Uralistan: Bishkek to Kabul

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Tourist, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Lacedaemon

    Lacedaemon Been here awhile

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    Feb 6, 2007
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    Northern Virginia
    Subscribed. Really enjoying this.
    #61
  2. Plattypus

    Plattypus ADV wannabe

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    Paris and Newton Abbot
    Same, this is absolutely inspirational.
    #62
  3. SLACKER

    SLACKER Been here awhile

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    vagabond.......
    :clap
    #63
  4. MeinMotorrad

    MeinMotorrad Long timer

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    UK for now.
    This is what it's all about :clap
    #64
  5. GuiltyParty

    GuiltyParty drifter

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    Jul 17, 2008
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    London
    It's an adventure straight out of the 80's. I was looking through the photos for a helmet expecting to find a cowboy hat :D

    You're an inspiration
    #65
  6. Paratrout

    Paratrout Been here awhile

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    Cackilackistan, Concord Oblast
    Thanks for the amazing story and photos! I was in Afghanistan in 2003 and went to the Wakhan corridor on an escort mission. Probably the most stunning place I’ve ever seen. Your report had me running around my house looking for some of my old maps. Thanks Bro.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    #66
  7. live2ridetahoe

    live2ridetahoe RN

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    Subscribed!!

    Amazing journey.

    JG
    #67
  8. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    Jennings, Louisiana
    :clap:clap:clap Amazing! Brings back memories of touring in the '70's. A bike, A road, A map. Desire!!!!!!! :lol3:lol3:clap:clap:clap
    #68
  9. straightenarrow

    straightenarrow Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
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    Central Wisco
    Absolutely incredible, I never had much desire to see that area until now... in big time!
    #69
  10. Tourist

    Tourist Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
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    51
    Location:
    Brisbane
    57km's. It doesn't sound like much but when you're on foot it suddenly changes from less than an hours ride to multiple days to your destination. I Pack just the essentials; Tent, sleeping pad/Bag, Stove, food and some clothing for the constantly changing weather conditions. I set out back the way I had ridden the day before. On the right side of the river as the left had fewer villages and the river was running a good 5ft over the road. It was 2-3 km upto where I had taken the ural to the washed out road and bridge. The first crossing was just more of an inconvenience having to walk up and down the rocky river banks to find a safe crossing. The 2nd the swollen stream was just 3-4 wide but was immensely powerful with the noise of aggregate and rocks being washed down making an impression. Here i met locals on both sides of the bank, they both making hand gestures that I should stay in the nearby village for the night and wait for the water to drop by the following morning, but having only come 2-3km i really felt i needed to make some progress for day 1. We walk up stream towards the mountains hoping for a narrow section with large enough boulders to jump from one to another in order to cross. Every couple of minutes the locals would be yelling at me, its not possible!, turn back! this would only give me motivation for continuing and finding a way, perhaps after an hour of clambering over boulders one boy shouts and points out that I can cross here, I follow his finger to only see a suicide crossing, we continue on, he points out more and more "crossings" he must be getting tired as they are more and more unlikely. we start to enter the canyon after one more hour we all point out to one another a possible crossing worthy of closer inspection. it comprises of a series of large boulders in the river with the white water breaking over the tops of the rocks. the locals are so excited they take off their shoes and jump from one to another and after 5 jumps they have crossed with big smiles and looking back at me as if to say "common! it's easy!" I climb down the bank to the waters edge. its a different perspective here with the massive volume of water passing dominating all thoughts in my head. One of the local boys offers to take my pack, i reluctantly pass it on, but he's passed already in his bare feet. my turn. From boulder to boulder i have both a local pushing me off and one other catching me and pulling me onto the next. once I pass to the other side, the coldness of the water catches up with me, I take a minute to empty my boots, ring my socks and give my numb feet a quick rub before i continue.

    Over the course of the next 2.5 days (25hrs) of walking I mostly stick to single track as the road quickly vanishes after a bridge spanning the Amu to the left banks established road. I could have made better time as every village I walked through I was offered tea, bread and yogurt and a place to sleep if i so choose. The first night I camped close to one with villagers coming to my tent in a constant stream delivering food and inquisitive stares. The second night a pleasant home stay with few words communicated between us. By the 3rd day my shoulders and back ached while my feet were raw with blisters thanks to my US commando boots that I picked up back in bishkek. As i closed in on sarhad, it seemed like the more river crossings i had, I became too tired to even bother taking my boots off and crossed with them on knowing sarhad had to be less than 30minutes away. I arrived in Sarhad feeling like i had just crossed an imaginary finish line, The bed i lay down in being my prize, for 2 days I just ate, rested my feet, read and slept. Glorious.

    [​IMG]
    On foot.

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    Camping in the Wakhan.

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    Little Bo Peeps.

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    In Nepal kids ask for pens, In India everyone asks for money, But here the oldies ask for Ibuprofen.

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    Collecting fuel for making the Tea.

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    Homestay.

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    More crossings.

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    I was walking though the village of Chel khan, just before Sarhad where I had sat down on what I thought was some rubble, Then a lady named Barrt comes out of it and invites me inside, She makes me a place to rest and is not happy until I eat all of her bread and yoghurt that she gives me, She disappears for 15minutes and brings back numerous villagers, one being an english teacher. He asks me why i am staying in the poorest house in the village? I tell him because its the most interesting. He tells me Barrt has been yelling throught he village "I've got a foreigner in my house!" "I've got a..." He asks if I have a camera and once Barrt see's that I do, she springs up and tells me through the English teacher "Take a photo of me!" and she proceeds to show off her wool spinning skills, I show her - her photo on my camera screen and she is super happy. I give a donation for her food and hospitality as they will never ask for one, before I struggle onto Sarhad.

    [​IMG]
    Coming into Sarhad-e-Broghil, end of the road.



    #70
  11. Spaggy

    Spaggy Long timer

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    Western Canada
    [​IMG]
    I was walking though the village of Chel khan, just before Sarhad where I had sat down on what I thought was some rubble, Then a lady named Barrt comes out of it and invites me inside, She makes me a place to rest and is not happy until I eat all of her bread and yoghurt that she gives me, She disappears for 15minutes and brings back numerous villagers, one being an english teacher. He asks me why i am staying in the poorest house in the village? I tell him because its the most interesting. He tells me Barrt has been yelling throught he village "I've got a foreigner in my house!" "I've got a..." He asks if I have a camera and once Barrt see's that I do, she springs up and tells me through the English teacher "Take a photo of me!" and she proceeds to show off her wool spinning skills, I show her - her photo on my camera screen and she is super happy. I give a donation for her food and hospitality as they will never ask for one, before I struggle onto Sarhad.
    [/SIZE][/FONT][/QUOTE]

    There's more inspiration in that one picture and paragraph than I would have thought possible. That's really special.
    #71
  12. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer

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    Providence, RI
    The scenery is stunning, but these two are simply brilliant. Thank you for including us...
    #72
  13. selkins

    selkins No hay banda!

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    You're setting a high mark for adventure, sir, and we're fortunate to be able to tag along. I love that you're as attracted to the people as to the riding.

    Thank you.
    #73
  14. Lacedaemon

    Lacedaemon Been here awhile

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    Northern Virginia
    [​IMG]

    Do front page pictures have to have motorcycles in them?

    This is one of the most compelling photographs I have seen in years. It reminds me of early National Geographic work.:eek1
    #74
  15. LoneWolf-IT

    LoneWolf-IT fantasy traveller

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    Rome Italy
    Great.......very very wonderful pic. :clap:clap:clap
    #75
  16. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    :lurk
    #76
  17. J-Dub

    J-Dub Combat Commuter

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
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    High Desert, So Cal, USA
    Loving this! Thank you so very much for sharing your journey!
    #77
  18. The Draft

    The Draft Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    45
    Wow just great!!
    I hope this is not intrusive but how do you deal with the cash thats on you for security?
    Do you keep picking some cash up along the way so you dont have that much on you at any given time.
    #78
  19. seabiker

    seabiker Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
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    Woodinville, Northwet
    Reminds of "A short walk in the Hindu Kush" by Eric Newby that I'd read many years ago and remains one of my favorite travel books. In that he walks through the mountains of Afghanistan and goes and climbs a mountain with no prior climbing experience. Your images and the feeling of going back in time that your journey and pictures evoke reminds me a lot of that. Kudos again on great photos and daring journey. Great that you are taking the time to "see" the people.
    #79
  20. moto rrad

    moto rrad ADV n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
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    117
    Location:
    German land
    Thank you for sharing. This report is the true definition of ADV. Continuing on foot for days off into the desolate lands of Afghanistan?! WOAH.

    This site, and RRs like this continuously renew my ambition to travel, and see the world. My hat's off to you

    [​IMG]

    BTW I think the little one in the middle has beef with you :D
    #80