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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Nora and Zuki, Nov 28, 2017.
Happy Holidays everybody!
Hope you are having a wonderful time.
In the light of this series, we have arrived in Kazakhstan. A gigantic country, empty steppe, long stretches of highway and off course friendly people.
I have met friendly people in every country I have been.
I went to Shymkent and was couchsurfing with Brian, an American teacher staying to teach for a while. He also took in a Russian bicyclist so with the three of us, we explored the city on a hot day. I think it is always important to ignore the politicians when judging the people of a country. What an awkward bunch would an american, a russian and a dutchie be. But we had a great day exploring.
Nice story so far Nora. Dutch girls are awesome......... sometimes.
Now this is where the real fun riding began, although for a first time off road riding it was quite challenging at some points, but I guess I learn fast and I enjoy a steep learning curve. So riding around Song Kul lake by myself was a great achievement. I vaguely agreed to meet with two other couples who were doing a big overland trip but I hadn't realized that the lake was going to be so big and that we just might miss each other.
But the universe had other plans and we bumped into each other on the north side of the lake. The rest is history. One of the couples are Peter and Leonie from Amsterdam to Anywhere and I can't say it enough but I am so grateful that I could meet them and ride with all of these people.
My first fellow overlanders I spent a few days riding with and the first time I didn't have to solve all the problems by myself. Also a great opportunity to see if I was doing things "right". They had way more experience traveling then me and it was just so relieving to see that we were approaching things in the same way.
Off course there are plenty of ways to go about a trip like this but it was very comforting to see that everything that I had come up with made sense to other people as well.
Anyways, if you have to pick a country in Central Asia to ride, go Kyrgyzstan!! Definitely my favorite place for adventure, culture and nature.
I'm really enjoying your ride report. Great job.
Thank you for sharing and taking us along on your adventure!
Following. My buddy left his lights on his DL1000 last week in the middle of the woods. We had to push it up a hill and bump start it. Those things are heavy! my hat is off to you, ma'am!
I followed your trip on Youtube from the start and it was great over time watching a new episode in the evening before falling asleep. As I am no big fan of social media with giving my private data to big companies I never subscribed on YouTube.
But here in this „small“ private environmet - I am IN.
This was really an epic trip and I am looking forward for the untold story.
It is a little bit different if the story is writen in retrospective view long after the trip. But I love reading the book to
the films. It can point out situations that seem to be unconected when you report on days bases.
With a little bit of luck there is a leitmotiv.
So safe future travels and I looking forward fot the next reflection of your past trip here.
Greeting from the to warm but today sunny north of Germany near Bremen.
Nora, I have enjoyed your Youtube videos and your adventuresome spirit! Very inspiring!
Hello Nora, hats off to you for having this dream and throwing all caution to the wind and just going for it. I have really enjoyed your videos and especially the time you have put into editing them. You certainly have a kindred spirit. The Vstrom 650 is a great motorbike. I also admire your mechanical ability and approach to problems. All the best going forward as I can't wait to see what is next. PS. I was in Tallin in 2007 while spending 2 weeks in Helsinki on business.
Thanks for taking us along on your epic trip, Nora. Really admire your sense of adventure and easy going attitude. Editing videos is a ton of work and they turned phenomenal! Way to go!!
Wow what an adventure. Great videos, and thanks for sharing your trip!
Nora my love where have you gone?
Work work work, working to fund the next adventure
So here we go, diving into the new year with a new episode. Turned out a little longer then I expected
And it's a good one. A dream of many, at least Europeans, the Pamir highway. Completely off my radar while I was planning the trip. I had heard of it, seen one or two videos but it didn't appeal to me. It sounded to remote for me to go there by myself. Boy was I wrong.... I had met some people along the way, who were either heading to Tajikistan and the Pamirs or people who already completed their trip and the stories were amazing. So I was convinced, applied for a visa in Kazakhstan and road over to the border.
Yes, it is a remote and rugged area, it must be especially in winter time. Probably also as a backpacker, I can imagine it is a very hard place to reach. But I found it not quite as empty as expected. It was a highway full of other motorcyclists and bicyclist tackling their big adventure. All congregating on this single stretch of road during the only time of year it is passable. Not a day went by where I didn't meet other travelers, but for me it didn't spoil the fun.
The mountains were still gigantic, the road in bad condition / off road, the opportunities to explore vast and not a lot of people living there. Because it is so high, there is no trees, very little other vegetation and a lot of rocks. I really thought we had landed on the moon. And I say we not because of Zuki but because I met an Australian guy, Tom, at the last gasstation before crossing the border and we ended up riding together. I had had a great experience riding with others in Kyrgyzstan so I thought why not. I would like to see what Tajikistan is like and if I can do that from the safety of riding together that sounds like a very clever idea.
Not only that, there was a click, sometimes it's just easy to talk to people and travel together if you have the same traveling style. So we rode up to the border together and tackled the first literal obstacle, the Kyzyl-Art Pass which is 4,280m (14,042 ft) high. We were looking at the fence on the left and wondering if that was the border with China, riding down we kept hugging the fence and we kept looking for a place to ride through it. But we didn't find any holes big enough that would fit our bikes. So we arrived at the Karakol lake and set up camp for the night in an empty building. I was really comfortable riding and being around him, he was tall, strong and straight forward. Just my kind of guy.
Do you mean romantically Nora? Yes I mean romantically, I had been on the road for a while and I realized that you start missing out on physical contact with other humans.
If you are at home and not in a relationship you still hug/touch/kiss your friends and family. But being on the road even this kind of contact gets to a bare minimum because you continuously surround yourself with strangers. A short handshake is all you get at most. So I was happy to be riding around with such a handsome guy, in the middle of nowhere, apparently single because he didn't mention a girlfriend or boyfriend.
We continued traveling along the Pamir highway and headed into the Wakhan valley, a valley lined by a river and on the other side of that river lies Afghanistan. We were both fascinated by the other side and talked about how our homefront will freak out if they see how close we are. Pitching the tent a little up the hill with a view of this rugged land was one of the many highlights of traveling through this piece of land. I think just being out here, at night, just the two of us had something magical. I wanted to get closer but didn't want to make things awkward either because I was enjoying traveling together so much.
The next morning we rode down the hill back to the main road and played around a bit, trying to find an alternative road, but had to turn around because it got too sketchy. Things like this you don't do when you are alone, in a sense it is more dangerous to travel with a companion then by yourself because I tend to take less risk traveling solo.
This went on for another 2 days, one second I thought I should just kiss him, the other second I didn't want to spoil the fun we were having. Reason won and we arrived in Khorog without any romantic incidences but a lot of cool adventures that would not have happened if I was traveling solo. I decided to rest up and edit a video the next day and Tom wanted to push on and keep going. While we were sitting in front of the hostel he said "That van is the same as my girlfriend has, well ex girlfriend I guess". I didn't ask, it just wasn't supposed to be this way.
Besides, I wasn't planning on moving to Australia Tom it's literally on the other side of the planet.
So yeah, that is the background of this video, a bit longer then I expected and also did not plan it to take a turn for the romance, but it did and I kinda like it. Hope you did too. See ya next time!
I am in. After discovering this thread, I started watching your YouTube videos. I'm up to #26 already. I greatly enjoy the things you chose to put into your videos as they are a little different from most, providing candid little peeks into the places and cultures.
Moving along, to Uzbekistan!
Now, turns out you do not go here for riding, even though there is a lot of fun to be had in all its neighbouring countries, Uzbekistan is very regulated, bad roads, incredibly flat and riding wise, impressively boring.
However, it did turn out to be one of my cultural highlights and definitely the cultural highlight of the silk road route. The number of incredible structures is enormous, so is the amount of French tourists, the blue tiles are a work of art that you can look at for hours and still discover new patterns and corners.
So a visit so Samarkand could not be avoided where the famous Registan can be found. It's a historic square flanked by three madrasses from the hightide days of the old silk route. Go there either during sunset or sunrise and the colors in the sky will complete the spectacle. I am always amazed by how we humans have built these things that are so high and are still standing without any cranes or other heavy machinery. We were a pretty determined bunch of guys who wanted to impress the neighbour with our big hands.
So enjoy the show...
Thanks for joining the ride brother! Glad to hear you are enjoying it. You still have a long way to go
Hey, you should give this girls a look, http://www.moterrific.com/
they have a neat podcast, it would be a pretty cool thing to have you on one of their episodes. that would give your media channels more exposure.
(suzuki needs to wise up and advertise on your channel)