I rebuilt the bike and Hassan's pal went off to get some gear I'd left in H's office. It was now about 4 in the afternoon.
Once the bike was back together I geared up and followed him across town to where he was going to leave me and point me to Biysk, the next town of any size on my route. My last view of him was waving out of his car window ad I ran down the ramp onto my road.
This man had saved my trip-absolutely no doubt and I'll always be grateful for his endless generosity and hospitality
I got an Email from him a few weeks later " Rod...where are you?...come back-we are bored in Barnaul without you"
When I was there it was about 30 degrees C every day..today as I look at my 'phone its telling me it is minus 34C today. I hope they're keeping warm.
The guys had been seeing exactly the area I'd so wanted to visit, and now I'd need to ride through it pretty much without stopping as they'd seen it and were waiting for me at Aktash-near the Mong border. I thought I might be able to get there today.
As I'd mentioned earlier I thought I'd be a little tredpidatious leaving the security of Barnaul, but I felt a tremendous sense of liberation on the road alone and just kept grooving along at 70 ish. The bike was running really well and I was starting to have some confidence it might just be OK. About 6 I was absolutely bolloxed and stopped at the roadside, I just threw my coat down and fell on top of it for half an hour's kip. Look at that sky
The country started to change and become (as we Jocks think of everywhere) more Scottish (we invented it you see
), with hills and trees, rivers and lakes, and super winding roads. Beautiful.
A long time after Biysk I started to pick up signs for Aktash but I was still a couple of hundred Kilometers away and the light was starting to fade. I'd been awake for 30 hours straight apart from my little kip so pulled over next to a river and set up camp for the night.
I camped just in that little copse of trees behind the bike. I couldn't have been happier.