Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Cycling through Clouds in Central Asia: Getting Lost; Today: 70 km; Total: 4380 km

July 19, 2014

It rained all night. After having instant noodle and coffee in cold, we packed up and left the camp. I was shivering with cold and my hands were frozen. We had a 3000-meter pass ahead. Close to the pass, asphalt finished and we were riding on a dirt road.

The road was one of the worst I had ever ridden on. First, there was so much loose gravel and sand on the road that it was difficult to stay on the bike; second, some parts were so bumpy that we had no choice but to walk the bike; and worst, there were a lot of passing trucks cousing a lot of dust in the air. For every passing truck, we had to stop, close our eyes and hold our breath for a while. This was nonstop. Several times, we decided to bike off the road where we had to deal with very loose sand.

Early afternoon, there was a sudden shift in the weather to hail with very strong head wind. We took shelter in one of the tunnels under the road. It was so small that we had to crawl to get in. It took one hour for the bad weather to pass us, but the wind was still there.

Thinking that the town, Moste, should be very close, maybe 10 km, we kept riding-- fighting the wind and sand and looking for a sign of the town or a road that would take us there. After riding for 70 km, we saw a yurt, which happened to be the only vendor in the area. We asked for direction to Moste. She pointed toward the direction we were coming from and wrote on sand: "55" km! With further inquiry, we realized that we should go back 25 km to get to a side road which would take us to Moste. Disappointed, we looked for a spot to camp.

The idea of getting my iPad back was fading away.

The Pass: 3000 m

The pass: 3000 m

Wild Camels

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Tired and Lost

Seeking refuge from hail