We spent 2 weeks in Bishkek, mainly consisting of walks to the big bazaar wich was just around the corner, to buy fresh food. The remaining time we hang around the hostel with other people and enjoyed the good life. The hostel turned out to be a real hub for other cyclist. Honestly speaking it was a little oasis. Definitely one of the best times of the trip!
Poul and me managed to get both, our uzbek and our iranian visa, so we were finally ready to apply for the turkmen visa. Getting a Turkmen visa takes shitlots of time, sweat and luck. We had to ride 10 km out of town to find the embassy and now they need “fucking” 10 days to make a decision if they want us in their country. Of course they charged us to work on that decision. Whatever. That’s beyond our power.
The time in Bishkek was unbelievably awesome and is unforgotten, with all the good people we met.
We moved on the 1. September and teamed up with guillaume from switzerland. That guy has the sun on his side and continues that line of positive, open minded and easygoing swiss people I met already, and is just a cool guy to spent time with. If you read this, take care bro!!
We started early in the morning, to avoid the big trafic. The road west of bishkek is nothing else but a punch in ya face. Super busy, fucked surface, dirty, noisy …
By lunchtime we had reached our turnoff and started to climb. We had to climb 2500 mtrs to the peak. At one point the open steppe ended and we were slowly soaked up by the massive mouth of a mountain valley. A steadily, physically demanding climb started. As the daylight vanished, we found a good camp spot and set up our tents.
The night was not good for me as I must have eaten something wrong and lay awake almost the whole night. The next day wasn’t much better as my intestinals kept reminding me that something was wrong. The road kept winding up and up and at one point, both my weak body and the elevation forced me to stop. Guillaume and poul helped me to stop a little truck and 3 minutes later my bike was on the back of the truck, together with two sheeps and I sat in the front with 3 kyrgiz guys. They helped me with the last 7km to the top and saved my day. Later I met my two mates again and together we rolled down into a massive valley. We camped at a yurt with local people and recovered from the day.
The next morning we had to say goodbye to our Swiss mate, take care man!
Poul and me we’re heading on to the west. The next mountain pass at 3180 mtrs was right ahead.
The air was significantly thinner and it took us almost the whole day to get to otmek. Everything reminded us of Mongolia, the wind, the mountains, the yurts, it was beautiful. The nomads sell kurut and kumys everywhere.
We spent the night again with locals as we decided not to climb the pass the same day.
The next morning kissed us with warm sunshine and the wind decided to support us luckily. We reached the top after few hours and had a tea up there.
Now we had 70 kilometres of downhill ahead of us. While it was quite chilly on the top it was really warm down in tokyugul. And also the scenery changed drastically. Nothing but barren, rocky land on the top but the more we decended, the greener it got. Amazing.