycling through Clouds in Central Asia: Tuctugul to near the Pass in Kyrgyzstan; Climbing all Day; Today: 62 km; Total: 1864 km

June 4, 2014

I slept in the balcony of our dirty room last night. And as I had expected, the crows woke me up at dawn. I tried to go back to sleep, but they wouldn't let me. 

We left the hotel at 6:30, and found a good spot to cook omelet 10 km outside "crow" town. Then, we rode along a beautiful river up, from 1000 meters to 2760 through yurts with horses around them. There were some nomads selling horse milk on the side of the road.

At about 2 pm, I got so hungry that I had to stop and eat or I would pass out. I stopped at a nomad's stand, and had some bread and horse milk. It tasted like yoghurt.

On our way, a motorcyclist from Chek Republic stopped to have a chat with us. The poor guy had a very unfortunate trip until then. He just was happy that he was alive and going home. On my earlier posts, I had mentioned that we were not supposed to be on this road; we had wanted to go from another road toward Bishkek. Well, this motorcyclist, had taken that road from Jalal Abad, but half way there, he faced some really bad road and flood that he had to return to the road we are taking now, M41. He had had a near-death experience in the flood. He lost his camera when he had been up to his chest in flooded water on the road. He also said that he had not been allowed to Khorough and Pamir due to some clashes between the Police and drug traffickers--another reason why we have been so lucky so far. Had we started our trip one or two days earlier than we did, we might have had a nightmare. Or had we not lost our way to Bishkek, we might have had to deal with a flood. Every cloud has a silver lining. Having said that, I still wish we had taken our original route and dealt with the challenges.

At 4:30, after climbing all day, we found a picturesque camping spot in 2760 meters, by a creek. The ground was carpeted by colorful flowers. I bathed in the freezing creek and hiked up the mountain for half hour in search of mountain vegetables or herbs because we had some pasta and nothing else for sauce. I came back empty handed, and we ended up eating Pamir  pasta, which tasted like plastic, with some dried yoghurt (kashk)! Who would eat pasta with dried yoghurt? I guess only hungry cyclist in 2750 meters far away from a shop--us.

Tomorrow, hopefully, we will go over both passes and camp on the other side of the passes.  

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