Central Asia - Pure Photos (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Petrol is still a bit of an issue in Uzbekistan because they dont really have their own. what they do have is natural gas, and lots of it. So many cars in Uzbekistan have been converted to run on gas, like LPG cars in the west. In north west uzbekistan, it can be a real problem to find petrol. Up there is mostly gas. There are a few petrol stations in Nukus, but elsewhere in the Northwest either the fuel stations have no petrol (only gas) or they have very bad quality petrol. In places like Kungrad we managed to get the owner of the chaikhana we stayed at overnight to get us 30 litres of blue Turkmenistan smuggled "benzin" and used that.

    Generally you wont have a problem, you just have to make sure you fill up where you can, when you see it. And if you are desperate, ask around. Its legal. Price was only 50 eur cents. A little more than in neighboring Kazakhstan

    In the south of the country where the big cities are (Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent etc) there is no problem at all finding petrol.
  2. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    I left Dushanbe the next morning and headed South East, past the Nurek Dam ... currently the highest Dam wall in the world, its 300 metres (1000 feet) high. The Tajiks have been planning a slightly taller dam (the Rogun Dam) further on down the same river, but they havent gotten round to building it yet. ... or rather they havent gotten round to get someone else to build it yet.

    Tajikistan is broke. Its the poorest country in the former soviet union ... by quite some margin. So you may have noticed that much of what is being built in Tajikistan is built as donations by foreign countries vying for influence and in some cases land there. China, Iran, Turkey and Russia and all building bits n pieces of stuff, in exchange for influence in this strategically important part of the world, where a century ago the British and the Russians wooed the locals in the Great Game, the cold war of its day.

    This is the lake behind the Nurek Dam:

    [​IMG]
  3. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    I developed an ignition barrel problem near Kulab, and found a local Tajik auto-electrician to sort me out:

    [​IMG]
  4. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Near Shurabad, on the way to the Panj Valley

    [​IMG]
  5. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    The last sight before the Panj Valley and the border with Afghanistan is this amazingly wide, perfectly neat valley. Almost like some giant had taken a giant ice cream scoop and dragged it thru the mountains.

    [​IMG]
  6. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    from this point on (in Tajikistan at least), quite a few of my pics will look remarkably similar to some of Timolgras and Sambors pics ...
  7. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    You have to be careful if you need to wander off into the bushes for a number 2, you might lose more than last nights dinner.

    [​IMG]
  8. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    The river that I would follow upstream for the next 750 km ... with Tajikistan on my left and Afghanistan on my right.

    [​IMG]
  9. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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  10. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    It was getting dark now, but the views across the river in Afghanistan were amazing:

    [​IMG]
  11. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    A surprisingly deep water crossing:

    [​IMG]
  12. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Anyone who had ridden this road knows this waterfall. ... cause you have to ride through it

    [​IMG]
  13. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    Just amazing land. Being so beautiful to behold and what kind of living could you make off that kinda land?. Sure does not seem like much. Just too steep for any crops or grazing of animals.
  14. Beelzabob

    Beelzabob I don't feel tardy. Supporter

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    This thread is yet another reminder to me, or lets say message that my life needs more cowbell.

    I am little, I am shallow, but I'm willing to learn, listen, feel and observe. Please keep your stunning pic's and ability to articulate your feelings coming.

    Safe travels and take your time my friend. You and we (thank you) will never forget this.......

    B
    mat95 likes this.
  15. Aventurero

    Aventurero BE HAPPY AND THANKFULL

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    Exelemte!! Las fotos estan buenisimas, Wow! Keep up the good work!!!:clap
  16. Skitch

    Skitch Riding the range

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    Fantastic photos and story. Thanks for sharing.
  17. tee bee

    tee bee Been here awhile

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    mmm,i think i should have joined up with you in the stans mate.

    Are the people as friendly as the russians.?
  18. Colebatch

    Colebatch "Moto Porn"ographer

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    Good question Terry ...

    Everywhere is slightly different. Kazakhstan (KZ) probably has the least overtly friendly people. Kazakhs can be quite aggressive and pushy with strangers, and there is a real macho kinda culture there. I always get the feeling in KZ that strangers are happy to put you down in order for them to appear greater. They can also be very nationalistic. Fortnately I knew quite a few people in KZ so my dealings with people I didn't know was minimised. Kyrgyzstan (KG) I find a bit similar to KZ but milder. They are not as pushy and aggressive - a bit softer. I had some good chats with people in KG, mostly fine and normal but one woman became aggressive and angry and thought I must be a journalist who has come to "write bad things about her people." How she got that idea I don't know. Uzbeks were more middle of the road (as long as they werent in government uniform). They struck me as a very "laid back" people in general (which as mentioned before was in contrast with their government), and Tajiks were probably the most outwardly friendly ... maybe like Siberia, that comes from being the most isolated.

    In comparison with the Russians I would probably say no, not that friendly. As you know first hand, the Russians often just seems to go well out of their own way to help. Central Asia certainly was not unfriendly in any way and it never was an issue, but recalling the incidents in Central Asia where I felt people went right out of their own way to help, it was usually ethnic Russians and on one case Volga Germans (basically Russians), one case a Tatar (basically Russian) but twice I was helped by locals (both cases Kazakh).

    Importantly mate, you will also be disappointed to learn that the appreciation of the bikini is much less developed in Central Asian women than in Russia, sadly enough.

    I have to say Tajikistan is a place that can very quickly grow on you. The people are the most friendly in the region. It's dirt cheap. The food sadly is no-where near as good as Uzbekistan, but you can live with it. The scenery however, is drop dead gorgeous. I shot more pictures per mile in Tajikistan than anywhere else in the 7 month trip. I can understand why Sambor (who probably knows this area better than any other biker) based his whole summer trip in the region. I made a promise to myself to come back and spend a lot more time exploring TJ and to a lesser extent Kyrgyzstan.
  19. littleDONKEY

    littleDONKEY Adventurer

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    Realy amazing journey and pics...thanks a lot to "take us with you"

    Keep Riding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:clap
  20. AlexGSGreece

    AlexGSGreece Adventurer

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    I have no words!!!
    thank's for sharing!!!