RTW on a H.A.T. In the slow lane.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gperkins, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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    Hey mate looks like things are going great, awesome ride report. Ive had a slight setback, rolled a buggy and crushed my clutch hand. 50/50 wether it will have enough strength/movement to pull a clutch in by December but still planning like we are going. Just sent my seat away to your mate to get rebuilt. I name dropped you to try and get a discount. :)

    Safe travels.
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  2. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Good to hear from you Lostmike, stay positive, it will happen. Or maybe swap over to DCT. There have been somethimes on this trip it would have been a definite advantage. In manic crazy towns or climbing gnarly inclines maybe.

    I would have done the same with Mike in Goulburn. He's a good operator thats for sure. Any business that not only survives, but in fact thrives, by word of mouth alone is doing something right.
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  3. Yannick

    Yannick Asterix the Gaul

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    Hi Graeme. So you also know Chantal, I followed her journey because she was bringing a new look over the world maybe with her feminist side. I was interested by the fact she was going through China, and I was hoping for plenty of photos from this country of which the RR are rare. But ultimately, as for you, the chinese leg was just a short 3 day link between Pakistan and Kirghistan with most time spent in administrative issues. I must admit I was a little curious to see if the little XT was gonna hold all the way.
    Yes I saw on FB she has written a book about the first part of her trip, touring Australia, and she's back there to sell it.

    I didn't know about money and receipts in Uzbekistan, so yes I hope you will get (both) the Turkmenistan visa, we cross the fingers and even the toes if that may help.
  4. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Here in Osh we went to Muztoo motorcycle shop as agreed and got a nice new Conti TKC80 fitted to the front. The EVIL Vee Rubber has been consigned to the bin where it belongs. Now we can approach the 200 klm dirt section of the Pamir hwy with some confidence.
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  5. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    At first, or second glance even, there would not seem to be a lot to recommend about Osh, Kyrgyzstan. We aren't too far from Osh's most prominent feature, a large promontory type hill in the middle of town. Nothing for it, but to go for a walk to the highest vantage point and take a look around.

    First stop was what appeared to be the main mosque in town. Can't be too sure though, for there are always many, many mosques in town.
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    You could be excused for the thinking your on the set of the Thunderbirds. Actually your looking at the local museum.
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    From above, it did look all a bit grey and drab. Minaret in the middle.
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    Two local boys playing up to the camera. Although she can't be seen. There is a woman with a young child out of shot and to the right. She was begging, something very common right throughout Asia. The child, a girl of about 3 or 4 quickly approached me from my left and as soon as she was able to, dived her hand into my left pocket to see what she may pilfer, as it transpired, I only had a cheap pair of multiplier glasses in that pocket. Now Ray Charles would have seen her coming. At her tender age, this budding Fagan's technique, was shall we say a tad amateurish. I quickly chastised her, then turned my attention to her smiling begging mother. Wagging my finger in my most feigned, aggressive manor. She responded with a wry smile and a shrug of the shoulders. I must confess, that little experience was a first for both Katrina and I. I kept a firm grip on the camera slung around my neck for the next 2 hrs or so, until we returned to our guesthouse.
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    It does raise the question though. What to do when faced with beggars? I'm always conflicted when confronted with this situation. Well at least I am now. In years gone by, I will freely admit, i essentially gave little or nothing to beggars. You can call me a miserable, hard bastard, I can live with it. Maybe with age, I don't know, but I have shifted my view somewhat. The young woman with the child is a very common sight, in a lot of Asia. I rarely give in these situations. But from time to time you see people that are truly destitute and in miserable circumstances. One that springs to mind was a man of about my age, although it's often hard to tell. He could have been in his 30's for all I knew. Dragging his skinning, cripple body up the road, on the bones of his arse, in Pakistan. He had two pairs of decimated flip flops. One pair on his twisted crippled feet and another in his claw like hands, trying to prevent as much damaged to his body as he could. I would challenge anyone not to give in these circumstances. My small donation may have fed him for a couple of days. Just reflecting on it now, I'm thinking to myself, "you miserable tight arse Graeme". See once again conflicted.

    Local big guy from the past. Suiliman I believe.
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  6. DunkingBird

    DunkingBird Been here awhile Supporter

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    I confess my reaction and feeling would be pretty much the same.

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  7. Balanda

    Balanda Been here awhile

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    In the words of The Stranglers "brother, you've only got two hands to lend"
  8. Ironchef

    Ironchef Warren

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    Excellent ride report, great photos, kept me up late last night reading.
    Thanks for posting. :clap
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  9. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Thanks Ironchef for your kind words. It's gives us a lot encouragement to continue with the blog, when we see people following along. Japan is certainly high on our agenda, it could be a few years away though.

    We have been out of wifi range now, for 4 or 5 days, deep into the Wahkam valley. Pronounced Waa-ham valley. Spectacular for sure, we've endured a little bike drama, waved to Afghani's, received enthusiastic waves of arms in response. We are currently in Khorugh, the internet is abysmally slow, so no thorough updates. Certainly no photos until Dushanbe at least, that maybe 3 days or so away. Just depends on which way we go from here. Our desired route is currently blocked by a massive landslide thats taken out 1 kilometre of road. All part of the fun in this part of the world I guess.
  10. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    Yes, thanks for the post. it is my go to report, just the right balance of words n pics. good to see you on some good tires in front. How long do they estimate before the road is passable by moto?
  11. markinthailand

    markinthailand Long timer

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    :-) So Graeme, when are you getting an Instagram account?
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  12. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Cheers Yokesman, we've got some cracking photos to post, but that will have to wait for a few days until Dunshanbe.

    It was a very good move to give the Vee Rubber the flick. We've done a few hundred kilometres of loose gravel road over the last few days. The TKC80 was the right choice for sure. The road bias Vee Rubber would have skated all over the place.

    So far as the road slip, or more accurately the road washing away. i have no idea. Once at Kevron, there is a choice to make, so far as getting to Dushanbe. Either the north or south road. We've been told the south is spectacular, so that was our preferred choice. It follows the river on the Tajikistan - Afghanistan border. Last week a huge landslide on the Afghan side crashed into the river, diverting the rivers flow and consequently washing away up to 1 klm of road. We've heard that the Tajiks are claiming that seeing as the landslide originated in Afghanistan, then the Afghanis should pay for the road restoration. Good luck with that one I say. That leaves us with no choice other than to take the north road. Apparently it is also pretty spectacular, so no great loss in the end.
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  13. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Hi Mark, if I recall we talked about that when we met up. Being a confirmed luddite, whats the advantages of going down that road. I just see more time at the key pad.

    The one concern I do have, is that i might reach my limit on my FLIKR account. Although I have no idea what that limit is. Our son Darcy whom set the account up, I'm sure can help me out there.

    By the way how did the Tiger go whilst in the Dakota's?
  14. markinthailand

    markinthailand Long timer

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    The Tiger was great. We put about 1,000 miles on it over two weeks. Really great. I'll do a ride report at some point and give you the link.

    For Instagram, I like it a lot. No downside that I can think of, except you need to get the photos into your phone to post (although they do have a website as well). The big advantage is that it lets you post to Facebook and Twitter while you post to Instagram. So I don't post any photos directly to Facebook anymore -- most everything goes on Instagram. The tagging (the dreaded "#") is actually really useful, and you could tag your photos with a few different tags (including a custom tag like #roundtheworldonanat or whatever). There are a lot of people riding around the world two up or together that I follow on Instagram, and I think your photos are outstanding -- so it would give you a much much wider reach than FB.

    No impact on your FLIKR account -- they just get posted to Instagram. And you can do multiple photos per post if you want. That said, my experience is the best ones just post single pictures, 2-3 per day max. It makes you focus on what is good to share and take it from there. You can ignore all the filters and other stuff. But once you get your head around tagging photos with the # tag, it will take off.

    Even a geezer luddite like you can figure it out. :-)
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  15. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Cheers for the comprehensive reply Mark, I'll look into it. Moving photos to the phone is perhaps the only real hitch perhaps.
  16. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Increasingly Grumpy Super Supporter

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    I do instagram, but I'm not a great fan of it.
  17. TBR

    TBR One Life ~ Live It...

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    Mate ~ keep the excellent updates coming to the outstanding ADVrider forum ride report please, time is way too valuable to be wasting away on social media and life is short, who really needs annoyances like Facebook - Instagram - WeChat or whatever they are called nowadays...

    Just in case, if you ever plan another visit to fascinating and diverse PRC = People's Republic of Changes ~ feel free to get in touch as might be still bouncing around PRC or who knows, once again on a relaxed cruise around the "Big Red Island" Outback...

    Keep on rollin' ~ safe RTW travels!!!
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  18. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    This part of the globe is truly a cross roads. For some weeks now we have been bumping into all manor of overlanders. On m/bikes, push bikes, 4x4's, monster trucks that some Euro's seem to like. This gives you a great opportunity to exchange information and just to converse and share a beer with like minded people.

    From Osh it's an easy run down to Sary Tash just prior to the Tajikistan border. No point crossing over in the evening. Much better to wait till morning and do the often tedious border crossing then. Also we were hoping to catch up with Sara & Daniel of Finding Freedom...World Wide Ride fame. We were hoping that it would be in Osh, but it just wasn't working out that way. As luck would have it, they dropped into Sary Tash late that day and we did get to share a couple of beers for a few short hours. Stupidly I didn't have my camera with me at the time. :doh

    So bright and early we were off to our 15th country, Tajikistan, just about the easiest crossing so far, a formality to exit Kyrgyzstan and a breeze and a smile to enter Tajikistan. What caught us out though was the altitude. The crossing is at 4650 metres, 15225 ft, damn near as high as the Khunjerab pass from Pakistan to China. But unlike the Khunjerab, where you climb one side and descend the other, once into Tajikistan you stay at altitude all day. Ranging from 3600 metres to 4600 metres crossing the Tajik plateau. This would prove tiring, exhaustively tiring in fact.

    Rural life in Sary Tash, Kyrgyzstan. Building a mud brick boundary wall and drying peat on the roof.
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    Local Kyrgyz's man with his distinctive hat.
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    Blast from the past. Soviet era gate, I'm sure.
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    Katrina paying homage to the great Ibex at the Tajik - Kyrgyz's border perhaps. Or just pooped from the altitude?
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    It's simply not possible to tire of this. Tajik plateau at something close to 4000 metres.
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    Cemetery on the Tajik plateau. You see cemetery's all over, but this particularly one caught our eye.
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    A few examples of the colours, the glorious colours, on the Tajik plateau.
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    Miss Hatty is happy on the Tajik plateau.
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    Christoph & Constantine from Greece, stuck at well over 4000 metres with a destroyed rear tyre on the Africa Twin. They were awaiting a pick up or flat bed to get them over the border to Osh. Little did we know that the following day we would also suffer our own rear tyre dramas.
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    There ends our first day in Tajikistan. :clap That night, both Katrina and I would sleep 14 hours.
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  19. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Day two in Tajikistan was all about the bike. We were back on the road after 1 1/4 hrs with a new tube fitted. Not too bad I thought, considering that Mitas along with Hiddenau tyres can be a bitch to change out on the road. :deal Shame really, this tyre had about 17000 kilometres on it. I reckon it was good for another 10000. Once repaired we were to do about 1000 klms on this tyre over damn rough roads, with a partially herniated tube. :pynd
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    The offending stone shard, it would have made a cave man proud, if he could manage a flint knife as sharp as this sucker. :nod
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    We've all been here before, not usually at altitude though. :dirtdog
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    I've finally discovered why we have been carrying around this extra ballast for these last 11 months. :hide
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    Of course this being Tajikistan, there is always a bit of this going on. Pamir mountains coming into view. Today was still a winner. :D
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  20. Yannick

    Yannick Asterix the Gaul

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    Right place and right moment to check your cush drive rubbers ... :fpalm
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