Day 185

The road is not hard.
You are hard.

Still alive :)

So much to write but to document it in such a short period of time with kids screaming in a sauna of an internet cafe..? So bullet points I am afraid…

- the president of this country has spent all his money on a nice palace and not the roads. we asked if we should take the north or south route, we where told the north had asphalt and was good the whole way. The man who told us this lied and i would like to hunt him down. I do not even want to call it a road, it was truly shocking (and dangerous; 7 people went into the river last night in a 4×4…..) Riding 50km a day and thinking you are doing well is not fun at times. Neither is dirty water and its side effects…

- Or the food. Go in a shop here and it is just biscuits, a tin of sprats (bulging as it is 2 years over date), a tin of condensed milk, some water melons if you are lucky and rice or pasta. Maybe even a rusty can of mountain dew if you are really lucky…

- So aside from the bad roads and the bad food the country (excluding the crazy man who threw apples at us) is wonderful. Beautiful kids (and women) come and give you fruit as you cycle past. The children run behind and push your bike up the hill and the views… holy xxxx

- seeing two bare footed men lever slabs of rock off a rock face with nothing but a metal pole and a rope, 50m up… as the people of afghanistan sun bathed and played football on the opposite side of the river… There are moments when the scale of the scenery, the waterfalls across the road, the river crossings, the little lush green fields farmed for hundreds of years sheltered by the geopgraphy leave you wondering why not just stay here?

- it is a common view amongst the people passing through this country. for which there are many. the mongol rally is flying past and we have met some great people, the irish that gave us a MOD 24 hour ration pack when we ran out of food and water (thank you lads) then warned us of bombs going off back up the road, the guy from south wales taking photos of a soviet tank who was about to walk in to the grass completely unaware of the land mines… and emma from the UK who is the only solo female attempting to get to Ulan Battar, and probably the only contestant with chicken wire across the front of the car :)
There is also a 50 year old french woman on a tricycle (yes you read that right) ahead of us by a couple of weeks, a guy on a recumberent which is just nuts and the Italian on a Harley Davidson… maybe the most stupid choice of all…?

- So one pass is over, 3200 odd metres which was harder going down than it was going up due to having drop handlebars. Riding down a mountain for two hours unable to brake is sketchy to say the least…
Quite a few more to go and now they start at over 4000m which means light heads all round…

- D has split and is doing the south route on his own, which leaves Christof, xavier and myself. The spanner in the works is that my visas for the xxxxing country that cannot be named does not start till the 13th, so it was either sit here in khorog for 10 days or start cycling and sit in the mountains for 10 days… There is a lake up near the border with a homestay and some yurts so I plan to rest there before two days in that infernal country then the road to Kashgar starts and the rumour is that not only is it sealed…. it has kerbs!!!

- So back on the bike, more cycling, more hills, more potholes, more washing in waterfalls, more (donkey) meat soup, hunting for food and hopefully lots more nights spent sleeping under the stars with the tent left unopened on the bike… and most importantly more writing Malte’s name on the top of every pass….

Fingers crossed again…

3 Responses to “Day 185”

  1. Heleen says:

    Did i see correctly and have you set up a football team (or something related to footy) online??? Or is your email being hacked again? It just didnt look like you. Enjoy the yurts when you get there. Thinking of you. Oh going on maternity leave from the 3rd of September! :) xx

  2. Hey You .. sitting in the dark :-) Can you hear me?
    We are taken some 24h bus and 15h train and here we go .. at the and (or beginning) of the Great (?) Wall. It rains rains and rains again .. and it’s 6C :/ Tibet is off due to extensive greed of travel agencies and chinese authorities :-) 2000 Euro it’s a little bit too much for us at the moment ;-)
    So … Laos! We cycle (? gonna cycle ;-) together with the Germans .. you know .. the lazy ones Jenz and Kerstin :-) Lot of fun to be honest.
    Yeah . .since we are not (yet) on the road don’t bother to look for the spared signs on the road for you. Maybe in Yunnan ;-) Inshallal … wait a sec .. there is no “inshallah” anymore!
    And cheap, oh so cheap foood is everywhere … but we still miss Pamir.
    Oh well … :-)
    Hope you are fine!
    I forgot to leave the book :/ shame Mr Maciag .. shame, but I’m still reading it OK? and I’ll send it to you some day. That’s for sure :-) Sure Sure!
    Take care mate, safe foooood exploring :-)
    Robb and Ania and Jenz und Kerstin

  3. Administrator says:

    No worries mate, i had heard second hand so maybe we meet again in SE asia? Do not worry about the book, either leave it somewhere safe to save the kilos or post it and i will cover costs.. later mate

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