Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan
August 13 – 20
Neither of us are sad to say goodbye to Tajikistan. Its bad roads have taken their toll and the poor food and water have left us both feeling depleted.
We cross into Kyrgyzstan with a minimum of fuss. The only problem is finding our way from the border to the city of Osh without crossing back into Uzbekistan. There are Uzbek enclaves in this area and we need to avoid them.
Needless to say, 30 ks after crossing the border we come across the checkpoint that is only open to locals because it is Uzbek territory. With some manoeuvring and ignoring the GPS directions we make it to Osh and check into an old Intourist Hotel that still has the lack of charm of the old Soviet hotel chain.
The road from Osh to Bishkek takes us through some of the most beautiful scenery of the trip – and the roads are magnificent.
We climb through meadows, passing yurt camps, herds of horses, flocks of sheep and goats all grazing on the green pastures.
The first pass is at 3200 metres after a gentle climb. We then go back down into the meadows -this is so beautiful we can’t believe the scenery, the weather and the condition of the road!
The second pass is higher and more dramatic. The mountains are sheer and spectacular. The meadows give way to rivers flowing through the rocks…very different and equally as dramatic and beautiful.
After this beauty we cross back into Kazakhstan – the land of bad roads and appalling traffic. Our ride through Kyrgyzstan was too short.
We make a dash through Almaty and take the road to the border – 800 kilometres of more bad roads. We stop in one town where the once proud statue of Lenin now hides behind a garden wall.
Now we just ride to get back into Russia where we are meeting our good friends Ken and Carol Duval who have been travelling the world on their motorcycle for years.
We need a dose of Aussie mateship!