Eastbound, to the Stans

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Boarder06, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

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    Khalaikhum, that's it. Not sure about the name of the homestay. His claim to fame was that he was in the lonely planet. That should have been a warning. The place just had a bad vibe and was pretty filthy. Food was terrible. Bike parking was not good. Noticeably, a woman was absent from the household. So, they may have been going through tough times.
  2. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

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    Today I had about 300km to Dushanbe. There was some speculation about once section that is prone to flooding, but it turned out to be a none-issue.


    Just some photos from the day's ride:


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    I bit of a rest under a tree.


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    The police tried to stop me a few times on the way into town. I just ignored them.


    I didn't care much for Dushanbe at all. Because I was meeting up with some other bikers I ended up at rat hole of a place. Don't remember the name but it was filthy, overcrowded and the kitchen was the dirtiest I have ever seen and I have seen plenty. It was packed with people desperately trying to get a GBAO permit. The government had stopped issuing them. I felt vindicated for paying top dollar for mine. All the people that told me I was stupid for paying the money. Well, it worked for me. The shitty place made for good camaraderie and we had a few memorable nights out.


    I leave you with one picture from Dushanbe.


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    My advice would be to stay in the valley just north of town if you got your own wheels. There are some really nice places there.

    SmilinJoe, Dutchgit and gfh like this.
  3. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Incredible RR, Boarder06. I'm loving the incredible photography. Keep it coming!
  4. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

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    I left Dushanbe heading north, going through the Anzob tunnel. It's actually not half as bad as some reports will make you belief. I just made sure I was not behind a huge diesel truck and followed a car. I got good Xenon lights and with the car in front of me at a safe distance I could easily pick a good route. Doing it on a bicycle would be scary though.


    After a quick food stop in Ayny


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    I headed west along the Zeravshan River. Well, I actually went up the next pass and through a tunnel before I realized I had gone too far. I turned around and found my turn off. The dirt road clings to the side of the valley with mountains on one side and steep drop-offs on the other. There was no suitable camp site and at this point I was riding in the dark. Eventually, I spotted a small orchard on the mountain side. At least I would not be seen from the road. There was nobody there when I pitched my tent but I was surrounded by people in the morning. They get an early start here. They didn't seem to mind me camping there.


    I continued along the river, switching sides from time to time.


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    Just before Panjakent I took a sharp turn south to head up to the 7 lakes.


    At lake #2 it was time for lunch


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    Before taking in the amazing views of the other 5 lakes


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    There was only a donkey trail beyond the 7th lake. I think @Pyndon has some video exploring that.

    It was an idyllic spot and decided to spend the night there. It was pretty early in the day still.

    I had a few of curious visitors.

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    The next morning I had to backtrack and got stuck for hours in a standoff between brainless truck drivers. The small dirt road was the detour for a major road works.


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    There was really only one way to solve this and it took them a loooong time to figure it out. Because of this I was running late and decided to stay on the main road and hit the tarmac. I made it to Lake Syr Darya near Khujand and pitched my tent just around sunset.


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    I got woken really early next morning by a herd of goats (I think) and the herder on his donkey.


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    I set off for a fairly boring ride through the Fergana valley back to Osh. Crossing the border back into Kyrgyzstan was quick. The Tajiks didn't asked about the handwritten change in dates on the customs paper. In Osh I checked back into the trusty Osh Nuru for some beer time by the pool.




    SmilinJoe and gfh like this.
  5. Oldfatbeerman

    Oldfatbeerman Enroute to a PUB

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    Pure visual delight those pics . 101 % fantastic scenery .
  6. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

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    After a bit of TLC and picking up a new mascot

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    I left Osh

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    and headed over the Kaldamo pass once more

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    It was a lovely day and great ride. I carried on until I reached a lovely spot near Baetov.

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    The camp spot even had mobile internet.

    I picked up some fuel and supplies in Baetov

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    There had been a change in law earlier in the year and it was now possible to travel in border areas without a special permit under certain circumstances. I picked up a piece of paper in Osh that should in theory allow me to ride around Chatyr Kul, which is right at the Chinese border, just before the Toruguart pass. When I rocked up at the checkpoint they were quite baffled and there was a bit of a discussion but I persisted and they let me through.

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    I was feeling sick with a stomach bug and the going was a bit tough because of it. I took fewer photos than I normally would.

    On my way out of the border area I had to pass another checkpoint. They were not amused. They told me that I shouldn't be there and they hadn't heard of the law change. My argument was that the checkpoint on the other end let me in and thus is must be legal. Eventually they let me go.

    I arrived in Naryn after dark and the little office that coordinates home stays was closed. I asked around for a hotel and ended up at this gem.

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    It looked like a demolition project. The room was actually OK but I decided to avoid the restaurant.

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    I wasn't gonna do the Tosor pass again sick and thus decided to spend an extra day in Naryn to get better. I bought some more Cipro at the local pharmacy (10 tablets for a dollar). They also had other stuff for sale

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    I spent the rest of the day looking around town and getting the best $2 haircut I ever had.


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    The next day I set out for Issyk Kul via the Tosor pass.

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    Just before the pass I ran into these characters

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    I bought some ice cream and cola and watched Italo Pop videos in a little shop.

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    This was a proper summer vacation by the lake. I found myself a nice camp spot and cooked dinner.


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    SmilinJoe, dave6253, ACP and 4 others like this.
  7. poppawheelie

    poppawheelie Been here awhile

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    Well put. +1 :clap

    What is "Aobama?" I can't read anything on the tin.
  8. ACP

    ACP Adventurer

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    I was more intrigued about what the hell Spanish Gold Fly Sex Drops were!!
  9. poppawheelie

    poppawheelie Been here awhile

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    Well, you know what Spanish Fly is, right? I assume Spanish Gold Fly Sex Drops is written by someone trying to embellish their product with extra advertising words.
  10. swamp

    swamp Woods Junkie

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    those tiny donkeys are killing me :D
  11. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    In keeping with the current advrider trend, those burro riders are goin' LIGHT. I mean, can you imagine those trails on a heavy horse?:lol3
  12. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

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    I'll let your imagination run wild on that one.

    Just come off Off-roading three days between Ulaanbaatar and Irkutsk. Fools who take the road. Happy days

    Typed with my thumbs on my phone
    Colebatch likes this.
  13. Boarder06

    Boarder06 Been here awhile

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    Would anyone leaving from Irkutsk to Ulaanbaatar be willing to carry a letter for me?
    A small envelope with my customs papers. I need to get them back to Urnaa at the Oasis. She needs to get them to the customs office, to get off the hook for my bike. We all can imagine how reliable the Mongolian post is.

    If you are in a position to help, please pm and I deliver to where you are staying.

    Thanks
  14. zolatustra

    zolatustra Adventurer

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    Just read this in a single sit (with half a dozen macciato), just fantastic. I love how the eyes of the people come through your pictures. I think those people have the most smiling eyes ever. I worked in Afghanistan and despite all the problems they faced, their eyes were always honest, bright and smiling.
    Were you updating this RR wile riding to Magadan? When will we see your pictures about that?
    Stay safe and thanks for the flow your RR gave.
    Zoltan
  15. joenuclear

    joenuclear Long timer

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    ^?
  16. OnTheWay

    OnTheWay Long timer

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    Outstanding ride, report and pics!!
  17. sgio

    sgio Been here awhile

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    Loving the report and particularly the wonderful photos!:clap
    Thanks!