Leaving Uzbekistan the border security assed about so it took three and a half hours to exit. A fight almost erupted in the queue. I've found that getting the bike on it's centre stand and taking some tools out as though you own the place generally moves things a long, or making sandwiches and pretending the wait isn't a bother. I'm not the most patient of people, Patty will tell you so.
The Kyrgyzstan side took five minutes and the border guard shook our hands and said "welcome to Kyrgyzstan".
We were on a mission to Bishkek to arrange a visa for Tajikistan because as you probably noticed from the beginning of the report, we haven't planned much and made things up on the fly.
Transmission towers on each of the ripples in the mountain. I think the truck in the centre left is bogged and the blokes are trying to figure out how to get it out.
We camped the night in the hills overlooking Jalal-Abad - I just love saying Jalal-Abad it just rolls off the tongue - Jalal-Abad.
Big ass mountains in the distance
During the night some strong winds kicked up so we were up at the crack of dawn to pack up before we got blown away.
This family searched around our camp site for berries. To me the hills looked barren. We disappeared before they found the 'berries' we left behind
Shishlek sanga for brekkie
We were taking the west road via Karakol. You don't need to leave the main road for some great views.
We explored a little for a camp site
The road was running out so we asked a bee keeper if we can camp and he said it was ok. In the heat we were desperate to camp next to some running water
First a guy on horseback arrived. We thought we were in the middle of nowhere
Second two kids on horseback showed up
Third a guy with two barrels of cherries on horseback arrived
Soon word had spread in town that we were in the hills so on dark just as we thought nobody else would go past two car loads of teenagers turned up for photos.
The next morning when all was peaceful and the only sound was the running lake I contemplated skipping Tajikistan and spending that time in Mongolia doing nothing but fishing and swimming in the lake.
A pit stop for breakfast of biscuits and juice
Past Karakol the scenery changed from dry red mountains to lush green high plains
We stopped for a photo and this guy on horseback wandered over to us and asked us if we wanted a drink, so of course we said yes and followed him down the hill.
He took us to a little teepee thing on the side of the road and gave us what looked like milk, but it was fizzy. I couldn't see any cows around though
so asked him where it came from and he pointed at his horse. So fizzy horse milk? dah, dah, harasho (yes, yes, good) Fizz in milk is wrong to begin with but coming from a horse just didn't sit right. It tasted like piss but he gave us two bottles and we accepted them so we didn't offend him
We pushed on with the bad taste in our mouth.
This stretch of road is a bottleneck of adventurers. Lots of cyclists and way more people on motorbikes than we were used to seeing.
Some aussies from Queensland and an englishman
We made some russian friends who we'll stay with when we go to Moscow.
My clutch has been behaving since the episode in Bukhara and hasn't played up. It's holding all gears and takes off in first without any dramas. Bukhara was hot whereas the mountains have been cold so it's got me convinced it's something to do with the oil getting too hot and losing it's viscosity. I'm not a mechanic whizz on these things. I've used Motul 10W-40 in the past and since Turkey have Motul 15W-50
I bought some Castrol 10W-40 from the famous Dima biker and changed the oil. The oil looked and felt ok.
We've decided we can't miss Tajikistan when we're so close so after $85 each and a quick drop off at the embassy we have the visa for Tajikistan and GBAO region.
There are few roads to choose from going north to south in Kyrgyzstan because of the mountains so we took the road we knew would be fast and high-tailed back to Osh. We didn't stop for any photos and could hook into the corners so what took us two and a bit days to do the first time we now did in one day.
Today we go to the Pamir Highway.