Saturday, June 16, 2012


Kyrgyzstan border to Osh

We then came across, around and through many beautiful, green, lush tall mountains on really good roads winding around and around. The photos don't reflect how grand and eye catching these huge mountains were to ride through.
IMG_1429IMG_1387 IMG_1394 IMG_1417 IMG_1416It was a real joy. There was quite a bit of roadwork happening but didn't seem to slow anybody down :). No witches hats here just a few rows of rocks on the road about two metres apart to warn you it's a no go on your side of the road before the curve! Hate to be a road worker there! A couple of yurts and Russian style caravans now and then with their big outside pots boiling and sturdy native grazing, all just in view of the roadworks, so much so at firstI thought the first caravan was a catering one for them!! (Craig's phone died at this stage!! Noooooo).

IMG_5481IMG_5463IMG_5447We rode past a couple of police check points, stopped for petrol and met some more locals and took a photo with one and then proceeded to be amazed at how many yurts were along the road and in the distance!!! Twice we came to huge amounts if them, the first with over 50 (yes, I counted them,) and the second about 18. The first had markets set up on both sides of the road!! (Another photo opportunity lost when sharon's iPhone ran out of memory!! Upgrading to a better phone with a lot smaller memory was a bad move!)

IMG_5522IMG_5515IMG_1445 IMG_1447 At one stage at the bottom of the mountain we came across two german cyclists, a young couple, looking fresh as daisies! All I could think of were the mountains they had yet to come across before they got to Sarytash for the night. We realized we had a friend in common in Sven so hopefully they caught up with him that night :)

We had been treated to a beautiful valley too riding alongside rushing water most of the time!!

Deleted a few applications in time to capture a small bit of the drama that ensued!!

Titled "Mudslide can't stop the big girl!"

Came across a Lada bogged in the middle if the road which was now just a continuing running stream of mud from the high banks to our right and the Lada driver's left.

There were vehicles and crowds of people on both sides of the road and spilling all on the grazed areas on each side on our left. As soon as we got there and pulled up on the side of the road up the front where all the action was happening we were encouraged that the big girl could make it easy!! People motioning towards the other side.

IMG_1953It was running pretty fast. We got off soon after one of the trucks pulled the Lada out towards us. Craig helped push the Lada just that bit further out of the way with a few others as at least one of the Tyres was flat by this stage!! (there was a great feeling of everyone digging in and helping in or encouraging!)

The owner of the Lada chose Craig to give a kiss and a huge and very extended hug of thanks.He then grabbed me and shook my hand and put his hands to face as if they were eye glasses and tried to tell me something. He then dragged me to his wife who made the same motion to me!! I was still trying to make it out when I heard the bike zooming across the mud to encouraging shouts and yahoos from the crowd! (previous to this one truck had gone through and then a huge one with a trailer got stuck right near the bank on the right side if the road so still plenty of room to pass!

He had warned me a lot earlier that he might have to cross on his own so I wasn't totally surprised so said my "I'm sorry I don't understand but better run" and started to cross on foot.

Someone yelled and motioned to the truck driver to take me over with his passenger as he was getting ready to go too but I imagined taking forever to get into the cabin with already muddy feet and quickly declined and immediately regretted it as the truck followed hot on my heels as soon as I walked/waded through the thick mud up to my knees with big loose stones underneath my feet!! People were yelling encouragement or maybe warning re the truck so I picked up my pace nearly falling a couple of times. Pretty sure I heard Craig laughing his head off!!!

Ps I understood a little better why the truck was right behind me when saw him hook up the bogged truck to kindly tow it out!

We zoomed off as the action continued and soon enough cars came passing by as we came to an abrupt stop to give way to two sets of shepherds with their flock coming up the first hill!! Our bike is so loud Craig likes to give way but the trucks coming the other way were blasting their horns as the bullied their way to what? A mass or cars and trucks making their way slowly through the mudslide!!!

We rode on in the hope to make Osh for the night not stopping for lunch. We did not stop again til about half an hour before Osh to stretch our legs and tighten the luggage and happened to stop across the road from a young shepherd boy in the process of opening his gate, releasing about 20 sheep to cross the road directly in front of us and as he crossed he came over, said hello and shook both our hands and went to catch up with his sheep, throwing a couple of rocks at them as he did. A short but sweet gidday :) Very memorable- and no ability to take a photo of the moment!! Aaah!! It was nearly 5 p.m. I think and here he was busy working :)

After a marathon of a day we rode into Osh thinking that was it but were still searching for the Osh Guesthouse and Taj Mahal (knew it was across the road from said guesthouse) and hadn't placed the hotel on the GPS! At last saw the signpost for GPS guesthouse pointing down a small road so we started driving down it but came to concrete steps instead of road. Clearly there was another way down to the guesthouse. I trotted off down the stairs, mud up to my knees to find out at first there were no rooms but one the next night.

I was exhausted and felt near to tears and as it turned out I was speaking to the owner who, as I was leaving, asked me to wait while she checked what she could do for us and returned with an option of staying on mattresses in a conference room and then in an expensive room the next night for two thirds of the price. To make a long story short, Craig jumped at the offer to go no further, one of the staff got on the back of the bike and directed him and we made it our home for three nights!!! Ps the conference room was very adequate with a toilet and shower down the hall. Heaven to wash hair after four days and a proper shower after three.

Location:Osh, Kyrgyzstan

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