This summer I took a little trip from Almaty in Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and back, then continuing via the Altai region of Russia to Ulaan Baatar in Mongolia.
Since my RTW trip around the turn of the Millennium, only having undertaken short bike rides here and there (some described at http://www.thebrightstuff.com/since2002.htm
) this 7 week trip was longer in distance, harder in terrain and in many ways more adventurous and definitely more eventful than most.
And yes there was a cliff in Kyrgyzstan and a particular wet area in Mongolia involved.
Below are some pictures to give you a taste of what I saw and did. More to come…
A bit of audience participation: of this motley crew can you spot the bent copper (a.k.a Corrupt policeman for non-UK-English speakers)? Clue: He’s wearing a hat and it ain’t blue. The picture is also significant because the Robin-van-Persie-look-alike between the 2 be-hatted gents is called Maarten. Maarten is singularly responsible for getting me out of deep sh!t in my “cliff incident” (More of that later). I owe you big time, buddy!
Horses going for a swim.
Local men, dressed to impress.
Young local women, dressed to impress.
Horse murderball(!?) (American Football on horses with a headless goat as a “ball”)!
Get the kids into biking early.
Horse against machine. Horse wins.
Pamir Highway after being thrown out of Tajikistan because the authorities were in the process starting a shooting war with their own population and didn’t want witnesses.
Smiling girl while I try to take picture of an eagle
Admiring some exceptional views
The whole of Mongolia is one big wild-campsite
Lean on me
A happy Mongolia drunk. A rare occurance. Most drunks (who also seem to love engaging foreign motorcyclists in conversations…) in central Asia/ Russia/ Mongolia were a lot less happy and showed it…
Ernie joins the trip
More coming soon!